Are you interested in becoming a massage therapist but not sure how to start a massage career? Massage therapists play important roles in satisfying the need for holistic wellness services. In fact, people are increasingly turning to massage therapy to heal pain and injuries to supplement surgery, medications, and other invasive procedures. That’s why it’s an exciting time to investigate a career in massage therapy. So, what does a massage therapist do?
What Does a Massage Therapist Do?
Massage therapists bring wellness and relaxation to their clients by providing world-class therapeutic techniques. Therapeutic treatments relying on manual manipulation are more popular than ever before. While some people simply seek out treatments as part of standalone experiences, others use massage therapy as part of a comprehensive plan for health, wellness, and rehabilitation. People are seeking out trained professionals because they’re looking for holistic treatment options that can provide:
- Pain relief following accidents and injuries.
- Stress relief during pregnancy.
- Assistance for managing anxiety, depression, mood issues, and chronic stress.
- Help with managing pain associated with chronic illnesses.
- Help with promoting increased flexibility and range of motion.
- Help with muscle recovery during athletic training.
Trained holistic massage therapists can offer many massage techniques that help to meet the diverse needs of clients. In fact, these professionals have the training and background to develop personalized treatment regimens for their clients. That makes a certified massage therapist an important part of anyone’s wellness team.
Massage therapists also manage client needs, progress, and schedules. This means coming up with a plan for appointment frequency to help clients obtain the best results possible. In addition, massage-focused wellness experts can often make suggestions about different types of therapeutic techniques that may help their clients to address specific issues.
How Do I Start a Massage Career?
An easier way to start your career in massage is to attend a vocational school that prepares you for a massage therapy license exam. Minnesota School of Cosmetology offers a 13-month part-time massage therapy program for those individuals that have responsibilities but still want to learn a new trade. During this massage therapy program, you learn many important massage techniques.
What Techniques Does a Massage Therapist Learn?
What makes a massage therapy education so valuable is that you learn a wide variety of massage techniques that can offer clients better health and wellness. With this training, you can meet the needs of many different clients. While many of the basic principles of therapeutic touch apply across most techniques, the specifics of each massage-centered discipline must be carefully followed to create the desired results. So, what are some of the more common massage techniques you learn during a massage therapy program at Minnesota School of Cosmetology?
The Swedish technique is synonymous with relaxation. While Swedish massage is considered a luxury in popular culture, it is a highly therapeutic treatment that must be performed according to very specific guidelines. The goal of the Swedish technique is to improve overall health and energy. It relies on vibration, kneading, tapping, friction, and rolling to create its intended results. One of the reasons why the Swedish technique is so effective for helping people to feel better is that it uses strategic pressure and muscle manipulation to stimulate nerves in many different parts of the body.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue is considered a highly therapeutic form of manual manipulation. In many cases, people seeking deep-tissue treatments are trying to recover from pain, strains, pulls, or other injuries that have left them unable to enjoy life. In fact, athletes commonly seek out massage therapists capable of offering deep-tissue stimulation to heal from sports injuries quicker.
The technique for deep-tissue stimulation uses sustained pressure applied with slow, deep strokes. This highly technical massage technique targets the inner layers of muscle and connective tissue to help break up scar tissue to supplement more invasive injections, medications, or surgeries. In addition to promoting circulation and blood flow, the deep-tissue technique also helps to promote faster healing of injured tissue. While deep tissue is very popular among people seeking healing for sports injuries, massage therapists are also approached by clients seeking deep-tissue treatments for relief of tension and pain related to fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, high blood pressure, sciatica, and tennis elbow.
Chair massage provides an alternative to the classic “table” technique. Many clients are more comfortable with chair manipulation because they can stay somewhat upright while keeping their clothing on during the treatment experience. In addition, a chair technique is generally considered to be an “express” option that can be completed in a fraction of the time needed for other “formal” massages. During a chair massage, the massage therapist works on easing tension within the muscles using manual manipulation. The massage therapist utilizes the design of the chair to target specific areas of the body suffering from tension and pain.
Chair massage is especially popular among people seeking head, hand, arm, shoulder, and back massage because these parts of the body are easily accessible while they sit in the massage chair. While chair massage is often available at spas, some massage therapists prefer to take this technique “on the road” by offering chair massages within the local community. Chair massage is commonly introduced at corporate wellness events, health fairs, trade shows, festivals, and retail spaces. Many people who would be reluctant to seek out massage therapy under ordinary circumstances find chair massage to be less intimidating than traditional massage therapy.
Sports massage is a technique that is rapidly growing in popularity. The focus of sports massage is on manually manipulating muscles. This can help with muscle relaxation and recovery for people who have physically demanding lifestyles. In fact, many people who follow intense training protocols rely on sports massage to recover after workouts. While many of the techniques used in sports massage mirror the techniques used in deep-tissue massage, the two techniques are not interchangeable. Sports massage focuses specifically on enhancing flexibility to help prevent injuries from occurring during training.
Shiatsu is a form of Japanese bodywork that people in the Western world rely on for wellness, performance, and relaxation. This form of massage therapy blends science and art. Shiatsu massage uses manual pressure applied to specific points on the body to reduce pain and tension. The massage therapist focuses on different muscles and joints to create pressure at energy pathways to improve circulation, reduce muscle tension, and support the lymphatic system. Shiatsu massage is one of the most intricate forms of massage-based alternative medicine.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage is a “treat” that many clients look forward to at the end of a long, stressful week. Hot stone massage incorporates the use of hot stones into the massage experience to relieve pain, promote relaxation, and soothe damaged soft tissue throughout the body. During a hot stone massage, several smooth, flat stones are heated using a safe method and placed in different spots on the body. The theory behind hot stone massage is that the heat and weight provided by the hot stones help the massage therapist to work into sore, tense muscle tissue at a deeper level without the need to apply intense pressure.
Why Start a Career in Massage?
Many people are attracted to careers in the healing arts because they want to work in a field that helps people. The growing demand for massage therapists makes this industry a natural choice for someone that wants to enjoy a career while also helping others improve their health and wellbeing. The trend toward incorporating holistic medicine into Western medicine is something that is exploding at gyms, spas, medical clinics, and hospitals around the country.
This job role also comes with a level of flexibility that is essentially unheard of in other fields. There’s no need to be worried about being trapped in a cubicle all day. Professionals in this field can work at spas, hotels, resorts, medical offices, and many more exciting places. The bottom line is that getting training in massage allows you to learn a trade that makes you employable in a wide variety of settings and offers a flexible work/life balance.
Massage Therapy Program
If you are interested in the healing powers of massage, you can begin your career in massage therapy at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Our short-term massage therapy training program is designed to be completed in as little as 13 months. Our massage therapy training program is designed as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their patients as well as develop positive habits for the therapist. Together, those two areas will provide a foundation that can lead to longevity in the career field.
Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist and starting a rewarding career in the massage industry.