Filling a void in massage therapy

Laura Freed

Longtime massage therapists Laura Freed and Sarah Ferrell have long dreamed of venturing out and starting their own massage-therapy oriented business.

But it wasn’t until the closing of the massage school where they met that Freed and Ferrell were prompted to spring into action and fill a void by opening their own local, independent massage therapy school.

“This is what we want to do, we want to follow in that legacy and we want to fill that void,” Freed said.

The Albuquerque School of Healing Arts, at 4600 Copper NE, begins its inaugural fall semester Sept. 8. Freed said there is a need for more trained massage therapists since many massage therapy studios and spas are hiring.

Sarah Ferrell

“We’re finding that there is a great deal of interest,” she said. “… People are interested in learning not only massage, but learning energetic body work, learning herbal medicine, learning some of the more natural therapeutic approaches to health and well-being.”

The pay could be lucrative too, according to Freed.

Independent practitioners can charge around $70 to $90 per hour, and spas normally charge over $100 for an hour-long massage and split a percentage of that cost with the massage therapist.

In addition to teaching different massage modalities like Swedish, deep tissue and sports massage, ASHA will also teach homeopathy, yoga and business skills so students can start their own businesses after graduation.

Ferrell said that she has already heard from massage therapist employers that they are excited to have another school training new massage therapists.

“I think (our training) is going to be a huge asset because all of those spots locally are really in need … and there’s not a large pool to draw from,” she said.

ASHA, which is housed at the former High Desert Yoga Studio, will be able to take on around 20 students per cohort.

“The education is going to be top notch and is going to be from the experts in their fields,” Freed said.

Cost of attendance, which includes tuition, supplies and taxes, for the nine-month holistic massage training program is $11,165, and Ferrell said there are plans to have some work study programs and financing plans in order to make the education more affordable.

ASHA is hosting an open house for the public to see the space and meet some of the instructors.

The open house will be held 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Aug. 12 at 4600 Copper NE.

For more information, visit ashanm.com.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that tuition for the Albuquerque School of Healing Arts is $11,165. However this number includes both tuition and supplies.

Pilar Martinez covers retail and commercial real estate for the Journal. She can be reached at pmartinez@abqjournal.com.

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