Interviews with Top Experts in the Massage Therapy Industry

Massage ExpertThe volunteers at the MTSI reached out to some of the most credible, reputable and prominent names experts in the massage therapy industry to solicit their advice for aspiring massage therapists who are looking to enroll in a massage therapy school.

We reached out to folks from all backgrounds and walks of life. Today, they are either practicing massage, running successful massage therapy businesses, teaching at various massage therapy schools, volunteering, writing and publishing, serving on governing bodies and boards of directors, employing massage therapists or doing all sort of other things related to the massage profession.

This exercise lasted over a span of twelve months and we are happy to compile this extensive interview series for your benefit. Each interview is power packed with tips, strategies, pointers, suggestions and advice of sorts that is meant to help you as you progress toward a career in massage therapy.

We know that you will enjoy these interviews and find them just as valuable as we did.


Michael McGillicuddy Practices Sports Massage Therapy, Teaches, Speaks & Travels the World

Adam Sell Says You Must Specialize in a Massage Modality for Maximum Success

Marjorie Brook Specializes in Scar Tissue Release & Therapeutic Stretching

Cari Caraway Trains Massage Therapist on the Therapeutic Benefits of Incorporating Essential Oils

Scholarships, Grants & Loans for Going Back to Massage School are Everywhere Says Jill Herchenhahn. Go Get Them!

Elline Eliasoff Practices Massage & Sells Massage Equipment on the Side

Kathy Gruver Thrives on Her Ability to Run a Business, Her Massage Talent & Her Personality

Dee Vickers, a Massage Academy Director, Says DO NOT Stop Learning After Massage School

Donna Amato Salvacion Says It’s Never too Late to Start Researching Good Massage Schools

Former Flight Attendant & Now Body Builder/Trainer Melody Atwood Says Massage is “Medically Necessary”

Ex Fire Fighter Daniel Dagan Turns a Life Experience Into a Passionate Career in Reflexology

US Army Veteran Jessica Dragan Listens & Caters to Her Client’s Needs

Being Flexible & Catering to Your Client’s Needs is the Key to Success Says Jasmine Halton

Clients (including Celebrities) Visit Shane Epperly & His Wife’s Massage Business from Out of State. Find Out Why?

Teresa Smith Specializes in Oncology Massage, Works at a Water Park Resort Spa & Runs Her Own Practice as Well

Alternative Medicine Seeker Lisa Hunstiger Wants to Teach Massage After She is Done Practicing It

Faye Crane Advices to List Out Your Needs and Pick a Massage School That Fits YOUR Needs

Catherine Slagell Loves the Freedom and Flexibility a Career in Massage Can Offer Her Family

Dale Alexander Shares 4 Decades of Knowledge on Science, Medicine, Education, Business & the Human Psyche

Read How Rebecca Dieter Successfully Capitalized on the Mobile Massage Business Trend

Most Search for Cheapest, Closest & a Massage School that Takes the Least Amount of Hours Required Says Michael Hinkle

A Massage Business That Employs 10 Massage Therapists & Specializes in Soft Tissue Injuries

Private Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Practice Owner Nigel Chua Employs Massage Therapists

Want to Own a Massage Business? Learn from Jason Erickson, Who Employs 16 Massage Therapists & 5 Receptionists

A Void Found While Practicing Massage Turned Into a Business by Una Tucker

Working with Other Health Professionals Helps Learn More About Client Care & Body Awareness Says Theresa DeBuhr

Multiple Practices, Inconsistencies in Massage Hours Required by States, Massage Chains & More with Daniel Marquez

Stephanie Shrum Conducts 2 Hour Massage Sessions, Charges by the Session, Not by the Hour

Evidence Based Chronic Pain & Injury Specialist Alice Sanvito Studies Pain Science and Specializes in Pain Education

