Massage therapy is a healing art which is used for both therapeutic and relaxation purposes. It is now widely offered as an adjunct to medical treatments in hospitals around the world. Massage therapists work in a variety of settings, such as spas, studios, and even cruise ships. Many massage schools offer professional training as part of continuing education programs.
What is massage therapy?
Therapeutic massage is thousands of years old. It has been valued for its calming and healing properties in cultures around the world. Nowadays, it is often used as an adjunct to medical treatments for pain relief, recovery from illness and injuries, and also in preventative medical care. As a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment, it is valued by medical practitioners as well as patients. Many sports teams have added massage programs as part of their training and injury prevention efforts.
Massage is also valued for its relaxing and stress-relieving properties. Different modalities like Swedish massage, deep tissue massage and hot stone massage provide muscle relaxation and stress relief. Natal and neo-natal massage help expectant and new mothers through pregnancy and delivery. Massage sessions also make a great gift for just about anyone – mothers, friends and colleagues.
What do massage therapists do?
Massage therapists work in a wide range of settings, including spas, massage studios, gyms, and cruise ships. Many massage therapists choose to specialize in sports massage and work with sports teams or individual athletes. Massage therapy is also recognized as an adjunct to medical treatments. Over half, or 55% of doctors recommend it for their patients. Massage therapy has been an effective treatment for those suffering from chronic pain as well as patients recovering from illness and injury.
About 40% of hospitals around the world now incorporate massage therapy into their treatments. Massage therapists are very much in demand and can see as many as 40 to 52 clients each month. This is a good career for someone who wants to help others, such as those suffering from chronic pain or those dealing with high levels of stress.
How to become a massage therapist
Many people who attend massage school have chosen this as a second career. The vast majority, or 94%, obtain their training in massage therapy schools through continuing education classes. Classes are offered online as well.
It is estimated that there are currently anywhere between 325,000 and 375,000 students enrolled in massage programs around the U.S. After competing their massage therapy training, students can get their certification by passing an exam. The certification is valid across state lines.