The 10 Best Online Massage Courses 2024

Everyone needs to take time out now and again to escape the world’s stresses, and the time-honored massage continues to be great for this. Learning this ancient art will always have value, as there’s always a need for those with skills, whether you intend to become a professional masseuse or simply for the benefit of loved ones. In this article, we’ll take a look at learning more about this practice.

Considerations Needed When Looking For Massage Classes

Here we’ll go over the primary considerations to keep in mind before embarking upon a massage course online, which we’ll then look at later.

Why Do You Want to Learn?

Taking steps to learn the art of massage could be done for several reasons, from building a professional spa to simply sorting out a pain in the neck.

There are plenty of options for a quick and casual massage aimed helping loved ones, including friends, family, and partners. Learning how to work the shoulders of someone you care about doesn’t need to be a grueling process.

On the other hand, you may decide you have a genuine interest in wanting to take it up professionally. In which case there are many courses that can help you build a successful business. It’s all about the time and resources you’re willing to invest.

Different Styles of Massage

There are numerous different styles that you can either specialize in or incorporate into your overall routine. It’s best to get a general understanding of them all, though, with these being a few of them:

  • Relaxation: the primary purpose of the massage is to be relaxing, although some focus on it solely, working to ease both stress and tension.
  • Therapy: this type of massage aims to help relieve pain and cure ailments in the long-term, being beneficial in terms of your physiology.
  • Focused: working over specific body parts, such as the hands or the feet, this typically focuses on pressure points, teaching you how to massage them effectively.

Finding the Space

One significant factor to keep in mind is what type of massage you’re looking at and how much space you’ll require.

For example, there are some you can use anywhere. Meanwhile, others may require you to establish a whole studio.

You’ll need to keep in mind many different factors when making room, such as equipment and tables. These will vary depending upon the type of massage itself.

Equipment Needed

Although it won’t always be necessary, you’ll often need equipment for a more beneficial and productive massage session.

  • Tables and Surfaces: these will be familiar to many when thinking about the typical image client lying face down on the table. This set-up isn’t always the case, though, as you may be looking at the individual sitting upright, as you may only be focusing on certain sections.
  • Oils and Creams: different lotions, creams, and oils are necessary for massaging the individual effectively, applying them to the skin, easing the movement of hands across the body.
  • Massaging Tools: some massages require specific tools, such as the use of cups to carry them out. You should check this before undertaking any course.

Course Length

Some courses will be pretty extensive, incorporating various techniques, while others may be short and to the point. These details will all need consideration when choosing a course.

Once you have a clearer understanding of what you want to get from your learning, you should then select a more relevant course for you.

Massage Course Comparisons

Course TitlePlatformCourse LevelCourse LengthCourse StyleCourse Rating
Isla Verde Spa Relaxation MassageUdemyBeginner to Advanced5h 30mRelaxation5 of 5
Gua Sha - Tool Assisted Massage TechniqueUdemyBeginner to Intermediate3hTherapy5 of 5
Thai Foot Reflexology MassageUdemyBeginner to Advanced4h 30mFocused5 of 5
Professional Cupping Therapy MassageUdemyBeginner to Advanced3h 30mTherapy5 of 5
Thai Hand Reflexology MassageUdemyBeginner4h 30mFocused4 of 5
Shiatsu Massage - The Beginner's Guide to Doing MassageUdemyBeginner4hRelaxation4 of 5
Massage TherapyUdemyBeginner to Advanced11hTherapy4.5 of 5
Give a Great Chair Massage - Head, Neck, Shoulders & BackSkillshareBeginner18mRelaxation4 of 5
Online Massage Therapy SchoolU.S. Career InstituteAll Levels4 monthsTherapy4 of 5
Indian Head Massage DiplomaUdemyIntermediate1hFocused3.5 of 5

Top 10 Best Online Massage Courses 2024

1. Best Relaxation Massage Course: Isla Verde Spa Relaxation Massage

  • 5h 30m $94.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Professional certification provided
  • Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Style: Relaxation

Why we like it

It offers everything you need for providing a professional and relaxing massage while giving you the tools required for starting a business or spa of your own.

