Massage Therapy Schools
Massage Therapists help people relax and release stress. They use manual therapeutic techniques to massage soft tissues (such as muscle) that have been affected by stress, injury and illness. The primary goal of massage therapy is to loosen and relax muscles and their surrounding connective tissue coverings, and relieve the painful muscle tension that inevitably erodes your energy level.
A strong knowledge of anatomy & physiology, pathology, kinesiology, therapeutic massage, spa services, medical and sports massage is necessary to be proficient as a massage therapist. These programs provide training in essential areas for this specialty such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, computer fundamentals, and legal issues of the profession. In addition, Massage Therapy programs stresses personal development, as well as communication skills, to ready you for all aspects of a successful career, including therapeutic massage techniques and ethical responsibility.
Students will also have supervised hands-on practice that will enable them to become skilled massage therapists. This real world experience is gained while working in the campus clinics. Since faculty members are all professionals in the fields they teach, Massage Therapy students benefit a great deal because they can learn about various techniques and then have them demonstrated. They also get an insider’s view of the business before they even enter it. This, and the invaluable advice students receive from their instructors, further prepares them to be successful in the massage therapy profession.
Massage therapists can specialize in more than 80 different types of massage, called modalities. Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, reflexology, acupressure, sports massage, and neuromuscular massage are just a few of the many approaches to massage therapy. Most massage therapists specialize in several modalities, which require different techniques.
What training is required to become a massage therapist?
Training programs usually require a high school diploma to get started. Your state will then usually require 300-1000 hours of in-class training, a certain number of hands-on (massage) hours, and a certain number of continuing education hours. You should look for a school that is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) and/or state licensed.
Accreditation is important because it tells you that the program has gone through a testing process and they are prepared to teach you what you need to know in order to pass a state or national massage licensing exam.
Massage curriculum and types of schools vary from state to state. So, be sure to ask lots of questions about what massage techniques are taught when you talk to the schools. For instance, if you want to work in a spa after school, make sure they teach you about body wraps, hot stone massage, and body scrubs…three things very commonly performed in a spa setting.
Most programs cover the basic knowledge and skills required to become an entry-level Massage Therapist and prepare students to sit for certain certification exams offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
There are hundreds of massage job opportunities just waiting to be filled! Whether you want to work in a spa, medical setting, cruise ship, or your own private practice.