35 Years Holding a Registered Nurse License & 20 Years Teaching Massage, Michael Garcia Specializes in Medical Massage

Joe Lavin Sees No More than 2-3 Clients a Day, and Leaves a Full Hour In-Between Each. Read Why…

Inspiring and Determined Mystery Pain Specialist Jennifer Fleming Cures Pains that Even Doctors Can’t

Concise Advice from Ryan Hoyme : Find a Mentor Early On. Get a Job Immediately. Take Lots of CEs

Stick with One Job Long Enough to Build a Solid Client Base Says Gael Wood

Teri May’s Patients Have Been Seeing Her for 10+ Years. Read Why

Jim Peltier Engages in Kofutu and Transformational Healing, a Blend of Channeling, Mediumship, Energy Work and Neuro-Linguistic Programming Techniques

Business Owner Lisa Keplinger Predicts More Standardized Massage Education Across the Nation

Disillusionment & Limitations of Conventional Allopathic Medicine Is Causing a Shift to Alternative Treatments Says Gina Marks

Ashiatsu (Barefoot) Massage Specialist Ivy Hultquist Says It’s a Great Modality for Her Clients

Elise Palazzi Never Thought She’d Sustain an Income with Massage Therapy. Look Where She is Now!

Soul Searching Led Highly Paid Info Tech Consultant Karen Wright to Massage Therapy

Author Shari Auth Teaches Forearm Massage Techniques to Help Therapists Have Longer, Healthier Careers

From Hedge Fund Manager, to Deep Neuromuscular Specialist to Now Massage Entrepreneur : Interview with Mark Volkman

“If You Have a Body, You’re an Athlete” : Brian Keene Helps Bodyworkers Help Their Clients

A Dose of Spirituality from Tina Tongen, a Phenomenal Touch Massage Therapy Specialist

Schooling is Not Enough (And We Agree) Says Rick Merriam, Who Has Carved Out Unique Niches for Himself

Brenda Austin Researched the Risk, Complexity, and How to Gain Clientele Before Diving Into Massage

US Army Veteran and Now Mobile Massage Solopreneur Michael Wolfes Says “Know Your Limitations”

Jennifer Weisenberg is Noticing Massage Boom as a Profession – Feels Geriatric Massage Will Take Off Given Baby Boomer Aging

Oncology Massage Therapist (Cancer Specialist) Toni Muirhead Found Compassion in Frustration

Julie Laico – Independent Massage Therapist Who has Worked for Doctors & Chiropractors, Eats Clean & Stays Fit

Corporate Pro Turned Massage Therapists Filled Gaps in Her Own Training by Starting Her Own Massage School

Getting Frequent Solo & Couple Massages Led Xerlan Deery to Pursue a Career in Massage Therapy

Dana Pellegrini Wears Multiple Hats, Says Do Not Overwork & Find an Environment That Resonates Most With You

Carrie Kinnear Specializes in Both Animal & Human Massage – Says “Do Not Sell Yourself Short”

Massage Entrepreneur Jon Borges Focuses on an Aging Population Seeking Alternatives to Traditional Medicine

Multi-Faceted Massage Entrepreneur Lara Rininger’s Niche is 40 Something Women

If Politicians Lobby for Proactive Health Practices That Reduce Health Insurance Premiums, Massage Therapy Can Skyrocket Says Dawn Wagner

Doctors are Turning to Massage Therapists to Help Cure Their Patients Says Kristina Aponte

Former Fashion Designer Debra Bernath Finds Massage Therapy a Way to Express Art Much Like in Fashion

Aging Population & People Living Longer: Western Medicine Doesn’t Always Have “The Cure” Says Debbie Dickerson

National Championship Sports Massage Team Debbie Benson and Husband Tom Tag Team Their Clients

Almost a Civil Enginner, Jamin Rak Decided to Treat Athletes and Specializes in Pain Relief and Injury Recovery

Elizabeth Torres Saves People From Unnecessary Surgeries. She is Also a Part Time Massage Instructor