Mark Perren-Jones is a hugely respected name as a teacher of massaging online, and here he has excelled himself. Showing you everything you need to create a professional masseuse, this course provides many techniques making up the Isla Verde Spa relaxation massage.

The study doesn't just cover the massaging itself, as it helps you create your own spa and clinic, including the surrounding business as a whole, along with marketing and upkeep.

What You Need to Know

First of all, you'll need a table and pillow set-up along with plenty of oils, creams, sheets, and towels ready for the massage. Then you'll need a friend or partner to practice on, and a reasonably patient one at that, although the massage is a relaxing one, so that is a definite bonus. Some skills may help you, but you can begin the course as a complete novice, as it is accessible to all skill levels.

The Full Workout

At times, it felt like there was a lot of unnecessary information provided, making way for some inconsequential chatter. There were also a few missed opportunities to expand in-depth on what was said. You have other fully licensed courses to take, but the Isla Verde is more than effective in delivering professional certification tutoring.

Offering excellent and productive feedback, it's perfect for those looking to get a foot in the door when becoming a fully qualified masseuse.


  • Expert tutoring
  • Great feedback
  • Fully professional course
  • Teaches the massage business


  • Some superfluous information
  • Room to expand

2. Best for Treating Pain Relief: Gua Sha – Tool Assisted Massage Technique

  • 3h $94.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Provides the specific Gua Sha instrument-assisted Graston technique
  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Style: Therapy

Why we like it

This course uses the tried and tested method of Gua Sha to show you how to provide pain relief, whether it’s for clients or simply for your friends and family.

Known for its effectiveness in relieving pain and curing numerous ailments, the Gua Sha, or Graston Technique, definitely has a lot going for it. You also have the cupping method when it comes to relief and ailments.

Still, the Gua Sha is noticeable for how quick and easy it is. Effectively identifying pain, too, you can incorporate it into your professional regime, along with simply using it on friends and family.

What You Need to Know

One significant benefit of learning this massaging technique is that you can practice using yourself, so you don't need anybody else. It's a simple massage technique used by professionals from all over, as it identifies problem areas of the body where you may be suffering. You just follow along with the directions on-screen in what is an easy-to-follow course for use anywhere.

The Full Workout

With this being a Mark Perren-Jones course, you're in more than good hands, although his speech can be a little cluttered here at times. It's also the case that sometimes the camera tends not to focus on what he's talking about, as you want to see the tools he's using in action. However, you can rest easy in the knowledge that it's a friendly and fun course managed professionally and efficiently with Jones at the helm.


  • Cures ailments and relieves pain
  • Simple and easy to manage massage
  • Friendly tutoring
  • Use it at a professional level


  • Speech sometimes disorganized
  • Camera work needs more focus

3. Best Foot Massage Course: Thai Foot Reflexology Massage

  • 4h 30m $124.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Part of the Isla Verde Spa Training Academy offering accreditation
  • Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Style: Focused

Why we like it

Focus on the feet learning all the different points, working it into your overall massage workout routine.

Honing in on specific parts of the body is something you'll need to master on your journey to becoming a top masseuse. The Thai Hand Massage is also useful when becoming a professional, as you don't want to leave anything out. Using reflexology to work over the entire foot, you can use this relaxing exercise at work and home with friends and family.

What You Need to Know

First of all, this is an easy course to manage as you can simply use your own feet to practice on, following along with the on-screen instructions. A Thai reflexology massage stick is helpful, but these are inexpensive online, plus you'll need some cream and oil. Then just find a comfortable space to work in, along with a bowl laid out to bathe your feet in and around two or three small towels.

The Full Workout

Overall the course is of a high standard, although there is some occasional repetition. The resources provided are also a little sparse, with more detail needed, giving a more coherent course of action following the lessons. Essentially though, it's a focused course from a knowledgeable tutor, completely covering all areas of the foot.


