Jump to Your Question:
- What is massage therapy?
- What are massage therapy specializations I can choose from?
- What are some massage therapy career challenges?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, massage therapy is a means to:
- Treat painful ailments
- Decompress tired and overworked muscles
- Reduce stress
- Rehabilitate sports injuries
- Promote general health
Massage therapists manipulate clients' soft tissues, which improves circulation and acts as a cleanser for muscles.
Massage therapy is practiced by trained and licensed professionals. They provide specialized care with their clients' medical health in mind.
Massage therapy training programs can vary in specializations. There are over 80 different types of massage - called modalities - available to learn. Some varieties include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, acupressure, sports massage and neuromuscular massage. Most massage therapy training programs are designed to provide an understanding of different massage techniques. The programs teach the different ways massage can relieve pain and promote relaxation, as well as the basics of anatomy and physiology. Massage therapy programs can also provide knowledge of basic business management and professional ethics.
Training standards and requirements for massage therapy schools vary by
state and location. As of 2004, 33 states and the District of Columbia
had laws regulating massage therapy practices. Most state boards
require practicing massage therapists to complete formal education
programs and pass the national certification examination and,
generally, a state exam. Some states require continuing education for
practicing therapists. Check information on licensing, certification
and accreditation before enrolling in any massage therapy program.
Read more about attending a Massage Therapist Training Program.
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