About Us

Tennessee School of Massage

A Memphis Massage Institution, Tennessee School of Massage has been graduating leaders in the massage community for over 35 years!  David and Cissie Pryor founded the Tennessee School of Massage in October 1988. They both recognized the need for a comprehensive training program offering holistic, professional massage training specializing in the art of massage. Tennessee School of Massage has had the pleasure of instructing hundreds and hundreds of students that today are licensed massage therapists serving clients in Memphis, the greater Mid-South, and across the nation.

Training at the Tennessee School of Massage focuses on classical forms of massage including relaxing Swedish, Deep-Tissue & Sports Massage, along with Prenatal Massage, Therapeutic Touch, Sound Therapy with gongs, bells and singing bowls, Aromatherapy and so much more. The techniques taught have been tried, proven and perfected throughout the years at Living Health Day Spa, their very own day spa. This special mix of holistic wellness principles and personal development enables our students to practice quality massage therapy as they care for their own health and happiness. Students at Tennessee School of Massage have the unique ability to work on real clients, in a real spa setting, at Living Health Day Spa. After developing the skills needed to reach the level of “Intern”, they are scheduled with clients in the spa that are receiving massages, sound therapy, facials, wraps, and various other “spa” related services.  This gives them “real-world” exposure and experience in servicing clients, as well as the motivation and knowledge that their own skills are valuable immediately upon graduating and moving into their own unique chosen setting. 

Disclaimer: Although we do work with students through flexible 0% interest payment plans, we are a private school so we can't and don't accept Federal Pell Grants. 

Welcome to a New Career with New Opportunities

As you attend The Tennessee School of Massage, we promise to provide you with thorough clinical training along with the opportunity for expansive personal and professional experience.

Our professional Massage Therapy Program is based on the principles of holistic self-care. Prospective students should possess a high degree of aptitude and attitudinal interests in maintaining vitality through massage.

A career in health care is not an easy road. It is demanding, not only physically and mentally, but also emotionally and spiritually. Yet, it gives back a great deal improving the quality of life for those who receive massage therapy.

A career in massage therapy is a challenge. It is not for everyone. We’d like to help you discover if it’s right for you.

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to prepare our students with the highest standards of theory and clinical training in all facets of massage therapy and to help those individuals seeking licensure successfully pass the MBLEx and become successfully employed in the field of Massage Therapy.


Tennessee School of Massage Primary Instructor 

Cissie Pryor - LMT

Cissie Pryor

R.N., LMT, Director of Tennessee School of Massage

Cissie Pryor developed an interest in all things health related early on in her life. At 22, she graduated from the Methodist School of Nursing and began her professional career in psychiatric nursing. While working within the hospital setting, she began studies in hypnotherapy and other complementary health alternatives to support mental wellness. A devotee of Eriksonian Hypnosis, Cissie was certified in hypnotherapy in 1982She authored a wellness and stress reduction program and an assertive training booklet. She authored and produced a hypnosis tape for the hospital’s psychiatric unit. Cissie worked with Dr. Paul conducting research in hypnosis and schizophrenia and was also a local coordinator for M. Scott Pecks’ Foundation For Community Encouragement.

In her practice and research over the years, it became apparent to her that massage, hydrotherapy and detox methods were key to healthcare and mental wellness. She believes people are empowered to live a healthy life when their central nervous system is relaxed and when they are in control of their mind and body.

In 1988, Cissie finished her foundational massage education and became the first R.N., Nationally Certified Massage Therapist in Tennessee. Cissie also studied aesthetics under Lydia Sarfati at the Repechage Educational Center in New York and added skin care to her spa's expanding menu. She and her soon-to-be husband, David Pryor, started a successful massage practice and opened the Tennessee School of Massage in 1988.

In 2014, Cissie and her husband traveled to Peru with a group led by Dr. Dennis McKenna. This excursion led her into the study of plant medicines and sound therapy.

In 2016, she and husband David began their study of sound using gongs, singing bowls and other overtone producing instruments. Over the next few years, they added a foundational sound course to the curriculum at Tennessee School Of Massage.

Today, Cissie teaches the core curriculum of massage therapy along with sound, therapeutic touch, reflexology, cupping and many more alternative therapies as continuing education and stand-alone courses. Her spa, Living Health Day Spa offers treatments in esthetics, bodywork, aromatherapy, sound therapy and cupping.

Cissie and David Pryor are lifelong partners and native Memphians. Together, they raised three children and enjoy expanding their career interests whilst helping people live happy, holistic and fulfilling lives. Currently, the school and spa clinic have expanded and include a beautiful ambient sound room where they enjoy teaching new skills to therapists who want to add singing bowls and gongs to their practices. Other specialties include hypnotherapy, aromatherapy and several different forms of cupping.