  • Offers professional accreditation
  • Easy to manage and practice
  • Knowledgeable tutor
  • Can do it anywhere


  • Some repetition
  • Resources lack detail

4. Best for Learning Cupping: Professional Cupping Therapy Massage

  • 3h 30m $119.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Helps treat many different ailments
  • Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Style: Therapy

Why we like it

This adds cupping to your repertoire of massaging techniques, making the most of the popular method giving you another tool at your disposal.

This cupping course not only adds another tool to your arsenal in becoming a professional masseuse, but it also provides a therapeutic massage offering pain relief while dealing with an assortment of different ailments. Through looking at the many various health conditions, the course gives insight into how they affect the body and how this treatment counteracts that.

The Gua Sha massage is also another similarly effective method when it comes to pain relief, and you may want to take both.

What You Need to Know

While you can do this on yourself in theory, it's probably best to have a partner or friend there to help you practice. Working over each body section with some quality moisturizer or oil, you want to cover all the limbs and ligaments, getting the most out of the course. You will need cups beforehand, though, and these should be silicone vacuum cups, with these used in the lessons, although it doesn't look at the fire cupping method.

The Full Workout

First of all, it can be a little slow-paced at times, so you'll need to get past this, but once you do, it has a lot to offer. It could stand to extend some of its video lessons as well, as it does tend to cut off a little early at times. All in all, though, the course offers everything you wanted to know on cupping, providing a complete overview of the technique.


  • Effective against pain
  • Studies the different health conditions
  • Offers a complete breakdown of cupping
  • Ideal for friends and families' ailments too


  • Pacing can be slow
  • Some videos need extending

5. Best Hand Massage Course: Thai Hand Reflexology Massage

  • 4h 30m $109.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Shows the acupuncture meridians around the hands and wrist
  • Level: Beginner
  • Style: Focused

Why we like it

From the palms to the fingertips, this course provides you all you need for giving an effective hand massage at a professional level.

Here you'll come to understand the make-up of the hands, providing a proper massage for around the palms right up to the wrists. You do have the Thai Foot Massage as well, which this perfectly accompanies. Under the professional tutorship of Mark Perren-Jones, it's a straightforward course allowing you to treat the area through a series of reflex points effectively.

What You Need to Know

Given that it's focusing solely on the hands, you can do this yourself, although working with both hands is preferable. A Thai massaging stick isn't required here, as it offers plenty of other options to help you, making the most of the alternatives provided. You will also need a comfortable space to work in, either in a chair or at a table.

The Full Workout

When it comes to the course itself, it's very general, giving what is essentially a brief overview of hand reflexology in general. It needs some more specifics regarding the hand itself, looking at all the precise pressure points in detail. Either way, it is very much a professional course, and it does provide a solid introduction, explaining both massage and acupuncture, allowing you to incorporate it into your routine.


  • Clear and straightforward
  • Can manage it on yourself
  • Professional teaching
  • Understand the hands and wrist


  • Very general analysis
  • Needs more specifics

6. Best for Shiatsu: Shiatsu Massage – The Beginner’s Guide to Doing Massage

  • 4h $94.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Can do the massage anywhere with space
  • Level: Beginner
  • Style: Relaxation

Why we like it

This course gives you everything you need for providing a perfect Shiatsu massage with no tools or table required, as it starts from the top.

Sometimes you just don't have the space or the time to give a complete massage, in which case the Shiatsu is perfect, as it provides a quick work-over. The great thing about the Shiatsu is how, much like the chair massage, it's so casual and easy-going, making it accessible to just about anybody. Here you get to learn as Mark Perren-Jones gives you the fundamentals on what's needed, allowing you to limber up before going about your day.

What You Need to Know

It's best with someone to work on, so you're going to need someone willing, but this shouldn't be an issue given that it's a massage famous for being relaxing. You will need whoever you're working on wearing loose and comfortable clothing while lying down, either on quilts or a thick, soft foam mattress. Have several towels and blankets ready to hand, adjusting the comforting levels, making sure everything is just right at all times.

