Top NYC Local Massage Schools

As more people seek natural and holistic approaches to health and wellness, the demand for skilled massage therapists in New York City continues to rise.1 Thankfully, the city is home to several top-notch local massage schools that provide comprehensive training and education for aspiring professionals. 

Join us as we explore some of these top massage schools and discover their unique programs. We'll also discuss what a massage school is, the benefits of enrolling in one, and the requirements for massage therapy colleges in New York to help you better understand the journey toward becoming a licensed massage therapist in the city that never sleeps. So read on to learn more! 

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With our extensive knowledge and expertise, we offer a wide range of specialized massage therapies that are 100% tailored to meet your individual needs. Whether you're looking to relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, or simply unwind and relax, we'll ensure you leave our studio feeling rejuvenated and restored. 

Book an appointment with us today and experience the transformative power of therapeutic massage at PRESS. You can also reach out to us today if you want to learn more about our services or have any questions!

What Is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is a form of hands-on manipulation that involves applying pressure and motion to the body's muscles, ligaments, tendons, and soft tissues. This powerful therapy promotes relaxation, reduces stress, relieves muscle tension, and improves overall well-being. 

Usually, massage therapists use their hands, fingers, elbows, and sometimes even tools to apply various techniques and maneuvers during a massage session. These techniques include kneading, stroking, tapping, stretching, and applying sustained pressure to specific areas or the entire body. The pressure and movements used in massage therapy help increase blood circulation, loosen tight muscles, and alleviate pain or discomfort while stimulating the body's natural healing processes.2 

What is Massage Therapy

What Is A Massage School?

As the name suggests, a massage school is an educational institution that provides training and certification in massage therapy. It's where individuals interested in pursuing a career in massage therapy can acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become professional massage therapists. 

These schools offer comprehensive programs that cover various massage techniques, anatomy and physiology, ethics and professionalism, and hands-on practice. Through classroom instruction, practical demonstrations, and supervised practice sessions, students learn the art and science of massage therapy. 

Benefits Of Enrolling In A Massage School

Enrolling in a massage school can offer numerous benefits for individuals interested in pursuing a career in massage therapy. Here are some advantages of attending a massage school: 

  1. Comprehensive Education And Hands-On Experience: Massage schools offer well-rounded programs that cover a wide range of topics related to massage therapy. Students learn not only the various massage techniques but also gain a deep understanding of anatomy, physiology, ethics, and professionalism. By receiving thorough classroom instruction and engaging in supervised practice sessions, students develop the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their future careers as professional massage therapists. 
  2. Credential And Career Advancement Opportunities: Completing a massage therapy program from an accredited massage school often leads to obtaining the necessary credentials and certifications. These credentials not only validate the expertise and skills of the graduates but also enhance their professional credibility. 
  3. Personal Growth And Wellness: Engaging in massage therapy education not only equips individuals with the skills to help others but also promotes personal growth and wellness. Throughout the program, students often experience firsthand the positive effects of massage therapy on their own physical and mental well-being. They learn self-care techniques, stress management strategies, and the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By prioritizing their own wellness, massage school students develop a strong foundation for a fulfilling and sustainable career in a field focused on holistic health. 

How Does A Massage School Work?

Massage schools typically operate on a structured curriculum designed to provide students with a well-rounded education in the field of massage therapy. The programs offered by massage schools can vary in duration, ranging from a few months to a couple of years, depending on the depth and breadth of the coursework. 

Upon enrollment, students are introduced to foundational concepts such as anatomy, physiology, and the principles of massage therapy. They learn about the human body's structure and how various massage techniques can affect and benefit different body parts. 

In addition to classroom instruction, massage schools emphasize hands-on training. Students have the opportunity to practice the techniques they learn in real-world settings, often through supervised sessions in on-site clinics or externships at local spas, wellness centers, or hospitals. This practical experience allows students to develop their skills, gain confidence, and understand the practical application of their training. 

Upon successful completion of the program, students typically receive a certificate or associate's degree, which may be required for licensure in their jurisdiction. Some massage schools also offer job placement assistance or resources for starting a private practice. 

