Massage therapy is coming to be recognized and used as a complementary treatment alongside medical care. Especially in the field of sports medicine, massage therapy used by teams in training and to aid in recovery from injuries. Massage therapy is seen as by patients as an effective treatment for pain relief and management. Consequently, massage therapists are very much in demand, and the number of massage therapy jobs are projected to grow rapidly. Massage programs are an attractive choice for anyone looking for a career in a healing profession.
Massage therapy as a complementary treatment
Massage therapy is now widely recognized as an effective treatment for pain relief and as beneficial to overall health and well being. Doctors and chiropractors recommend massage therapy to their patients for well being and stress relief, as well as treatment of chronic conditions like back pain and arthritis. About 40% of hospitals offer massage therapy as a complementary treatment.
As a treatment for pain relief and management, massage therapy has some advantages over conventional medical treatments. It is non-surgical and non-invasive. Chronic pain can be notoriously difficult to treat by conventional medical techniques, and long-term use of painkillers can be addictive. Massage therapy, by contrast, offers effective pain relief for many people suffering from chronic back, neck or knee pain, arthritis or sports injuries.
Choosing massage therapy as a profession
With all the benefits of massage therapy, the profession is poised to grow at a rapid rate. Sports teams are hiring massage therapists to help teams with their training, as part of their injury prevention programs. Massage therapy can also help in recovery from sports injuries. Therapists can further expand their massage therapy training from massage doula to Certified Injury Prevention Instructors (CIPI), among many other choices.
Massage therapy can be a very fulfilling profession, with the opportunity to help people. Massage therapists work in a variety of settings, including chiropractor’s offices, medical clinics, and day spas. They can also choose to work at resorts or cruise ships or to work independently and set up their own studios.
What to expect in massage schools
Students in massage programs learn the basics of this healing art, with techniques like Swedish, deep tissue, and reflexology. They also learn neuromuscular modalities. Students in massage therapy schools can earn a national certification, which is valid in all states. Many schools offer student services like job placement, tutoring, continuing education, and financial aid.
The total number of professional massage therapists and students in the U.S. is between 325,000 and 375,000. For the vast majority, or 82%, of students in massage therapy school, this is a second career.
Massage programs prepare students for a rewarding and fulfilling career helping people. Massage therapists are in demand in a number of fields and settings, including medicine, sports, spas, resorts and cruise ships.