Massage Therapy School in Topeka, KS
Massage therapy may not a licensed profession in Topeka, Kansas – at least not yet — but you will find it gaining respect. There are some very well-trained practitioners in the area and some high profile businesses. If you live in this part of the state, you don’t have to travel far to get your massage therapy education – and, if you judge by program approvals and program hours, the level of education is high.
Massage Therapy Schools in Topeka and Nearby
WellSpring School of Allied Health (Lawrence) has been assigned a testing code by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. It is a school member of the American Massage Therapy Association. AMTA lists the program hours as 750. The program can be completed in 11 months. Students can choose to go to class two days a week for eight hours or four evenings for four hours.
Massage Therapist Practice Issues in Kansas
Massage therapists practicing in Kansas should be aware of the jurisdiction-specific nature of practice. Lawrence may not be far from Topeko geographically, but in other ways, it is. Lawrence has a bodyworker practitioner license, a strict one.
The Kansas Association of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork reports in late 2019 that there is a statewide licensing bill again on the table.
Building Credentials and Establishing Credibility
The following are among the things a massage therapist can do to demonstrate competence and expertise:
- Complete an educational program
- Pass the MBLEx (the examination that is used for licensing purposes in most states)
- Achieve licensure in some jurisdiction
- Achieve Board Certification
Education is imperative. 500 hours is the minimum in Lawrence. It’s also generally regarded as the minimum program length nationwide. Some states, notably, set the requirement higher.
It is easier to achieve Board Certification in the Topeka area than it is in many parts of the country. There is a school nearby that has been assigned a testing code by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. The curriculum includes the full 750 hours that serve as an academic prerequisite for certification. The prestigious NCBTMB certification is held by a minority of massage therapists. However, a search of the NCBTMB directory reveals that there are a number of practitioners in the area that do hold it.
Massage Practices in Topeka and the Surrounding Areas
Stillpoint Massage & Bodywork has eight massage therapists, some of whom have been with the practice since 2005.
Massage Envy, a huge national franchise chain, has a presence in Topeka.
There are a number of self-employed massage therapists in the area, some working solo. Topeka Natural Therapeutics and Backs 2 Life Massage are among Topeka’s very small enterprises. Backs by Popular Demand is a massage therapist-owned small business. The website lists three other massage therapists.
There are potentially a lot of massage places within commuting distance.
Elevate Arts of Wellness Massage and Float Spa in Lawrence is a notable studio, with amenities like a float tank and oxygen bar. It has a team of about a dozen bodyworkers.
Massage Therapist Areas of Specialization
Among the most common types of massage practice nationwide are Swedish/ relaxation massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, prenatal massage, and hot stone massage. Some Eastern modalities have grown common, including acupressure and reflexology. There are many modalities, including ones designed for pain relief and function. The following are among the modalities referenced by massage therapists in the Topeka area: Tuning Fork Sound Therapy, Lymph Drainage, Trigger Point Therapy, Neuromuscular Therapy, Raindrop Therapy, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, and Craniosacral Therapy. Therapists cite trainings in modalities as diverse as Myofascial Release, Visceral Manipulation, and CranioSacral Therapy.
Some massage therapists cite well-known institutes and programs through which they have received specialized training, for example, the Neuromuscular Institute, Upledger Institute, and the UCSF School of Medicine.
Well-known training programs sometimes host visiting instructors. The Kansas City Wellspring campus, for example, hosted a Liddle Kidz® pediatric massage training event in 2018.
Massage in Healthcare
The lack of licensing likely has some effect on massage in medical care and healthcare settings. However, there is some presence. Beckley Chiropractic, for example, has a massage therapist on its team. (A number of practices integrate massage – a testament to the value given to soft tissue techniques – but in some cases, it’s a chiropractic professional providing the service.)
St. Croix Hospice, an organization that is expanding to serve Topeka, lists massage therapy among the services (https://www.prnewswire.com / news releases/st croix hospice).
In Lawrence, one will find multi-disciplinary practices like Body Specific. Body Specific has massage, chiropractic care, and acupuncture.
Topeka Massage Therapist Salary and Economic Considerations
Kansas massage therapists made a mean hourly rate of $17.22 in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 10th percentile wage was $8.71; the 90th percentile wage, $23.32.The job concentration is not as high in Topeka as in nearby Lawrence. It has a location quotient of .75 whereas Lawrence is 1.82. (Location quotient is normed nationwide at 1.00.)
However, the data suggests that Lawrence has a lot of low paying massage therapist jobs. In Lawrence, the 2018 mean was just $12.01. The 10th percentile figure was $8.19; the 90th, $18.77. The data doesn’t encompass self-employment earnings – the way many massage therapists are earning their living.
Topeka has a cost of living well below the national average. Home prices are notably lower.
The Kansas Association of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is a valuable professional resource (http://katmb.org).There is information on the website about legislative work and continuing education; a number of additional practice resources are provided to members or made available at a discounted rate.