Requirements For Massage Therapy Colleges In New York

Aspiring students must fulfill certain requirements to enroll in a massage therapy college in New York. While these requirements may vary slightly between different institutions, some of the common prerequisites include: 

  • A high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) certificate 
  • A minimum age requirement (usually 18 years or older) 
  • A completed application form and submission of required documents, such as identification, transcripts, and references 
  • Proof of immunizations and health screenings, as some programs may require students to be up-to-date on vaccinations and undergo a physical examination 
  • A personal interview or essay to assess the applicant's motivation, communication skills, and commitment to the profession 
  • Depending on the institution, applicants may need to demonstrate proficiency in English language skills, as effective communication is essential in client interactions 

Looking to experience the therapeutic benefits of massage therapy in New York City? Check out PRESS today! We pride ourselves on being a highly reputable and experienced team of licensed massage therapists dedicated to providing exceptional massage services in the bustling city. From our luxurious studios to our skilled therapists, we offer a premium massage experience that will leave you feeling revitalized and refreshed. 

Schedule an appointment with us today and indulge in the transformative power of therapeutic massage!

Duration Of A Massage Course In New York

The duration of a massage course in New York can vary depending on the specific program and the level of certification or specialization desired. 

Typically, massage schools in New York offer programs ranging from several months to two years in length. However, curricula in NY must total 1,000+ hours, including at least 200 hours of neurology, anatomy, and physiology classes. 

Also, New York State mandates 100 hours of pathology, 150 hours of myology or kinesiology, and 150 hours of massage theory and techniques. Additionally, at least 325 hours are to be devoted to practice sessions, where students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a supervised environment.


Duration of Massage


Top NYC Local Massage Schools

New York City is home to several top-notch massage schools that offer exceptional training and education in the field of massage therapy. These schools provide comprehensive programs designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their careers as professional massage therapists. 

Here are some of the top massage schools in NYC, in no particular ranking or order: 

Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences

Located in the heart of Manhattan, Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences is one of the oldest continuously operating massage therapy institutions in the US. This school is renowned for its rigorous curriculum and commitment to excellence in massage education. It offers a diverse range of massage modalities, including both Eastern and Western massage theories and approaches. 

Swedish's massage therapy program is offered in 5-semester (20-month), 6-semester (24-month), and 8-semester (32-month) schedules to accommodate students' different needs and schedules. Plus, with their flexible class options, students can choose to attend classes in the morning, afternoon, or evening/Saturday, making it convenient for those with other commitments. 

Through combined hands-on practice and massage therapy classes offered at Swedish Institute, students develop a strong foundation in anatomy and physiology, pathology, neurology, and kinesiology. 

To learn more about Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences and its massage therapy program, check out their website or visit them at 226 West 26th St, New York, NY 10001.

Fun fact: Rachel Beider of PRESS attended the Swedish Institute!

Pacific College of Health and Science

With multiple campuses across the country, including one in NYC, Pacific College is the largest school of Chinese medicine in the US. The massage therapy program at Pacific College focuses on a holistic approach, combining Eastern and Western massage techniques to provide students with a well-rounded education. 

Students at Pacific College learn a variety of massage modalities, such as Swedish massage, Shiatsu, Thai massage, and Trigger point work, among others. Their NYC campus covers 1207.5 credit hours of theory and clinical practice as part of a 65.5-unit program to be completed over five terms. 

All three campus locations (San Diego, Chicago, and New York) feature student clinics where learning practitioners serve the needs of real clients. This gives students the opportunity to gain practical experience and apply their knowledge in a supervised and supportive environment. 

Visit the Pacific College of Health and Science Massage Therapy School in New York City (located at 110 William St., 19th Floor, New York, NY 10038) or reach out to one of their representatives at 212-982-3456 for more information on their massage therapy program and enrollment process. Check out their website here!

Mildred Elley

Known for its small class sizes and lifetime job-placement assistance, Mildred Elley has been educating the greater Capital District in career-focused programs for over 100 years. This school emphasizes hands-on learning and provides students with ample opportunities to practice in their massage therapy clinics. 

Mildred's massage therapy program involves 72 semester hours, with AOS degrees in MT earned at their Albany and New York City campuses. Anatomy and physiology, myology and kinesiology, neuromuscular therapy, sports massage, oriental massage, biology, and first aid and CPR are some of the courses massage therapy students can expect to take at Mildred Elley. Flexible class schedules are also available, allowing students to balance their education with other commitments. 

