Massage Therapy School in Salem, OR

Massage therapists in Salem, Oregon are a savvy group, and in some ways a lucky one. Job concentration is above the norm. Massage here has many purposes, including rehabilitation and management of healthcare conditions. Massage therapists work alongside healthcare professionals like physical therapists and chiropractors. They may be stationed in healthcare offices. However, massage therapists in spas or private studios may also work in conjunction with healthcare providers.

People often make a distinction between spa massage and clinical massage. Some businesses here specialize – and individual practitioners may go very deep with their specializations – but very different types of massage are sometimes practiced in the same settings.

Massage Therapy Schools in Salem and Nearby

The Oregon School of Massage offers 640-hour license-qualifying program at its Salem campus. The program includes 85 hours of elective courses; elective courses are the same ones available to practicing LMTs as continuing education. The Oregon School of Massage also offers a 335-hour certificate for individuals who are already licensed in qualifying healthcare professions. There are a number of qualifying fields, including RN, acupuncturist, and physical therapist. Assistants (eg. PTA), though, can’t go the short route.

Students who are willing to travel as far as Portland can enroll at East West College of the Healing Arts, a school with a 40+ year history of educating massage therapists. The program is 800 hours. East West College is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA); the school states that it’s one of only five COMTA-accredited massage therapy programs on the West Coast.

Additional Learning Opportunities: Massage Therapy Schools in Oregon

Salem Area Massage Practices

The following are among the varied Salem-area practices:

  • Cedarleaf Elite Massage
  • Tranquil Moments
  • Simply Blissed Day Spa
  • Aspen Pain Clinic (Keizer)
  • Rejuven8 Massage and Float Therapy
  • Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy

Each of the above is popular, but the focus can be very different from one to the next.

The Aspen Pain Clinic has a focus on injury-related massage. Clients need a referral to receive this type of service. Fees posted on the website are based on worker’s compensation billable units. All expected (and allowable compensation) is built into the price. The clinic compares tipping a massage therapist who is providing pain services to tipping a doctor – not something to be done.

Tranquil Moments has a different feel. It offers nonmedical therapeutic massages (e.g. prenatal, therapeutic deep tissue) along with spa treatments, add-ons, and indulgences; the two-therapist Tranquil Synergy Massage is described as the ultimate indulgence (

Services may be brought to corporate settings and care settings alike. Salem Transitional Care, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, notes massage therapy among the things they can offer (

LMT Self-Employment

Self-employment is common. Self-employment can mean many things from contracting to owning one’s own studio to owning a business that employs or contracts with others.

Indigo Wellness Center represents one model. Indigo rents treatment rooms but allows all practitioners to share a lobby and open exercise area as well as the perks that come from being part of the Indigo brand. Practitioners can opt to use Indigo for web presence and scheduling.

Many of the well-rated practices in the Salem area are LMT-owned Serene Wellness Massage Therapy, Cedarleaf Elite Massage, and EarthEssence Body of Balance are among the practices that list a single proprietor. EarthEssence Body of Balance boasts a dually credentialed esthetician/ massage therapist.

Massage One (Keizer) is a small studio with two onboard. They’ve been “Best of the Mid-Valley” winners more than once.

LaLumiere Massage Boutique, also LMT-owned, is much larger. The founding LMT now has eight other massage therapists on her team. LaLumiere offers varied services. It’s not all massage, in the strictest sense; some spa treatments are available. Patrons can have hands and feet wrapped in a moisturizing treatment during massage. There’s another side to the practice, though. LaLumiere also provides therapeutic massages, including an injury-related service. They state that they will work with the patient’ doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist. The service includes multi-faceted evaluation and recommendations for at-home stretching. The injury-related massage is the most expensive item on the massage menu, save for the couple’s package which takes two therapists (and includes some extras like dessert). There are other massages that are potentially therapeutic but not so customized, for example, myofascial release and migraine relief massage.

Massage therapists find different ways to get out into the community, meet people, and earn. The Statesman Journal reported that the Original Independence Farmers Market now had far more than just produce; it even had a massage therapist as vendor ( “More than just produce” is becoming the norm in Salem farmer’s markets.

The Salem Health and Wellness Expo makes its debut in early 2020; it extended an invitation to vendors representing various holistic products and services.

Massage in the News

Western Oregon University has been instrumental in demonstrating the effectiveness of qigong in helping children with autism.

Massage Therapist Earnings

Massage therapists in Salem, Oregon earned an average employee wage of $28.10 in 2018. Those at the 10th percentile, sometimes thought of as entry-level, earned $18.39, which is unusually high by national standards. Those at the 90th percentile earned $37.17.

One late 2019 posting from a franchise under enthusiastic new ownership invited potential employees from three schools in the Salem and Portland areas (Oregon School of Massage, East West, and Carrington) to ask how they could help them manage their student debts.