Massage Therapy School in Mesa/ East Valley

Mesa may have grown up as a Phoenix suburb, but grown up it arguably has! It’s been the state’s third largest city for many years and is the largest city in the growing East Valley. A massage therapist can potentially find a large client base in Mesa and nearby East Valley cities. There’s solid training to be had here, too, at the onset and as the practitioner develops his or her career. The massage therapist can travel to Phoenix for additional massage therapy events and trainings (and for concerts and other non-massage events).

Other major cities in the East Valley include Tempe, Chandler, and Gilbert. The destination city of Scottsdale is not far. It’s a massage destination — whether one refers to the area as “Scottsdale and the East Valley” or includes Scottsdale on a list of East Valley cities alongside its more Southern neighbors.

Top Massage Therapy Schools in Mesa/East Valley

The Arizona School of Integrative Studies in Mesa offers an 800-hour program that prepares students for credentials in two related fields; it includes chiropractic assistant training. Neuromuscular therapy, shiatsu, and connective tissue therapy are among the concepts presented.

The Southwest Institute for the Healing Arts in Tempe offers students multiple program options. The Professional Massage Practitioner Program is 750 hours. The Master Massage Practitioner Program is 1,000 hours. Students can opt for the energetic track if they want to incorporate energy therapies like Reiki and polarity into their practice. They can opt for the therapeutic track and explore a wide variety of interests through electives. The Master Massage with a Specialty in Natural Aesthetics program prepares students for dual credentialing in aesthetics. A final option is an associate’s degree in holistic healthcare with a concentration in massage.

Phoenix College, a little further down the road, has two credit-bearing options: a certificate and an associate’s degree.

Massage Therapist Educational Foundations

Arizona requires 700 hours of massage therapy education, which is a little more than the average state. Students can opt for more. 750 hours provides the educational foundation for adjunct certification through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. The East Valley has initial program options as high as 1,000 hours.

It can be an advantage to have credentials beyond licensure. Specific trainings like myofascial release prove helpful for some positions. Board certification can be an asset. Resilience Massage and Wellness is a case in point; they tell the public their therapists are Board certified as well as state licensed.

Employment Options

Massage therapists may take their career in multiple directions. Some focus on clinical work, some on creating a relaxing (and often luxurious) spa experience. In many settings, LMTs utilize elements of both. Some businesses in the area specialize in mobile massage therapy services.

Many LMTs work for franchises such as Massage Envy, Hand and Stone, and Elements. One will find a number of Elements franchises in the East Valley. They tend to have high client ratings. The Elements Massage-South Mesa and Elements-Mesa Gateway franchises both have a 4.9 Google rating; the figures are based on many ratings (167 for South Mesa, 108 for Mesa Gateway). Elements is a therapeutic massage franchise; treatments are customized based on client needs. Red Mountain notes among the qualifications “superior” skills in Swedish and deep tissue. Mesa Gateway notes trigger point among the modalities regularly incorporated; others include sports massage and Swedish. Elements massage therapists may receive training in aromatherapy as well as prenatal, hot stone, and Himalayan salt stone modalities.

Scottsdale is big on resorts. One will find them in other East Valley cities. The Marriott International-Chandler is among the local hotels that offers massage therapy.

Day spas can also have a vacation feel. The top-rated Hawaiian Experience Spa has Chandler and Scottsdale locations. Lotions and oils are a part of the experience, whether the client favors chocolate, coconut, or lavender. Clients can buy spa themed packages and enjoy massage on their own or as a couple; the “scents of Hawaii” experience is among the packages that are available both ways. Lomi lomi is of course practiced here.

There are small day spas with at least a few LMTs onboard. Among them are the therapist-owned Healing Arts Day Spa in Mesa.

Some massage therapy practices focus specifically on body pain and function. Therapeutic Bodywork, for example, uses structural integration, myofascial release, and other therapeutic modalities in a results-oriented way. They note that insurance may cover treatment.

Massage therapists are often stationed at chiropractic offices, and the East Valley is no exception. Some local practices have grown to include many services, and this may be reflected in the name. Cornerstone Wellness Center notes that they started as a chiropractic office. Among the other businesses that include massage therapy and chiropractic services are Desert Springs Chiropractic, Mesa Chiropractic Rehab and Wellness, and Infinite Healing Center-Mesa.

LMTs may be affiliated with major medical systems. Banner Health numbers massage among its integrative health therapies.

Massage Therapist Salary in Mesa/East Valley and Career Outlook

The mean hourly wage in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area was $20.10 in 2018. Most made between $10.60 and $29.94. Figures do not include self-employment.

The cost of living in the greater Phoenix area notably is much lower than in many major U.S. metropolitan areas. The median home value in Mesa is listed as $255,600 in late 2019; this is lower than the average for the area. In Scottsdale, of course, it’s quite a bit more!

Because massage is grueling physically, it’s a less than 40-hour a week enterprise. Elements Massage-Red Mountain states that their LMTs do no more than 25 hours of bodywork a week to avoid overuse injury and promote career longevity. Massage therapists in some employment settings may do more. Practitioners may carry out non-massage duties. Some have other jobs; these may or may not be in healthcare. Some practitioners provide spa services as well as massage. Some run their own businesses.

Additional Resources

Arizona Massage Therapy License Requirements

Massage School in Arizona