Field of Study: Massage Therapy
Programs in massage therapy teach people how to help clients relax and promote mental and physical healing. Students learn to massage skin, muscles, and connective tissues. They also learn to manage a business.
Several studies show that the gentle touch of hands on premature newborns has a positive effect on their health and development. The babies were less stressed and even gained weight faster. And all because of the simple warm touch of another human! It comes as no surprise that massage is becoming an increasingly popular form of therapy. It no longer is considered a luxury; instead, more people seek massage therapy as an essential method of stress relief and health promotion.
As a massage therapist, you can develop your own private practice, providing massage therapy at businesses and in people's homes. You can also work in doctor's offices, nursing homes, and physical therapy clinics. You can even work for a professional sports team, helping injured and sore players ease their strained muscles! In fact, massage therapy is becoming so widespread that many massage therapists offer their services in public places such as airports and shopping malls.
In massage therapy programs, you take basic and advanced courses in different types of massage. There are four general types of massage: Swedish, trigger point, deep tissue, and sports massage. In addition, you take courses about human anatomy and movement. Many programs also require you to take professional ethics and business courses. These courses train you how to handle clients and business matters.
The most common way to become a massage therapist is to go to an accredited training program offered through a community college, technical institute, or proprietary school. These programs usually require at least 500 hours of training and course work, and take about two years to complete. You can also become a massage therapist by going to individual workshops and courses, supervising your own course of study. However, because more states are choosing to regulate the field, it is advisable to seek out an accredited training program.