MMC first day
MMC first day

A Salt Lake City Massage School Adjusts With the Times

A Salt Lake City Massage School Adjusts With the Times

Myotherapy Massage College (MMC), located in Salt Lake City, UT, was established 1988 and has helped close to 3,000 students enter the massage therapy profession. But that doesn’t mean the school is an old dog without any new tricks.

Over the decades, the massage therapy profession has undergone a transition, and MMC has recognized the importance of adjusting the school’s approach to better align with current needs and emerging opportunities in the massage therapy profession.

“Though we have been operating for 35 years, we view ourselves as more of a start-up,” says Michael Farley, President, Myotherapy Massage College. “We are committed to rethinking how to best prepare out students for this dynamic industry and to restructuring our programs accordingly.”

Recent changes the school has made reflect the challenges around both time and money that many massage therapy students face. “Juggling the demands of school and part-time jobs, along with other demands, creates time constraints. Absorbing the costs of tuition and fees is difficult for many,” Farley says.

MMC recently added private lending options that allow students to cover the full cost of the program, as well as a new accelerated LMT program designed to give massage students a way of completing their massage program and enter the profession more quickly.

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MMC moved to its current campus in March of 2020. The first day the campus was to begin serving new students, all schools in the state were closed due to COVID-19. “The next two-and-a-half years were very challenging,” Farley remembers. “One challenge that emerged was to continue to attract sufficient numbers of clients for our student clinic due in part to COVID and also to the fact that our campus had moved. Finally, off-site opportunities for the student clinic were suspended due to COVID concerns.”

The school’s plan is to resume off-site opportunities for the student clinic in health care and sports-oriented settings in July. When that occurs, MMC will have officially resumed the full scope of its pre-COVID activities.


MMC was awarded a $10,000 Massage Schools Grant, a grant that is administered by the American Massage Therapy Association and funded by Massage Envy and is meant to help attract, train, and graduate future generations of massage therapists.

In conjunction with the school’s new Accelerated LMT Program, MMC is also developing new approaches to teaching and learning that will inform changes to the regular program. For example, the introduction of “learning labs” is focused on supporting anatomy and physiology and kinesiology education, as well as providing enhanced teaching tools to MMC educators.

A portion of the $10,000 was used in the purchase of articulated and disarticulated skeletons for use by small groups of students rather than having a single skeleton for the entire class. The school also acquired new technology-facilitated resources like Complete Anatomy, which will be provided to each of the school’s students moving forward, along with subscriptions to videos supporting kinesiology learning.

“Our objective is to equip students with effective learning tools and empower them as learners while they are in our program so that they become effective lifelong learners as practicing massage therapists,” Farley says.

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Farley encourages other massage schools to consider how to continually keep adjusting as the massage education landscape changes, and would like to see more massage schools talk seriously to their students about the myriad career paths that exist outside of immediately starting their own massage practice. “I strongly believe that massage schools need to reduce the ‘self-employed’ emphasis of the career trajectory they present to prospective students,” Farley says.

Farley notes that 25 years ago, virtually the only option for most massage school graduates was to become a self-employed practitioner. Today, however, recent graduates are presented with many more options, including established massage clinics and studios that are eager to add qualified therapists.

“These businesses often offer ongoing professional development and provide new therapists the opportunity to learn from more experienced colleagues and mentors,” Farley says. “Most importantly, working for established massage practices allows new therapists to focus on improving their skills without the distractions and challenges of fulfilling multiple roles associated with starting their own business right out of school.”

Farley also sees an increase in specialization within the massage therapy profession, and believes massage schools need to be more effective facilitators for ongoing professional development within their regions, especially as recently graduated massage students start practicing and develop interest in some of these specializations. This coming fall, for example, MMC is launching a “teaching clinic” that will create mentoring opportunities for practicing LMTs to work alongside experts in modalities or practices they’re interested in learning.

Finally, Farley hopes the future of massage education will help students not just grow and develop as massage therapists, but also as human beings. To this end, MMC has begun developing a new course called “Self-Care and Personal Growth” to help connect with students in a more holistic way.

“Licensed massage therapists have the capacity to change lives for the better,” Farley says. “We want to help them start with their own, which will enhance their capacity to serve others.”

The Massage Schools Grant, administered by AMTA and funded by Massage Envy, will begin its next application period in September 2023.