Gary Tyler Had Level 4 Cancer When He Was Only 8. He Survived It. Now He Helps Other Seniors and Injured Heal

How Ex IT Professional Joan Cole Used Her Troubleshooting Skills to Succeed in Massage Therapy

Deep Tissue Specialist Jessica Sutton Attracts Those Seeking Pain Relief

Medical Massage Therapist & Certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner Jennica Klemann Practices Perfect Work-Life Balance

Repetitive Strain Injury Specialist Paul Ingraham is Now a Successful Published Author

Lots to Learn from Laura Allen; Successful Massage Therapist, Business Owner, Continuing Education Provider & Published Author

From Casinos to Massage Therapy, Michelle Viesselman Advices to Hire Professionals When Buying a Massage Business

Single-Mother & Multi-Tasker Lorna Maughan Made it in Massage + Created

Kimberly Gorichanaz Owns a Corporate Chair Massage Business; Has Been Self-Employed for a Decade Plus

Ex Nomad Rajam Roose Wanted Her Own Sailboat; Became a Massage Therapist & Author

Australian Massage Therapist Jeff Zielke Says Pace, Persistence and Pressure are Keys to Successful Massage

Massage Business Owner Elaine Phillips is Also an Independent Contractor at Another Massage Facility

18 Year Cosmetology Veteran Janice Jackson Entered Massage School at 50; Thrives in Her Career Today

Ex Registered Nurse Karen Kowal Owns Her Massage Business, Employs Other Therapists & Sells Self Care Products

30 Yr Veteran, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Health Coach & Fitness Coaching Specialist Leslie Olsen Was Scammed by a Chiropractor

Dale Grust; NY Licensed Massage Therapist Since 1983, Opened Mutiple Group Practices Offering Massage, Acupuncture, Skin Care, Psychotherapy & Reflexology

Reiki Master, Neck, Shoulder, Lower Back & Hip Pain Specialist Cathy Amenta Also Performs Hot and Cold Therapy; Specializes in Energy Work and Sound Therapy Using Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls

Male Massage Therapist Barry Cooper Runs a Yoga and Ayurvedic Massage Therapy Business With a Partner

Ami Kalisek Wanted to be a Doctor; Instead She is Thriving as a Myofascial Release Sole Practitioner

Boutique Pilates Studio Owner Kay Smith Discusses a Supplement to Massage; A Focus on Efficient Posture (Balance and Alignment) Leading to More Energy

Connective Tissue Specialist Wanona Ceisel Specializes in Soft Tissue Work; a Cornerstone of Naprapathy

Ex Television Personality and Model Petrina Steer is a Remedial Massage Therapist in Australia

Eric Jeffrey Invented Self-Care Massage Tools During a Period of Long Chronic Illness

Clinical / Neuromuscular Massage Therapist Emily Francis Published a Book on Stretch Therapy While Staying Home With Her Children

Vibroacoustic Therapy Specialist Avigail Berg-Panitz is Also a Social Entrepreneur

Sports Massage Therapist Emma Anderson Works With Football Players, Sports Teams, Coaches, Trainers & Athletes on Sorts

Erica Olstein Runs a Medical Practice with Doctors of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, a Massage Therapist and Podiatrist

Belgium Native Sonia Alexandra Specializes in Stone Massage, Teaches Online Continuing Education Courses

Ex IT Professional, Salon & Spa Owner Charlie Peebles Practices Massage & Is Department Chair in a School of Computing & Informatics

Erica Olstein Runs a Medical Practice with Doctors of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, a Massage Therapist and Podiatrist

Ex CFO Serving the Developmentally Disabled Jeanette (Jenae) Jeffers Becomes a Successful Massage Business Owner

Ex Respiratory Therapist Jeff Bockoven Became a Massage Therapist After a Vehicle Accident

