Why Does a Massage Therapist Need to Know Anatomy?

Are you thinking about pursuing a career as a massage therapist? A professional massage therapist works with clients to relieve their aches and pains through a series of massage therapy techniques. Massage therapists play a vital role in the personal service industry, and enjoy a fulfilling career of helping people relax, unwind, and improve their sense of wellbeing. However, before we talk about the role of anatomy in massage therapy, what exactly does a massage therapist do?

What Does a Massage Therapist Do?

A massage therapist provides relief to their clients using their hands, fingers, elbows and arms to apply purposeful pressure to the affected areas of the client’s body. Massage can play a vital role in improving a person’s mental health. Massage therapists often perform these skills in conjunction with their client’s treatment plan.

Massage therapists learn great communication skills to provide their clients with the proper pressure and relief from pain. Massage therapists are also well versed in many massage therapy techniques. These techniques have all been created to facilitate healing and provide symptom relief, as well as to enhance a client’s mental health and promote relaxation.

How Can You Become a Massage Therapist?

Becoming a massage therapist can be achieved by enrolling in a vocational school and successfully completing the program. Most massage therapy programs can be completed in under a year, teaching you the many massage techniques and allowing you to practice your technique on real clients in a student run salon. When you complete the massage therapy program you will be ready to take on real clients of your own.

What Do You Learn During a Massage Therapy Program?

While enrolled in a massage therapy program, you will gain insight and knowledge to perform many massage techniques and understand how the body works. Following are a few of the main subjects you will cover while enrolled in vocational school.

Massage Techniques

You will become proficient in performing many massage and bodywork techniques. During your training you will learn how to perform several of the most common massage techniques in the industry. These techniques include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, chair massage, and many others. By learning several different techniques, you will increase your marketability, be able to create a unique plan for each client, as well as the number of people you are able to help.


Kinesiology is the study of the human body moves. Kinesiology focuses on three specific movements. These movements are isometric, isotonic, and isokinetic movements. During your program you will study kinesiology to fully understand how to work with each muscle group to promote effective pain relief and increase a client’s overall well-being.


As a massage therapist, you will work with unique clientele. Some may be looking for an hour of deep relaxation after a particularly busy work week. Others may be seeking symptom relief from a serious or progressive disease. As a massage therapist, it is important for you to know how disease progresses within the human body, as well as how a disease manifests itself in the form of pain or other serious symptoms. During this course you will learn how to work with a client who may have a serious medical condition, as well as what precautions you should take before, during, and after the massage therapy session.

Professional Business Practices

Working as a professional massage therapist has its fair share of rewards. For this reason, it is important to be business savvy in this industry. During this course, you will learn how to run a professional massage therapy business, advertise your business, and budget wisely. This course will deepen your understanding of the massage therapy industry, as well as help you develop proficient business skills so that you are able to build a successful enterprise.

Medical Terminology

It is important for a massage therapist to understand medical terminology. Not only will this enable you to understand your coursework but understanding medical terminology will also allow you to develop an effective treatment plan for each client. During this course you will deepen your understanding of common medical terminology for massage therapy, as well as learn how to apply this terminology within the work setting.

Anatomy & Physiology

Massage therapists are trained to deliver effective therapeutic techniques to address a client’s aches and pains. Because of this, they must demonstrate a deep understanding of the anatomy of the body, as well as how each body system works together and affects the overall wellbeing of the client. During this course you will learn about the different body systems and how they interact and affect the body as a whole.

Why Does a Massage Therapist Need to Know Anatomy?

The very nature of massage therapy involves working closely with a client’s body. By providing massage services for clients, a massage therapist can have a huge impact on their client’s mental wellbeing as well as their physical health. By developing a thorough working knowledge of the human anatomy, you will enhance your understanding of the intricacies of various body systems as well as how they can cause pain or enhance relaxation.

11 Body Systems

The body is made up of 11 unique body systems, from muscular, skeletal and nervous system to the all-important immune systems. Learning how these body systems work will allow you to perform massage to improve the wellbeing of a client. Not only relieving stress but improving blood circulation, removing toxins, and boosting the immune system. Each body system has a role to play in the body and understanding this will allow you to better help clients with massage.

Understand the Effects of Massage

Each massage technique is used for a unique reason. As a massage therapist, you will create unique massage plans for each client based on their symptoms and concerns. Understanding how massage effects the body will dictate the technique. Some clients will want the benefits of deep tissue massage while others may need massage in a unique muscle from a sports injury. Understanding the effects of massage on the body can give you a roadmap to help your clients.

Prenatal Massage

During a pregnancy, it is important not to massage the client’s legs because it can cause blood clots. This is an important issue to remember when offering prenatal massage. Pregnancy can cause aches and pains from overused muscles, but massage can help relieve the pain of all the extra weigh that the baby places on the shoulders and back. Anatomy helps you understand the contraindicators of massage therapy.

What are the Benefits of a Vocational School?

Are you interested in learning more about the massage therapy industry? As a massage therapist, you will enjoy a highly rewarding career that allows you to make a positive difference in the lives of your clients every day. You will enjoy steady work, gainful employment, and a flexible job schedule. Start your journey towards this exciting career field by enrolling in a vocational school for massage therapists today.

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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