The Full Workout

If you're new to Shiatsu, this is an ideal entry point, but it falters when looking deeper into the practice. There are a few pacing issues, too, as sometimes the speech skips over essential points, meaning you may find yourself continually returning to specific sections. The strength of the course lies in its accessibility, though, making this open not just to professionals but laypeople too.


  • Ideal introduction
  • Clear and professional teaching
  • Accessible learning
  • Requires little equipment and tools


  • Is a little basic
  • Some pacing issues

7. Most Extensive Therapist Course: Massage Therapy

  • 11h $19.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Covers all the basics
  • Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Style: Therapy

Why we like it

One of the lengthier online massage therapy courses currently out there, this gives you everything you need to know in terms of basic information.

From the Deep Tissue and the Swedish massage to the Prenatal, Sports, and Thai-yoga, it's essential to learn as much as possible on your path to becoming a masseuse. While it might not be as professional as the Isla Verde, this diverse course does cover a lot of ground, leaving little out. You also get to study the physiology involved, relieve pain from injuries, and gain a brief and informative insight into the science of massages.

What You Need to Know

You will need someone to work on for a large portion of this course, and, given that it's pretty long, someone patient as well. It doesn't need to all be done in one session, though, as you can continue to return to it whenever you both have the time free.

Overall, it's ideal for gaining a wide range of knowledge surrounding massage techniques or as a quick refresher to come back to in a spare moment.

The Full Workout

While you'd expect more from behind the camera with a group named the 'Academy of Film Fashion and Design,' the angles and shots aren't always great. Even though there's a lot there, it's pretty rudimentary, covering most of the basic ground in a dry manner.

Where it excels is the sheer volume, offering plenty of exercise and tutorials to get through and, while they may not be of the highest standard, it's sure to keep you practicing for a long while.


  • Relieve injury pain
  • Extensive practice
  • Wide-range of learning and topics
  • Learn physiology too


  • Camerawork not great
  • Fairly dry presentation

8. Best Casual Massage Course: Give a Great Chair Massage – Head, Neck, Shoulders & Back

  • 18m Included with Premium Subscription (from $13.99/month) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Perfect for couples
  • Level: Beginner
  • Style: Relaxation

Why we like it

Helps provide a fast and effective stress release, working down from the head to the back, removing all tension.

Not every massage needs to be a complete professional work-over, as sometimes a quick casual tension release to loosen up the shoulders of a friend or partner is also just as important. Similar to the Shiatsu massage, this fast and effective cleanser is perfect for limbering up before heading off and going about your day.

Open to anyone, it's more for limbering up, whether you're getting ready to go out, or heading to bed after a long day, easing both pain and stress.

What You Need to Know

This course requires someone to work on, but given it's so short, this shouldn't be too much of a problem. Finding a quiet and comfortable space for twenty minutes, simply follow the instructions as presented on-screen. You will be asked three questions at the end of the course, and this is to provide feedback to other students on how your experience went.

The Full Workout

Essentially it's a good course, or lesson, for what it is, even if it is all over a little fast, as there's more than enough room to expand upon some of the points made. A few scientific asides made as well that seem a little loose with the facts, so you may need to take some of this with a grain of salt. With the option of simply needing a chair, it's more than simple enough for anyone to manage in the comfort of their home.


  • Eases stress and tension
  • Quick and casual
  • Highly accessible
  • Ideal for friends and family


  • Not too scientific
  • Pretty brief

9. Best for Professional Accreditation: Online Massage Therapy School

  • 4 months $2,889.00 for the instruction alone, and $5,389.00 with hands-on-training Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Paves the way for the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx)
  • Level: All Levels
  • Style: Therapy

Why we like it

For those serious about becoming a professional therapist, this covers pretty much everything required for becoming fully licensed, right up to taking your exams.

You'll get to a point whereby massage therapy will become a serious prospect, and this is where this course from the U.S. Career Institute comes in. Although the lessons are more than rigorous, the Isla Verde also provides professional accreditation.

There is some offline hands-on content here which you'll need to attend in person, but this isn't compulsory to complete the main course, which you can pay for by itself.

