We give most of our profits back to our students.
The Massage School opened 16 years ago with a simple idea: Wouldn't it be great to build a massage school that taught modern massage technique, with a hands-on approach to learning, at an affordable price, and with a simple, practical, and flexible schedule?
Our mission is to provide outstanding massage education that is practical and affordable. We accomplish this through focused, hands-on training in modern massage technique.
In 2001, we opened as The Amherst School of Massage Therapy in Amherst Massachusetts. In 2005, we moved to our current location in the historic Memorial Hall of Easthampton Massachusetts.
In September of 2013 we opened our Boston branch of the school at 63 Wareham St., in the South End.
In October of 2016 we opened our Minnesota branch of The Massage School at 801 Front Ave., St. Paul.
The Massage School was founded by Alexei Levine, MPT, LMT, and Valerie Hood LMT. Alexei and Valerie recognized that there was a need for a professional certification program that emphasizes motor learning and technical proficiency.
The Massage School teaches the most powerful and effective massage techniques, while still maintaining affordable tuition. Recognizing that most massage therapy students have family and work commitments in addition to school, The Massage School offers flexible scheduling of class and clinic times.
Since our program emphasizes hands-on training, our graduates are fully prepared to begin practicing as professional massage therapists immediately upon their graduation and licensure.
“There is no joy equal to that of being able to work for all humanity and doing what you're doing well.”
― R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path
Alexei Levine MPT, LMT
Alexei is a Licensed Massage Therapist and a Licensed Physical Therapist. He became a massage therapist in Los Angeles in the early '90s. Drawing on his background as a competitive gymnast and martial artist, and learning from many incredibly talented massage therapists in L.A., he developed an eclectic range of massage techniques and attracted a high profile client list that included many artists, performers, actors, stuntmen, and musicians.
After completing his Masters degree in Physical Therapy in 2001 he moved east to start a massage school, and co-founded the only massage school in the northeastern United States to teach a deeper west coast style of massage therapy.
In the mid-2000's he was appointed to the Massachusetts State Department of Education's Proprietary School Advisory Council as co-chairman. He also was a member of the coalition that crafted the new Massachusetts state regulations for licensing massage therapy, representing all private stand alone massage schools in the state.
More recently, Alexei was elected by his fellow board members to be the new chairman of the Massachusetts State board of Massage Therapy.
Valerie Hood, LMT
Valerie graduated from Brown University with a BA in Human Biology. While homeschooling her growing children, she opened a bakery, The Bread Lady, in Newport, Rhode Island. She is a licensed massage therapist, and specializes in deep tissue massage with an emphasis on issues of the lower back. Interested in alternative methods of healing, she has studied with shamans in the central plateau of Brazil and in the Amazon jungle of Peru.
An ardent proponent of social equality, Valerie views The Massage School as a vehicle for economic justice.
Melissa "Teeka" Brown, LMT
Teeka, a native of the Pioneer Valley, teaches massage techniques. Suffering from a long-standing injury, she found that the relief from pills and other western techniques simply masked the injury. Seeking a more lasting treatment, she turned to massage therapy. Finally, Teeka had discovered a way to truly treat her symptoms; it was thus that she was awakened to the healing benefits of massage therapy.
Having realized first-hand the benefits of massage, Teeka decided she wanted to spread it's healing power to others whose injuries could be successfully treated as hers had been. As a teacher, she finds that she can reach out to a larger group of people. She enjoys passing her knowledge to her students, who are then able to benefit their own clientele. "The profession of being a massage therapist," Teeka says, "is beneficial because you can help people lead better lives both physically and mentally."
Donna has an Fine Arts background with a BA in Art & MS in Interior Design. After many years of focused design work, leaning over a drawing board, she was introduced to massage therapy to relieve her chronic neck & shoulder tension. The transformation she experienced with her own symptoms led her to pursue a new path of study at The Massage School in 2003. Since completing her certification, Donna has built a full time massage therapy practice in a tranquil studio in Hadley, MA. In addition to working with her clients, Donna teaches courses on Business Ethics & Professionalism, Theory & Technique, Kinesiology & Pathology at The Massage School. She finds deep satisfaction in sharing with her students what she has learned along the way to create a highly successful massage therapy practice.
Testimony before the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Tuesday, June 21, 2011
June 24, 2011 at 8:30pm
Testimony before the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Good afternoon. I m Valerie Hood, co-director of The Massage School. We are a small, mission-driven school with two campuses, one in Easthampton, the other in Acton. We cost a fraction of what the big corporate schools charge. We do not accept federal financial aid loans. Instead we offer one of the lowest tuitions in the country. We offer an interest-free pay-as-you-go plan. We are generous with scholarships, and do not require payment until we have earned it. Single parents make up a big portion of our student body. They leave our program debt-free.
Those who benefit from the proposed bill are the big corporate schools who rely on federal financial aid and don’t like competition from lower-cost schools.
Already in Massachusetts, the large corporate schools have managed to have the regulations increased twice in the last five years. Last year, the law was changed again to 650 hours. But that did not succeed in taking out all of the small schools. Only some of them. The big schools hope that raising yet again to 900 hours will finish off the rest of the small schools so they can maximize profits from the cash-cow that IS Federal Financial Aid, free of price pressures from smaller schools.
The big schools can’t compete on the merits of their programs, so they are resorting to legislative thuggery. It is anti-competitive, a means of price-fixing.
To put it in perspective, in this state, to become an Emergency Medical Technician requires 110 hours. 110 hours to be the person who makes life or death decisions at the scene of an accident. But massage therapists need 900? Rest assured: if EMT’s made a lot of money, there would be large corporate EMT schools, with lots of regulations, lots of oversight, and huge tuitions. Just like massage schools.
If the big schools want to teach 900 hours, and the big spa owners want to require 900 hours, there is nothing stopping them. This bill’s sole intent is to force the small, non-accredited schools out of business so big schools can charge huge tuitions, and spa owners can charge huge fees. This bill is good for them. For EVERYONE else in Massachusetts, this bill is a disaster.
The Massage School does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.
The Massage School is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Any employee found violating this policy may be terminated.