Why should I choose Somatherapy?

Somatherapy Institute is the oldest and most successful massage school in the Coachella Valley. 


Since 1991 and with over 1500 Massage Therapist graduates, we have proved that we offer the best program with the best opportunity of success after graduation.   Think of us as the as having a singular purpose - that being of serving just massage students.   We invite you to read this full FAQ to get a complete understanding of our school. 


How are courses taught? What is the teaching Staff like?

Somatherapy Institute is fundamentally different from all other schools in our area in that our instructors are experts in each of the subjects each teaches.  You would not choose a 2-year or 4-year school if there were only a single teacher for all our courses from literature to physics would you?  Then, why should you settle for a single teacher in your massage training?   At Somatherapy we offer a team seasoned therapists– 10 years or more in the field.  Each of our professionals specializes in their course topics.  You will receive the BEST information and knowledge from all our courses. You will learn the most current techniques and not techniques taught by video or book review.   Our instructors consistently receive a rating of 5 out of 5 for teaching excellence in their evaluations.


What percentage of the course is taught with videos?

None.  When you choose a massage school you expect to be taught the material by an experienced teacher.  In larger multi-topic vocational schools you’ll likely have to sit through some video training.  Why would you pay a school a large sum of money to pop in a DVD?  At Somatherapy, all topics are fully instructor lead – with hands demonstration and practice.   Our science classes are lead by science experts who can answer tough questions to the most challenging student questions. Furthermore, at Somatherapy we only teach massage so our priorities are not compromised by management decisions that are unrelated to the best possible massage educational experience.


What is your facility like?  

When you attend massage school you want a calming comfortable environment that is appropriate for massage therapist training.  Our environment is designed and functions only as a school of massage.  Our school, classrooms and student clinics are clean and comfortable and designed specifically to function for learning massage.  This is incredibly important for creating a learning atmosphere.  At other vocational schools you may be in a training facility that has security services, Heating and A/C training, or cosmetology even computer training (to name only a few) right next door to your massage classroom.  This can make for a very awkward learning environment.  At Somatherapy, our instructors are always focused on our students and creating a safe environment.  We often times hear our students and graduates say it was the environment and sense of community that made their learning experience that much more enjoyable and successful.   We are confident you will feel the same way.


Do you offer online courses?

No, the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) will not accept any online courses for massage therapy.  Any courses taken online will not count toward the 500-hour minimum requirement for state certification.  


Is Somatherapy Institute approved by all the appropriate certification and licensing bodies?

Yes. Somatherapy is approved to operate by the California Department of Consumer Affaires Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE), The California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC – the Certifying body for California Massage Therapists) The National Certification Board of Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB – Assigned School Designation – Allowing Graduates to pursue a Board Certification.) 


Is Somatherapy Accredited? 

PLEASE NOTE: Accreditation is not required to achieve even the highest level of Massage Therapy certification.  Accreditation is only needed to participate in the US Government Loan program FAFSA – Financial Aid program.  Somatherapy does not offer FAFSA loans but we do offer our own in-house payment plans.  Our school is about 50% of the cost of other schools because we are not burdened with government paperwork, nor do we inflate the curriculum of our program in order to meet those loan requirements.


Most people understand there is a crisis of student loans in our society.  Many schools are completely dependent on the FAFSA loan program, and unfortunately other schools feel no remorse about burying students in debt in order to have them choose their school.  This is a flawed system and unfortunately leads students to start their massage career from a position of weakness by having to pay back an over inflated program with significant interest charges.  Those loan programs, offer no further benefit but to profit the school and saddle the student in debt.  For an educational program of less than one year, which is massage therapy, we recommend you talk to us about our installment payments and graduate without debt. Most students realize it is best to save their FAFSA opportunity for the future when they might choose to use it for a 2 or 4-year educational experience.


I hear there is a Licensing Examination? What is your pass rate on the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx)?

Yes The MBLEx licensing examination is required for a CAMTC Issued Designation of CMT, Certified Massage Therapist. The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards FSMTB administers the examination.   This same exam is used by 38 other states and once you take the exam your results are “portable” meaning, the same results can be used when applying for a different state’s license.  You will only need to pass the test once.  A passing score is 70% or better.


At Somatherapy we are proud to say our passing rate is over 80% for students taking the exam for the first time.  This is a full 10% higher than the national average.  We attribute our high passing rates to the specialization of our teaching staff and separate in-depth anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology courses.   All our classes are geared toward building the students testing aptitude.   And this strategy has proved very successful.   Be sure and ask any school you investigate what the passing rates are, as this data is readily available from the FSMTB. 


What does the school cost?

The total base Massage Therapist Program is 545 hours and $7,360.00  -This total depends slightly on the electives you pick for your program.   This 545 hour program is specifically designed to meet the California Massage Therapy Councils required coursework and hours for State Certification.  A student will also need to pay their licensing Examination fee, currently $195, directly to the Examination Bureau the Federation of Massage Therapy. A student will also need to pay the CAMTC Application and associated fees, estimated at $235. 


How long does it take to finish? 

The program takes about 8 to 9 months to complete depending upon the student’s ability to take every class on the schedule and the courses they need.  If the student take 3 to 4 courses per week – in class 3-4 nights per week and some weekends then 8-9 months is the approximate completion time. If the student can only take one to two courses a week then it can take longer to finish.  Students are typically given up to 1.5 years to finish their program.


How much does it cost to start the program?

You may pay per class, or go on a payment plan.  It does depend upon the payment plan you choose and any additional courses you would want to take.  Payment plans range from $669 per month to $881 with registration and books when you start with our Swedish Massage Course, our longest course, and choose the installment payment plan.


Do you offer loans or federal financial aid FAFSA? 

Somatherapy does not offer Government loans (FAFSA) However, Somatherapy offers installment payments after you make the down payment on your program.   When you choose Somatherapy, you graduate without debt. Your program will be fully paid for by the time you graduate.  (We do not issue transcripts until your program is completely paid for.)  On our payment plans you can start for as little as $669 for a 12-month program on our Installment Payment Program.


Somatherapy does not offer government loan programs.


What are the Installment payments?   

Installment payments are made monthly direct debit or credit card billing only.  Students that do not stay current on their payment plans will not be allowed to participate or finish their coursework. A late payment fee of $25 will be charged for rejected payments or late payments.


How quickly can I start? 

Somatherapy offers Open Enrollment which means a student may start their program by taking any classes on the schedule that do not have prerequisites.  Typically students start their programs by taking one of the following courses:  Swedish Massage , Kinesiology, Anatomy & Physiology, or Pathology, Business & Ethics, Health & Hygiene, Reflexology to name a few.


How do I enroll? 

We recommend you visit our school for a tour, whereby you can review your questions, review the schedule and learn more.   Please call us at 760.321.9214  to schedule a visit and tour.  We look forward to meeting you.


Please see our Course Catalog for complete program terms and conditions and details.