With more and more schools and institutions offering good training courses for a massage diploma these days, there is no reason for anyone looking to make a career as a massage therapist not to go for it. Massage therapy doesn’t only provide a good source of income, it’s also a great career to help people alleviate their stress, relieve pain and help their injuries. Of course, before you dive into this field and have your training course, it important to know more about massage therapy and the ways to get certified.
What Does a Massage Therapist Do?
Masseuses are considered as health care professionals, as they stretch, knead and stimulate sore and tight muscles, relieve stress and pain and rehab injuries. Aside from manipulating their patient’s tissue, the therapist needs to know about his client’s medical history, present conditions and understand their joint functionality. A good therapist makes customized treatment plans, but before he can do it, they need evaluate clients muscle strength, range of motion, etc. He may need to mix and match different treatment techniques of massage therapy to do so. And the task also includes maintaining records and providing referrals.
How to Be a Massage Therapist
First Step: Finish High School
A high school diploma (or equivalent) is required to gain admission to massage therapy program. Though training courses and programs are not usually offered in high school, subjects such as anatomy, biology, and even physical education can provide a good solid foundation for the training.
Second Step: Explore the Different Massage Therapy Options
Before you enroll yourself to a program, you will need to consider the different types of therapies available. There are lots of different types of massage therapy out there, and though they have similarities in their idea, they can be very different in application and theory. Some of the most common options out there include Swedish massage, Thai massage, deep tissue massage, shiatsu, hot stone massage, reflexology, pregnancy massage, sports massage, etc. Also, different clients have different needs and preferences. Being able to familiarize yourself to these different schools of thoughts will give you the edge in the field.
Third Step: Enroll and Complete a Training Program
To be able to administer the therapy, whether you want to be hired to a spa, hospital, health care clinic, rehab, or practice on your own, you need to hold a massage diploma or certification. There are private academies, community colleges and online schools that offer comprehensive courses and competitive training to better equip yourself with knowledge and skill for massage therapy. These programs include a selection of the different modalities of massage therapy, and include important topics such as trigger points, palpation techniques, orthopedics, etc. You will also learn more about some of commonly used medical terminology, kinesiology, and of course, nutrition.
Some degree programs can take up to a year or two to complete, while courses some may only need a few months to finish.
Fourth Step: Get Your Certification
To earn a diploma, you need to complete hours of instructions from an approved massage therapy course and pass tests (both written and practical). Having a massage diploma means you can open a lot of doors of opportunities in the field and give you the credibility to practice.
Some states may require a license before you are allowed to practice. To get your license, simply complete your application from your state’s licensing agency or board and pass the test.