Unsatisfied With Traditional Medicine & Pills, Bruce Winkle Created and Teaches a Unique Energy Healing Program

Chronic Pain Management Specialist Kirstie Bender Segarra Lives Off the Grid on Solar Power

Wayne Kealohi Powell Didn’t Want to Attend Massage School, So He Moved to Canada Where Unlike the USA It Is Legal to Touch a Client Without a License

Health & Wellness Coach & Essential Oils Educator Lisa Ciotto Reflects on Massage, Alternative Treatments

Ex Restaurant Manager Mary-Claire Fredette is Certified in Pregnancy Massage, Cupping and Bamboo-Fusion; Specializes in Ashiatsu Massage

Self-Taught Reflexology Specialist Julie E Brent Was Inspired by a How To Book on Massage

Kind Hearted Deep Tissue Therapeutic Massage Practitioner Katie Jones Reflects on Her Love for Alternative and Natural Medicine

Equine Massage Therapist Beverly Brady Helps Certify CESMTs With Passion

Assistant Dean Kiera Nagle Created MaMassage Prenatal Massage Therapy Training, is also an Artist & a Blogger

Wellness Center Owner and Yoga Instructor Debra Lynn Smith Specializes in “Listening” – What? Read More…

Certified Canine Massage Therapist Erin Kowalski Discusses In-Home Small Mammal Massage Therapy, Reiki, Volunteering & More

An Inspiring Win Over Adversity, Maria Sellars Caught the Massage Bug at 11; Reflects on Her Journey, Career & Enterpreneurship 

From Systems Analyst to Data Processing Manager to VP of Information Technology to President of a Credit Union, John Teng Became a Successful Massage Therapist and a Massage Business Owner

Deep Tissue & Prenatal Massage Specialist Freda Johnson Previously Worked in the Restaurant and Insurance Industries

From Modern back to Traditional Medicine Massage: César Tejedor & Camilla Ilves Make a Perfect Tag Team

Thoughts from the Regional Director of Recruitment for Massage Envy: Ronald Maslovsky

Author, massage instructor & NCBTMB Approved Provider of Continuing Education: CEO of the Ariana Institute for Wellness Education Ariana Vincent

12 comments on “Interviews with Top Experts in the Massage Therapy Industry
  1. Mitchel says:

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a very good article… but what can I say…
    I put things off a lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  2. Nina Sullivan says:

    Hello there. I am trying to get information on a good online massage therapy school, and how to do the hands on part where I will be living, which is in Topsham, Maine. Could you please send me some information or give me a little more guidance? Thank you.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Hi Nina, have you read our dedicated section on Maine? please do so as you can request free information from schools near you through our website. it will take you just a few minutes.

      • Nina Sullivan says:

        I have read that yes. I was just hoping to get a little bit more information and direction as to what online schools have hands on modules in my area. Could you please help me with that?

        Thank you.

  3. Mitsu says:

    Thank you thank you thank you so much for this valuable resource! I am new to the massage field, and all these interviews/experiences help me so much!

  4. Paul Beaudry says:

    I recently started working for massage envy in Massachusetts. I am an employee, not a licensed contractor per my agreement with my franchise owner. Their model is to pay $18 an hour when I’m doing massages or minimum wage for the entire clinic hours. They pay out whichever is greater. So when my first pay period I was only paid for the 16 1/2 I was I was doing massage even though I was required to be at the clinic for 24 total hours. In essence, I was not paid for 7.5 hours, when I was required to be at the clinic clocked in, but didn’t have a client. Is this standard practice? Is this allowed?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      sometimes they take the amount of pay and divide it by the total hours you were at the clinic, whether or not you practiced massage at that time. if the hourly rate after division is at or above minimum wage then technically you are being paid legally. many establishments do this. have a discussion with your employer once again and come back to update us about the real facts.

  5. Monica Green says:

    Is there a seperate license or certification to massage a pregnant client in Pennsylvania?

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