What You Need to Know

With this being a comprehensive course, you should make the most of it, beginning with a massaging table and pillows. If you've chosen this course, it's more than likely you're looking to pursue becoming a professional masseuse, with it being more than just a hobby at this point. Getting the full range of equipment, including the different creams and oils, will be necessary, along with someone patient to help you practice.

The Full Workout

Going into this course, you'll need to be sure it's what you want, as it's a full-time commitment, with it being extensive and time-consuming. When it comes to costs both in and around the course, you'll also need to be prepared, as it's not just the lessons you'll be paying for, but the materials too.

You do get a lot to work through, though, with the duration coming in at 420 hours overall (and 200 hours of that being hands-on training), making for a more than extensive professional course.


  • Rigorous learning
  • Rigorous learning
  • Lots of content
  • Professional accreditation


  • Further content is offline
  • Requires plenty of resources

10. Best Head Massage Course: Indian Head Massage Diploma

  • 1h $94.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Aimed at pure relaxation
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Style: Focused

Why we like it

Fully soothing the head, this massage completely covers the scalp, using breathing techniques and oils to help your client reach bliss.

The head is an essential component of any complete massage, fully working into the scalp, relaxing the recipient completely. As with the Thai foot massage and hand massage, the Indian Head Massage focuses solely on the scalp, covering it entirely. The lessons are easy to follow, and, making up part of a diploma, the course allows you to offer it as either part of your professional service or simply for friends and family.

What You Need to Know

First of all, you need someone to work on, as you'll concentrate on the head, namely the scalp area. You can complete the course by taking notes from the on-screen instructions, as it's simple to follow. Putting what you've learned into practice will be more than helpful, though, and will involve oils and creams, which you'll learn about in the course itself.

The Full Workout

As a course, it needs more practical hands-on demonstrations, as currently there are a few too many explanations. The classes need to provide more precise depictions of the massages themselves, and it also needs to slow down many of the lessons themselves, as they tend to rush over a lot of the details. Focusing on the head, though, the course does pave the way to gaining a better understanding of what a head massage entails.


  • Relaxing and easy to manage
  • Simple instructions
  • Focused and precise
  • Diploma provided


  • Needs more practical demonstrations
  • Sometimes overly rushed

Massage Classes FAQ

massage spa

Speaking to your therapist directly, they’ll let you know what you should be expecting from the whole experience. Usually, they’ll place garments over the areas they aren’t massaging while leaving exposed the areas where they’re working. The duration can then last anywhere between half an hour and two hours, depending upon what you’ve arranged.

This massage is excellent for your cardiovascular system, being hugely beneficial to your heart. The massage improves the delivery of oxygen all over, increasing your blood flow throughout your body. Not only that, but it relaxes you too, fully decreasing any stress in the process.

You’ll find that many courses offer qualifications upon completion, and these will help register you as an accredited practitioner of that type of massage. Depending upon the course, it will vary, but you want to gain as much experience as possible to offer the widest selection possible to your clients.

There’s always something new to learn, so this will be an ongoing process. It can take five months to learn the basics at any decent massage therapy school. You never want to stop learning, though, as you always want to offer your clients as much as you possibly can.

The profits all depend upon the level you’re willing to put in. The higher your qualifications, the higher your pay rate. Usually, you’ll be paid hourly, with it being at a fixed rate, which you will set yourself, or your employer will.

Courses online can either be short or far longer. It all depends upon what you want to get out of the course, whether it’s an hour-long look at the head, or a five-month course with full accreditation.

Making the Most of Online Massage Courses

The Brief History of Massage

Dating back to BC, ancient civilizations across the world have used different forms of massage. From Egypt in 2330 BC showing drawings of individuals massaging each other’s feet, to 581 AD and China establishing massage therapy with their Office of Imperial Physicians.

Its popularity has seen it evolve significantly over time as an art form into what it currently is today. Different countries like China and the United States continue to utilize the benefits of massage worldwide, with renowned physicians making their mark on it.

