Massage Therapy: An In-Demand Career Choice
The high cost of traditional medicine and the potential of side effects have caused many people to turn toward holistic health care options such as massage therapy to provide natural health care options.
Even insurance companies are quickly recognizing the benefit of natural health care, and now pay for services such as massage therapy, acupressure and acupuncture, and hydrotherapy.
Physical therapy is now used routinely as a follow up to speed recovery from serious illness and surgery.
Pain management—often including massage therapy—is more often used today than the grocery list of addictive and possibly harmful medications used long-term in the past.
Massage Therapy Career Statistics
With so many career fields being impacted by outsourcing, off-shore contracts, and downsizing, it is a relief to learn that there are careers that are growing in demand in the United States and Canada.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2010-11 confirms the outlook for those who choose a massage therapy career: they are making an excellent choice. Of all the heal-related occupations, massage therapy jobs are expected to continue to increase 19 percent from 2008-2018.
Additional confirmation of the employment opportunities of massage therapy providers is another prediction made by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They state employment opportunities in the complementary health field are predicted to grow faster than the average when compared to other occupations through the year 2016. Even today, there is more demand for therapists than there are trained professionals available.
Choosing a Career Fast Track
There are very few career choices that can provide the combination of benefits that entering professional massage therapy can provide. Most lucrative careers require a four year college degree, but massage therapy is a field that can be entered as a licensed professional with only two years or less of advanced education.
Some massage therapy programs that prepare a person to successfully sit for National Board exams offer intensive, fast-paced study programs of as little as nine months in length. This means that the educational expenses will not leave students deep in debt when they begin earning with their new career choice. In addition, the personal satisfaction obtained while working in the field of natural heath care is second to none.
A Career That Makes a Difference
With professional massage therapy training, practitioners learn how to help clients feel better and are able to relieve pain from injury or surgery, helping clients heal more rapidly. Massage therapy lowers blood pressure, increases circulation and helps the human body’s natural immune response fight disease and illness more effectively. Clients will enjoy a sense of well-being, and lower levels of stress.
Tight muscles and connective tissues can once again become flexible and mobility can be increased. Professional and amateur sport enthusiasts use massage therapy to help prevent injury and increase their sports abilities.
Choose Your Workplace
The workplaces, which are open to the professional massage therapist, are exciting and varied.
Therapists can open their own massage therapy clinic if they so choose. Massage therapy professionals are needed at resorts, spas, on board cruise ships, at sports centers and gyms, in hospitals and doctor’s offices, in rehabilitation facilities, and many other great places to work.
Various Massage Therapy Techniques
Let’s look at just a few of the techniques that will be learned once professional massage therapy is chosen as a career path:
Swedish massage is the most common massage therapy technique. By applying pressure in long strokes and kneading motions on the layers of muscles along with movement of the joints, this therapeutic technique will provide relaxation, better blood flow, increased motion range, and release of muscle tension.
Myofascial massage therapy involves working the muscles and fascia to relieve pain in the musculoskeletal system and a rebalance of the body by tension release. This technique involves light and moderate pressure to cause muscles to lengthen and stretching stokes to release muscle tension. This type of therapy is becoming more and more popular as more people experience the exceptional results.
Deep tissue massage is used to alleviate chronic tension in the body through slow pressure strokes and use of the fingers to apply deep pressure on areas of muscle contraction. Focusing on the deeper muscle layers, this technique is often used to relieve pain due to tendon or fascia problems, as well as muscle spasms.
Trigger Point Therapy is another technique popular for use on to relieve the pain of muscle spasms. Using concentrated pressure on specific trigger points the irritated muscles and associated pain can be relieved quickly. While the treatment may actually be uncomfortable during the application, the results of pain relief over time are proven.
Hot stone therapy is often used in conjunction with other massage techniques to allow application of heat to deeply penetrate the muscles and relax them prior to deeper body work. By relaxing the client before application of deep tissue massage or trigger point therapy, the discomfort of applied pressure can be greatly reduced.
Ancient techniques include Shiatsu massage and many others. Sports massage is also a very lucrative and popular area of massage therapy specialization.
These are just a few of the many massage modalities and techniques available. Massage therapy is often used for women’s health issues during pregnancy, after childbirth, post-mastectomy, and to help them through emotionally, spiritually, or physically challenging periods.
As you can see, the door to the future is open to anyone who would like to enter this exciting career field. With the choices available and areas of specialization so enormous, there is clearly a place for those the satisfying world of natural health care through learning professional massage therapy.
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