St. Louis: A Magnet for Massage Therapy Training

Massage therapy is one of the most popular types of alternative medicine accepted by Western healthcare. Many people turn to massage therapy to help recover from injuries, relieve chronic pain, and reduce stress.

How popular is massage therapy? The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) reports that 48 million Americans had at least one massage between mid-2009 and 2010. The profession brings in as much as $17 billion each year.

Nearly all states, including Missouri, require license and certification for massage therapy services. As a result, today’s massage therapists are well-trained professionals trained in different types, or modalities, of massage therapy. AMTA says there are about 300 accredited massage therapy schools and programs in the US. In the St. Louis area, two schools are building a name for their MT programs: Anthem College-Fenton, south of the city, and Anthem College-Maryland Heights, located north. Both campuses offer Diplomas and Associate of Applied Science degrees in Massage Therapy.

Anthem College requires its massage therapy students to complete 820 hours of lab-based training, far more than the minimum 500 required by the state. Students learn traditional Swedish massage and other techniques, such as sports, pregnancy, geriatric, deep-tissue, and Thai massage. “We try to expose students to a range of modalities,” explains Sandy Scott, the Massage Therapy Program Director at Anthem College-Maryland Heights.

Both campuses offer massage therapy clinics to the public as well. Clinics are staffed by students near the end of their formal training and are supervised by Anthem College instructors. Clients complete a health interview to tailor their massages to meet their specific needs, says Terry Yardley-Nohr, who directs the Fenton program.

Anthem’s massage therapy clinics are competitively priced for the region. A Swedish massage costs $25/hour, and an 80-minute session is $35. Hot stone treatment is $25 for 50 minutes. Chair massages are also available at $25 for 25 minutes.

Clinic hours vary, but they are open Monday through Friday, with some evening hours available at the Maryland Heights location. To make an appointment at Maryland Heights, call 314-595-3400. For Fenton, call 636-326-7307 or 636-326-7300.

Other popular healthcare diploma and associate degree programs offered at Anthem College include Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, and Pharmacy Technician. The Fenton campus offers a Medical Billing & Coding program, and the Maryland Heights campus has a Surgical Technologist Associate of Applied Science program.

For more information, visit Anthem College at www.anthem.edu.