Eight Types of Massage

While there may be more styles of massage that you can find, these are eight of the most generally recognized types of massage.

  • Thai: originating in Thailand as its name suggests, it’s a complex system that has progressed throughout the ages, up to the training we see today. Thought to have begun with Shivago Komarji over 2,500 years ago, it’s an entirely different practice evolving throughout the ages.
  • Reiki: initially founded in 1922 by the Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui, it’s rooted in spirituality. Said to help balance equilibrium and energy, it’s used as a calming exercise using intuitively based hand movements and gestures.
  • Shiatsu: this is one of the most popular forms of stress relief. There are plenty of classes dedicated to this massage. Reducing tension and anxiety, it’s great as an exercise for helping with mental health.
  • Lymphatic: through the careful placing of light and gentle strokes, this massage aims to stimulate the lymph system through repetition. It was founded originally by Estrid and Emi Vodder, two Danish doctors, and it continues to be in practice today.
  • Swedish: credited to the Dutch doctor Johan Georg Mezger, this massage is one of the most popular therapies currently out there. Outside of English and Dutch-speaking countries, it’s known as the ‘classic massage,’ consisting of five basic strokes in total.
  • Sports: ideal if you’ve injured yourself, with these types of massage offering fast and effective pain relief. Loosening the muscles in the affected area, the therapist eases any stress and tension.
  • Deep Tissue Massage: deep tissue is good for dealing with soreness, using a fair amount of pressure, and employing slower strokes and deep finger pressure across the body.
  • Chair Massage: this is a casual massage ideally suited to couples looking to ease the tension in the neck, shoulders, and back of their partner.

You should find a lot more in your journey to becoming a better masseuse, but these will help get you started.

Massage Therapy and Alternative Medicine

There’s a lot of contention surrounding practices such as acupuncture, as well as some questioning cupping. It’s essential to do your research, and while faith and spirituality are important to many, you shouldn’t substitute alternative therapies over traditional mass-approved science-approved medicine.

Either way, it’s always best to speak to a doctor first, whatever you do. Regardless of where these alternative therapies’ validity stands, they can still be beneficial alongside contemporary science and medicine, and not instead of.

Matters of Massage Etiquette

Some key pointers to remember and keep in mind when conducting yourself around others in intimate proximity:

  • Hygiene: it goes without saying that you’ll need to shower, wash, and be ready for when working directly with a client. It could put them off if any unfriendly odors are lingering.
  • Prepare the Space: some massages require little space, but you’ll always need to prepare the area, especially if you’re working from a mobile unit. The location needs to fit the purpose of the massage. For example, therapy to help the patient sleep better will usually see them lying on a bed.
  • Professionalism: this can range from punctuality to how you conduct yourself in the session. Turning up on time is critical, especially if you want repeat visits in the future. Wearing a uniform and appropriately dressing can also help convey an air of authority too.
  • Communicate with the client: speaking to them directly beforehand is essential, as you want to make sure you’re both operating within each other’s boundaries. Given questions of the intimate nature of the massage, you don’t want any situations arising, so make sure to lay everything out first, making certain the client’s well aware of what will happen. They need to be comfortable at all times.
  • Ending the session: it’s also crucial that you’re comfortable as the masseuse, which can mean dealing with any problematic clients. Don’t be afraid to finish the session immediately if there’s even a hint of indecent behavior. A doctor wouldn’t stand for it, and you don’t have to either.

Working for Yourself or a Company

With professional accreditation, you should be able to find yourself a position in a larger company or treatment spa. Working for yourself does have advantages, though, namely the freedom. This responsibility does mean you’ll have to provide all the equipment yourself, along with managing all the marketing and finding your clients.

A company can help ease you through all that, providing a steady influx of customers, although they will they a cut of your profits.

Easing out the Tension

The massage is an ever-evolving art form that will always reach new heights of popularity, continuing to grow day by day. From here, the options are endless when choosing the learn the practice for yourself, making the most of what’s online. Once you take this offline, practice and dedication will help you become a true master of the craft.