Massage Therapy School in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is a tourist town with a relatively warm beach and a mild early fall. It’s also a place that some massage therapists are using as the backdrop to their dreams. There are quite a few massage schools in the area, and they tend to include a little more coursework than the average. Some offer advanced courses beyond those needed for initial licensure. A person can start their career here and go any of many places, geographically as well as physically. Some massage therapists are utilizing specialized modalities like myofascial release for pain and injury.

Popular Massage Schools in Virginia Beach

The Cayce/Reily School of Massotherapy is COMTA-accredited. The school offers a 700-hour diploma program. Advanced clinical massage, chair massage, Jin Shin Do, and massage research are among the courses. The program can be completed in as little as two semesters.

The Advanced Fuller School of Massage Therapy program is 600 hours and includes 375 hours of core courses and an additional 225 hours of advanced electives. There are a wide variety to choose from. Some electives are taught over the course of two or three Saturdays or Sundays. The 2019 catalog lists an oncology massage course, for example, that’s taught over three Sundays.

Centura College-Virginia Beach offers a diploma program that provides a solid foundation in sciences and practical applications. The program includes two courses in myology; this is in addition to the anatomy and physiology sequence. Students take three classes in massage therapy applications and an introduction to clinical massage treatments. There is additional coursework in complementary modalities and integrative therapies. Students receive 24 credit hours for the diploma program. The American Massage Therapy Association lists program hours as 945.

Fortis College in Norfolk focuses on Swedish massage – sometimes termed classical or relaxation massage — but also introduces other modalities. The American Massage Therapy Association list program hours here as 725.

Massage Therapy Work Settings

Virginia Beach massage therapists work at spas, franchises, and small healthcare offices. Some have their own massage studios. Some perform mobile massage. Virginia Beach is a relatively car-dependent city; thus massage therapists are performing a service by making therapy more accessible.

Massage is gaining respect in the healthcare community. Sentara Healthcare utilizes massage therapists at its therapy centers. More often, though, massage therapists who perform clinical services work outside major healthcare systems. Massage therapist/ chiropractic is a common partnership nationwide. In the Virginia Beach area, one often sees massage therapists working alongside physical therapists. Thrive Proactive Health is one such practice. Here ‘signature massages’ are priced quite a bit higher than basic relaxation massage. They are customized to meet client needs in a variety of areas: mobility, pain, relief, and enhanced sleep. The ‘restore and revive’ massage can include a variety of modalities, for example, neuromuscular, myofascial release, hot stone, and even vacuum cupping. Clients may opt for physiomassage which includes both physical therapy techniques and massage; therapies follow thorough assessment. Bon Secours InMotion, meanwhile, has massage therapists at its Hampton and Chesapeake locations (

Some practices include a number of holistic services. ARE Health Center and Spa, a nonprofit, utilizes professionals with chiropractic, acupuncture, and mental health degrees. Energy work and less tangible therapies are in evidence here. LMTs have additional certifications. One has certifications in Reiki and Healing Touch; she provides inner sound therapy. One has done extensive study in breathwork. The ARE Health Center and Spa enjoys a special connection to the Cayce/Reilly School of Massage.

Green Leaf and Pebble Tea Spa, a relative newcomer to the spa scene, offers a number of services, including specialized massages like warm bamboo massage and lymphatic massage. It’s also a café and tea house. Clients get to leave with a cup of tea – there are many varieties.

Studios that specialize in massage may a number of practitioners. Balance Therapeutic Massage is fairly large; it operates out of an eight-room facility. Tru Massage lists nine massage therapists, one of whom is designated as lead. Among the services offered are pre- and post-event sports massage and focus massage which targets specific parts of the body.

Self-Employed Massage Therapists in Virginia Beach

Self-employment draws many. Sometimes one will click on the website of a highly rated massage practice and be surprised to realize it’s a sole enterprise.

Southern Virginia’s self-employed LMTs place their own unique stamp on massage therapy; individual strengths come from the particular advanced trainings and certifications they’ve pursued as well as from their life experiences. The LMT at the helm of the Virginia Beach Center for Pain Free Living, a retired naval service member, has advanced training in the Erik Dalton Myoskeletal Alignment Technique. He is also credentialed in yoga and has a specialization in Christian Yoga. His inspiration was his own quest to live pain-free without relying on medication.

Virginia Medical Massage is also in the business of helping people with serious physical issues. Services include outcome-oriented medical massage, oncology massage, prenatal massage, and a massage especially designed for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder. The owner, an LMT, has two other massage therapists on her team. She recorded a video to explain to potential massage therapy recipients the different types of massage.

Massage therapy training is relatively brief – requiring less than a year of full-time training. Some LMTs draw from other education and professional activity. The proprietor of Crystal Gardens Massage and Energy Therapy has considerable experience as a registered nurse as well as as a massage therapist.

Some LMTs own businesses that offer multiple wellness services. Wells Therapeutic, for example, boasts a diverse group of professionals including a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Massage Therapist Wages in Virginia Beach

Massage therapists in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan area earned a median wage of $18.27 in 2018. Those at the 10th percentile made $8.66 while those at the 90th percentile made $29.78.

Additional Resources

Virginia Massage Therapy License Requirements

Massage Schools in Virginia