Tennessee has banned the practice of naturopathy, which means no schools offer degree programs in the field. As defined by Tennessee law, it's illegal to practice naturopathy, which uses natural methods to prevent, cure or treat diseases or ailments.
Although the practice is illegal, students can earn degrees in related fields, like massage therapy, through private for-profit and non-profit schools. Massage programs lead to the award of a diploma or certificate and incorporate a lot of hands-on instruction and practice of techniques. Some schools' programs additionally offer internship or externship opportunities.
All of the schools listed below are considered approved training sites for massage therapists by the Tennessee Board of Massage Licensure, and the programs can lead to licensure in the state.
Concorde Career College
Located in Memphis, this college offers a massage therapy program for students who want to transition into careers as massage therapists or massage practitioners. Within the 33-week program, students learn about human anatomy, physiology, massage science and massage techniques. The program introduces students to different massage styles like Swedish, acupressure and chair massage. To complete the program, students must complete a 92-clinical-hour internship/externship course.
This Nashville school has a 12-month, 900-clock-hour medical massage therapist training program for students who want to help people relax and address medical ailments. Students learn about various massage techniques, sports massage, polarity, energy, myofascial release and triggerpoints. In addition to classroom lessons, students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working with clients and developing massage techniques. The program typically takes a year to complete.
Miller-Motte Technical College
Through the campuses in Chattanooga and Clarksville, Miller-Motte Technical College offers a massage therapy program. Students learn various massage techniques and gain direct experience in working with clients. Additionally, the Clarksville campus offers a two-story massage therapy facility, along with a library and clinical examination room.
Roane State Community College
At the Oak Ridge Branch Campus, students can earn a certificate in massage therapy. As part of the program, students learn about massage physiology, pathology and pharmacology. There are specialized classes that focus on Swedish massage, neuromuscular therapy and somatic therapies. Throughout the program, students also learn about business, ethics, professionalism and communication. In addition to coursework, students complete clinical massage practice.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Massage Therapy Programs Offered||Program Cost|
|Concorde Career College||Two-year, private for-profit; large city||Massage Therapy Diploma||$15,840 for tuition and fees, $686 for books and supplies (2021*)|
|Daymar Institute||Four-year, private for-profit; large city||Medical Massage Therapy Diploma||$17,000 total charges for program (2018-19)**|
|Miller-Motte Technical College||Two-year, private for-profit; midsize city||Massage Therapy Diploma||$10,480 for tuition and fees (2019-20)****|
|Roane State Community College||Two-year, public; distant town||Massage Therapy Certificate||$4,443 per year for in-state students; $17,349 per year for out-of-state students***|
Sources: *Concorde Career College, **Daymar Institute, ***NCES College Navigator, ****Miller-Motte Technical College.