If you are looking for a job that will enable you to help people to feel great, you may want to become a professional massage therapist or masseuse. This is a flexible career that requires extensive training, but the time and money you invest will allow you to work in a variety of settings with a broad range of populations and most importantly, to give your clients a host of health and wellness benefits.
The Scope Of The Field
Despite the challenging economy, the massage therapy business continues to be strong as many people turn to this approach to help manage stress, combat illness and heal from injuries. This is because massage treatment can be an appropriate choice for people of all ages and situations, such as professional athletes, busy executives, pregnant women, newborn babies and senior citizens.
There are a wide range of accepted massage styles today that range from traditional techniques to therapeutic ones and even some that incorporate a variety of holistic and energy healing techniques. Some of the most well-known options include deep tissue, Reiki, reflexology, hot stone, trigger point, sports massage, craniosacral, acupressure, Shiatsu and Swedish massage. Some therapists specialize in a certain angle, while others choose to blend a combination of these approaches or even to tailor their style for a patient’s specific needs.
A Range Of Settings
Depending on the type of massage techniques you prefer and the audience you choose to serve, there are a number of diverse settings where you can practice this art. This can include working in a physician’s office, rehabilitation center, hospital, nursing home, hotel or resort, spa, health club or even a shopping center or mall. Or, if you prefer, you can start your own private practice, seeing patients either in your own office setting or bringing to equipment into the client’s home.
Requirements Vary By State
What you will need to legally practice as a massage therapist varies from state to state. You will want to start by finding out exactly what your state requirements are, since this can help you determine what type of training to get. Most states today require that massage therapists undertake a minimum number of hours of training and some also make it mandatory that you pass a practical exam demonstrating your knowledge and expertise to become certified and/or licensed. To find out more about your state’s laws, check with the American Massage Therapy Association. Their website offers a list of regulations by state. Also keep in mind that some cities and towns also impose additional requirements, so you will want to also check with your local health department for more information.