As the trend in health care toward “whole person care” becomes more popular, massage therapists will likely play a more integrated role in their clients’ overall approach toward health and well-being. This approach is nothing new for Charter College Massage Program Director Stephanie Johnson.
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. Charter College offers two massage therapy schools to choose from in the Los Angeles area: Lancaster and Long Beach. Both programs can be finished in 10 months!
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.
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