What is Massage Therapy 2,3
Massage therapy uses focused, hands-on techniques to promote relaxation and increase circulation in the body’s soft tissues (muscles, tendons, connective tissue, etc.). Massage therapy is used for both therapeutic and relaxation reasons.
While once considered a luxury for the wealthy, massage is now advised by many healthcare practitioners to reduce stress, alleviate pain, and help maintain overall health.
With the demand for massage therapists expected to grow by 20% through 2020 and an average salary of $36,000 (in 2012)2 now is a great time to attend massage school at Charter College.
Typical responsibilities of a Massage Therapist2
- Assess clients' soft tissue condition, joint quality and function, muscle strength, and range of motion.
- Refer clients to other types of therapists when necessary.
- Treat clients in professional settings or travel to clients' offices and homes.
- Use complementary aids, such as infrared lamps, wet compresses, ice, and whirlpool baths to promote clients' recovery, relaxation, and well-being.
- Develop and propose client treatment plans that specify which types of massage are to be used.
- Confer with clients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain to determine how massage will be most helpful.
- Provide clients with guidance and information about techniques for postural improvement and stretching, strengthening, relaxation, and rehabilitative exercises.
- Massage and knead muscles and soft tissues of the body to provide treatment for medical conditions, injuries, or wellness maintenance.
- Prepare and blend oils and apply the blends to clients' skin.
- Apply finger and hand pressure to specific points of the body.
Types of Massage Therapy1
Most massage therapists in the U.S. are trained in Swedish and deep tissue techniques. In addition, they may specialize in other methods and adjunct modalities, such as:
- Connective tissue massage
- Infant massage
- Lomi-Lomi (Hawaiian massage)
- Manual lymphatic drainage
- Pregnancy massage
- Sports massage
- Thai massage
- Trager Method
- Trigger point therapy
- Tui Na (Traditional Chinese Medical massage)
Where do Massage Therapists work?1
- Self-employed in private practice
- Spas, resorts, cruise ships, beauty salons
- Fitness centers, sports teams
- Physician, physical therapist, rehabilitation counselor, chiropractor, and acupuncturist offices
- Hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospices, wellness centers, drug treatment programs, pain clinics
- Corporate offices
1. Explorehealthcareers.org, Massage Therapist, retrieved July 8, 2013, http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Career/86/Massage_Therapist
2. O*Net OnLine, Massage Therapists, retrieved July 8, 2013, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/31-9011.00
3. massagetherpay.com, retrieved July 8, 2013, http://www.massagetherapy.com/learnmore/index.php