Anyone can do a massage but there is one who can do it better than anyone, a Massage Therapists. Just like other profession, to become a Massage Therapists, you need to get the education you needed. The education needed varies by state or other jurisdiction. You must have a high school diploma or equivalent before enrolling for a massage therapy program. Programs may focus on certain kind, or specialties of massage therapy. Subjects such as anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, business management and ethics are covered in massage therapy programs. After graduating from this program, one must get a license or certification before practicing massage therapy. Massage therapists are required to take legal requirements for the state and locality in which they intend to practice. For example, in Philippines, one must be a holder of a valid Certificate of Registration and license for massage therapists issued by the Department of Health Committee of Examiners for Massage Therapy. A report from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 45 states and District of Columbia required massage therapists to be licensed by taking an exam such as the Federation of State Massage Therapy or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage.
What does a Massage Therapists do? Massage therapist do massage. But it’s not just an ordinary massage. Massage therapist treats clients with their touch to relieve pain, heal injuries, improve circulation, and relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of the clients. They use, if not all of their body parts, from hands, elbows down to their feet to put pressure on muscles and soft tissues of the body. Massage therapist can specialize in various types of massage like Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage and the like. Swedish massage is one of the most popular modality that a massage therapists should be skilled at. Massage therapists must know the five basic strokes used in this type of massage. First is the Effleurage or commonly known as stroking. Second is Petrissage, where muscles are lightly grabbed and lifted. Third is Friction, where thumbs and fingertips work in deep circles into the thickest part of muscles. Fourth is Tapotement where your muscles undergo a chopping, beating and tapping strokes. Fifth is Vibration where fingers are pressed or flattened firmly on a muscle, then the area is shaken rapidly for a few second. Massage therapist must talk with the clients about the kind of massage and other factors to be considered such as the physical condition of the clients before performing the massage to ensure safety as well as what the clients want to achieve.
Massage therapists may own an establishment solely for massage therapy. Some massage therapists work by appointment, some travel directly to clients home to give massage. They have their lotions, oils, and massage kit in treating clients. A massage therapy can be done anywhere that gives relaxation to the clients. Usually it is done in a dimly lit room using candles having an aroma which also helps the client to relax. Others use soothing music.
Massage therapists are usually paid, according to Occupational Outlook Handbook from U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, $39,860 per year.