Do you have questions regarding Mildred's massage therapy program? Visit their New York City campus at 25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004, or call them at 646-580-4999 to speak with their knowledgeable staff, who can provide more details and assist with the enrollment process, or check out their website here!

New York College of Health Professions

Founded by a group of dedicated holistic health care providers more than 40 years ago, New York College of Health Professions is a leading institution of holistic health education and care. This school offers the massage therapy program as an advanced 72-credit Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) degree program. This program is designed to be completed in 6 trimesters (or two academic years) but can be completed in 5 trimesters or 20 months as well for students who opt for an accelerated schedule. 

The curriculum at New York College of Health Professions combines a strong foundation in anatomy, physiology, and pathology, focusing on Eastern and Western massage techniques. Students learn a variety of modalities, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, and aromatherapy, among others. 

For more detailed information about the massage therapy program at New York College of Health Professions, visit their campus at 6801 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset, NY 11791. You can also contact their admissions office at 800-922-7337 for personalized guidance regarding enrollment and program details, or check out their website here.

Relax For Clarity: Unwind At PRESS Modern Massage And Gain A Fresh Perspective On Choosing The Right School

Choosing the right massage school can be a crucial step in your journey towards becoming a professional massage therapist. While researching and comparing different schools, it's important to take a break, relax, and clear your mind. That's where PRESS comes in! 

We offer a serene and comfortable environment where you can escape the stress of school research and indulge in a moment of tranquility. Our skilled therapists will work their magic using a combination of techniques to release tension, reduce anxiety, and rejuvenate your body and mind. As your muscles loosen and your worries melt away, you'll find yourself gaining a fresh perspective on the important task of selecting the perfect massage school for your future career. 

So don't let the overwhelming pressure of choosing a massage school weigh you down - schedule an appointment with us today and let us help you find clarity amidst the chaos!

Final Thoughts On Top NYC Local Massage Schools

New York City offers a range of top-notch massage schools that provide comprehensive training and education for aspiring massage therapists. By enrolling in one of these esteemed institutions, individuals can acquire the necessary skills, knowledge, and credentials to excel in the field of massage therapy. 

However, remember the journey toward becoming a licensed massage therapist requires dedication, hard work, and a genuine passion for helping others. Take time to research and visit different massage schools, speak with current students and instructors, and consider your own goals and interests to make an informed decision. 

Also, don't forget to take breaks, relax, and indulge in some well-deserved self-care along the way. PRESS is here to provide you with a moment of tranquility and help you find clarity amidst the chaos of choosing the right massage school. Book an appointment today, and let us guide you toward a fresh perspective on your future career!

Want to explore other topics of interest? Check out these articles: 


Is the massage therapy school worth it?

The worth of a massage therapy school depends on your personal goals and interests. If you are passionate about helping others, enjoy working with your hands, and are interested in holistic approaches to health and wellness, massage therapy school can be a valuable investment in your career. It can provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue a fulfilling profession in the field of massage therapy.

Is massage therapy school tax deductible?

Massage therapy school tuition may be tax deductible under certain circumstances. It's important to consult with a tax professional or refer to the IRS guidelines to determine if you qualify for the deduction and understand the requirements and limitations of claiming it. 

How do I get a massage therapy license in NY?

To obtain a massage therapy license in New York, you must meet the state's requirements, which typically include completing a massage therapy program approved as licensure qualifying, passing the New York State Massage Therapy Examination, and submitting an application with the appropriate fees and documentation.3 

It's recommended to review the specific requirements outlined by the New York State Education Department or contact their licensing division for detailed instructions and any recent updates to the process.

How much is a massage therapy school?

The cost of massage therapy school can vary depending on location, program length, and type of institution. Generally, tuition for a massage therapy program can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. It's recommended to research and compare different schools to get a better understanding of the specific costs involved in pursuing a massage therapy education.


  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, October 6). Massage therapists : Occupational outlook handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
  2. Determining the benefits of massage mechanisms: A review ... - researchgate. (n.d.). 
  3. License requirements for massage therapy. NYS Massage Therapy:License Requirements. (n.d.).
Posted on Mon, Jun 26, 2023