Become a Massage Therapist: What You Need to Know

Congratulations on deciding to learn how to become a massage therapist.  A career in massage therapy can be very rewarding and lucrative.  You will be working with clients providing a service that is very personal in nature.  Continue reading to learn about what you can expect on your journey towards becoming a massage therapist.

Before you begin, let’s first tackle the job description.  It’s a good idea to know exactly what makes someone a massage therapist.  A massage therapist is a medical professional that treats clients by using touch.  The therapy provided by these professionals helps to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body.  People come to seek out the services of massage therapists for a number of reasons.  Some people are in need of help in healing from an injury.  Other people simply need to get a massage to help relax and relieve stress.  As a massage therapist, you will be responsible for communicating with your client.  Providing guidance to your client on ways to improve posture and stretching will go a long way towards building a rapport.  The better your reputation, the more clients you will have, which will eventually translate into more money earned.

Massage therapy is a career that is regulated by states in the US.  In order to become a licensed massage therapist, you will need to check with your respective state for specific requirements.  As a general rule of thumb, you will need to complete a postsecondary education program.  To be eligible for the either the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM) or the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCETMB) certifications, you will need to receive a minimum of 500 hours of instruction and graduate from a National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) school.  The board also offers those persons who live in a state that uses the NCBTMB exams but do not require certification for licensure an option to take the same exams.

As a therapist, you can choose to specialize in various types of massage, called modalities.  Some of the more commonly known types of massage are Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and reflexology massage.  Each of these modalities requires specialized training, to learn the techniques and tools required.  As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to specialize in more than one type of massage.  Doing so will open up opportunities for you to practice and offer your services.  By learning different types of massage, you can also learn what type you gravitate towards and get the most joy out of providing.

Once you become a masseuse, you will quickly discover that there are many places in which you can work.  You can choose to work in a doctor’s office, at a spa, on a cruise ship or, even for an athletic organization.  Perhaps one of the greatest benefits is the option to open up your own practice and become self-employed.  More than half of the massage therapists in the US were self-employed in 2010.  Many therapists work part-time and by appointments.  A result of working based on appointments is that your hours worked can vary somewhat.  Because the job can be somewhat demanding on the body, it is important to schedule time to receive care and allow it to recover and heal.

In order to become a masseuse, you will need to consider a number of factors.  You must first start with understanding what it is to become a massage therapist.  Then, you need to decide where you would like to go to http://ebecomeamassagetherapist.org/wp-admin/themes.phpschool to get your formal training, where you will need to receive at least 500 hours of instruction.  Depending upon the requirements of your state, you may or may not require certification to be licensed.  Should you need to obtain certification, you can visit the NCBTMB for additional information.  During your training, you should try to specialize in more than one form of massage.  The different types of massage are called modalities.  When you are ready to look for employment, you will have many different environments in which to choose from, whether you choose to work for someone else, or go into business for yourself.  Make sure you check out some of the other articles on this site, to learn more about how to become a massage therapist.