How Do You Become a Massage Therapist?

Are you interested in becoming a massage therapist? If you have a passion for helping others, have the right amount of stamina and dexterity, and enjoy interacting with others, then becoming a massage therapist may be the right career path for you. So, what does a massage therapist do?

What Does a Massage Therapist Do?

A massage therapist manipulates the muscles and soft tissues of a client’s body. Massage therapy treatment can help the client relieve stress, reduce pain, increase blood circulation, and remove toxins from the body. In the recent decades, massage therapy has become a great compliment to traditional medicine. More physicians are prescribing massage as an alternative or supplement to medication and surgical procedures. On a day-to-day basis, massage therapists:

  • Work with clients in salons, spas, offices or even at a client’s own home
  • Assess the client’s muscle pain, identify symptoms, and record medical history
  • Read the body language of a client to understand where stiffness and pain may reside.
  • Educate clients on proper stretching, strengthening, and posture
  • Manage the many business aspects, including light bookkeeping, as well as customer acquisition and retention

How Do You Become a Massage Therapist?

An easy way to become a massage therapist is to get a vocational diploma in massage. During this program, you learn the knowledge and skills needed to start working as a massage therapist. Whether you want to work at a local spa, franchise spa or visit client’s homes, getting the right training in massage therapist is important to keep everyone safe. During a massage therapy program, you learn proper technique, anatomy, and sanitation to keep the client safe. You also learn good posture to help keep your body from feeling the effects of standing most of the day.

What are the Benefits of Attending a Vocational School?

There are many benefits to attending a vocational school. From working with industry experienced instructors to enjoying a growing industry and everything in between, taking a vocational school program in massage will prepare you for more than a job. This program will prepare you for a life-long career helping others and enjoying a rewarding work/life balance.

Work With Knowledgeable Instructors

One of the best benefits that you will attain during a massage therapy program is the mentorship of knowledgeable instructors. Our instructors have years of experience in massage and know what you need to succeed in this career. And because class are small, you get one-on-one attention from our instructors, and you can ask the many questions that help you build a solid foundation in massage therapy.

Receive Hands-On Training

The best part about attending a massage therapy program is all the hands-on training you will receive. It is important both for your confidence and resume to have hands-on training before starting your job search. You will practice with your fellow classmates to test your knowledge and massage therapy skills. There is even a student run massage spa and salon that will give you additional experience before starting your new career.

Meet Like Minded Individuals

Another great benefit of attending a massage therapy program is all the classmates you will befriend and may even stay in touch with throughout your career. You never know when you or your classmates will need support to find a new job or advance in your career. You also get to learn alongside classmates with different skills levels. Everyone can work together to prepare for this in-demand industry.

Career Services

One of the most important benefits to attending a vocational school is that we offer you career services after graduation. It can be hard to find a job in a competitive market, but we prepare you for the job prospecting search by helping build your resume, prepare your interview skills, and pair you with local community spas that are looking for highly trained massage therapists. Many of the local spas have ties with us and we may even hear about a job before the general public. We understand your passions and find the job that matches those passions.

Growth of the Massage Therapy Industry

Massage therapy is one of the fastest growing career fields, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The demand for massage therapist is projected to grow 32 percent in the coming decade.

What Do You Learn During a Massage Therapy Program?

During a massage therapy program, you lay a foundation that you can build upon throughout your entire career. You will learn anatomy and physiology, massage techniques and professional business training. This program also prepares you to work at, manage or start your own massage therapy business.

Anatomy & Physiology

Anatomy and physiology focus on what the body is made of, and how the body works. You will be manipulating the muscles and soft tissues of the client’s body and understanding anatomy and physiology will allow you keep the client safe during a massage session. The body is a connected system of muscles, bones, ligaments, and organs. Understanding what the body is made of and how it works will allow you to identify pain points and their corresponding symptoms to create a unique massage treatment plan for each client’s needs.


Kinesiology is the study of the human body’s movement. During this class, you learn how the body is connected. You learn how to help relieve a client’s pain, tension, and stress to improve range of motion and posture. You also learn about isometric, isotonic, and isokinetic muscle movements and how they supplement a client’s massage treatment.


Pathology is the study of diseases, and how they progress and affect a client’s body. This will help you identify the diseases a client may be exhibiting and how to help them manage symptoms with the help of massage. Pathology can also help you better understand the contraindicators as diseases progress, so you can keep the client safe during massage sessions.

Massage Therapy Technique

The main focus of the massage therapy program is massage techniques. From Swedish massage and deep tissue massage to a handful of other important massage techniques, attending a massage therapy program will give you all the knowledge and skills you need to help clients as well as learning the many techniques to manage any symptoms that manifests in their body.

Swedish Massage – one of the most requested massage techniques, Swedish massage utilizes long broad strokes across the entire body. The basic strokes used in Swedish massage include effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, and vibration.

Deep Tissue Massage – similar to Swedish massage, deep tissue massage uses deeper pressure on the muscles and tendons to release long held tensions within the deeper layers of the muscles.

Chair Massage – a form of Swedish massage that focuses on the client’s upper body. The client sits forward in a specifically designed chair, allowing you to access their head, neck, shoulders, back, arms and hands. Since the client keeps their clothes on during this massage, it can be performed in public places like office buildings, malls, and retail stores.

Sports Massage – used for weekend warriors and athletes alike, sports massage can help anyone that suffers from the discomfort of repetitive injury. Sports massage uses Swedish techniques but focus on one particular area of the body to relieve strain, remove the build-up of toxins and improve range of motion.

Prenatal Massage – used for pregnant women that are experiencing discomfort during pregnancy. Prenatal massage can help relieve the pain and stress as the body changes during the trimesters of pregnancy.

Professional Business Training

Whether you are managing an existing spa, start your own business or visit clients in their homes, you will need some business training to manage your massage business.The massage therapy program offers courses to help you with the fundamentals of running a business, managing staff, light bookkeeping, advertising, customer acquisition and retention, and the other obligations of running a successful business.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to become a massage therapist, take the time to learn more about the Minnesota School of Cosmetology. We offer a 12-month program that helps you prepare for an in-demand career. Becoming a massage therapist is rewarding and no two days are ever alike. Start your journey to becoming a massage therapist today. You will be happy you did.

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.

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