Updated: Nov 23, 2018
Massage therapy has been in use for over thousands of years. Research has found that it provides medical benefits towards improving one's health. It also allows an individual to feel better both mentally and physically. Becoming a massage therapist allows one to have a flexible schedule and fantastic earning potential.
More commonly called massage therapists, masseuses are in the business of helping people feel better by relieving pain and alleviating stress. Traditional Western medicine considers massage an integral part of overall health and wellness, although has not yet made the leap to adjudicative treatment for specific illnesses or diseases. A massage therapist can be an integrated part of a holistic care regimen.
As a masseuse, one has the ability to help others overcome pain, reduce stress and recover from injuries. There are several different types of massage and most therapists will become an expert at one or two modalities. From sports massage therapy to Reflexology, the field of massage is ever growing. Many of the more expensive health clubs will have a massage therapist on staff, as well as cruise ships and even some chiropractors.
Before considering the field of massage therapy it is important to think about why you want to pursue this line of study. An individual must be patient, tuned in to details and have an overall concern for others, as well as be comfortable around clients. Much like entering the medical field, massage therapists do what they do because they want to help other people.
Massage therapy is very diverse and therapists have the ability to concentrate on one or two different modalities in order to provide a good massage. Before studying the art and science of massage therapy at a certified massage school, it's often helpful to receive several different types of massage, as well as talk with a massage therapist to consider their insights. Massage therapists are also an integral part of many professional sports teams where the sports physician integrates the treatment of injuries using either deep tissue massage, stone treatment massage or Swedish massage.
Once you decide on the types of massage therapy you would like to study, you would then move on to the next stage, which is to find a suitable massage training program. There are several types of massage schools. It is important to find one that is certified and able to deliver a well-rounded educational experience, including both different disciplines of massage and a strong foundation in business. You want to ensure that you are not only good at providing massage but also able to run a successful business and build clients. You should be able to take certification exams such as the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) once you graduate from the school.
Once you graduate from a massage school and become certified you will be required to take so many hours of continuing education credits in order to maintain your knowledge-base as well as expand your massage abilities. How long it takes you to complete the course will depend upon how many classes you think are able to take at one time. Because of the expense you may be working part time and going to school part time which will significantly impact the length of your massage education. If you do intend to work, a program that runs a few days a week is seen as doable to both be able to work and stay on top of your studies.
Once you have completed your schooling and obtained certification you will also have the opportunity to open up your own business or have many massage career options. You must learn some of the basics of working with clients and customers before are also integrating a knowledge base of business tactics, marketing and tax preparation.
Becoming a massage therapist offers flexibility, productivity and the ability to make a great living. You can have a career not just a job and without incurring a bunch of student debt like other careers may burden you with.