Massage Therapist Job Overview
Learn Massage Therapy Career Demographics & Specialty Information
Read the question and answer below to get massage therapist job and specialty specifics. Learn about massage therapists of today, where they work and how they find jobs once they've graduated from massage school. Gain insight into the field of massage therapy, massage therapy benefits and typical massage therapy sessions.
- 83 percent are female
- Are usually sole practitioners
- 41 percent practice trigger point massage
- 37 percent practice sports massage
- 70 percent practice deep tissue massage
- Are in their mid-40s, on average
- Have worked in the massage industry on average for 7.8 years
- Are members of a professional organization
- Massage therapy profession is usually a second career
- 78 percent provide Swedish massage
- Earn approximately half of their income (49 percent) from practicing massage therapy
- Provide massages for an average of 15 hours a week, excluding time spent on other business tasks such as billing, bookkeeping, supplies, maintaining equipment, marketing, scheduling, etc. (Learn about a typical day in the life of a massage therapist.)
- Are likely to provide massage therapy in a number of settings, including their own place of practice, a client's home, a health care setting or an on-site workplace
Where do massage therapists work?
In massage school, you will study massage, Shiatsu, reflexology, bodywork and healing touch techniques to become a massage therapist. As a licensed graduate of a massage training school, you will find a wide range of job opportunities in:
- Self-employed private practice
- Health and wellness centers
- Hotels and resorts
- Physical therapy centers
- Rehabilitation clinics and hospitals
- Sports organizations
- Cruise ships
Where can massage therapists find spa and salon jobs?
Visit BestSpaJobs.com for all your staffing and job search needs. Need to find a new employee or find a massage job? BestSpaJobs.com is a new service designed to help managers at spas and spa vendors and potential employees to find each other. Post your ad on the most popular spa industry job board on the web and reach more than 10,000 spa industry job seekers a month.
What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy, also known as Swedish massage, is the most common form of massage therapy in the United States. Massage therapists use long, smooth strokes, kneading and other movements to focus on superficial layers of muscle using massage oil or lotion.
Why do people get massages?
People get massages to alleviate, prevent or relieve a variety of conditions:
- Back pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Circulatory and respiratory problems
- Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendonitis
- Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
- Post-injury and post surgical rehabilitation
- Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Stress and stress-related conditions
How does massage therapy work?
Massage therapy improves circulation by bringing oxygen and other nutrients to body tissues. It relieves muscle tension and pain, increases flexibility and mobility, and helps clear lactic acid and other waste, which reduces pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.
What is a typical massage therapy session like?
A typical massage therapy session is between 40 and 90 minutes. Massage therapists begin with a brief consultation with a new client, reviewing symptoms, medical history and lifestyle. For a standard massage, therapists ask the client to disrobe (many people keep their underwear on) and instruct the client to lie face-down under a sheet on a padded massage table. The therapist steps out of the room while a client does this. In North America, therapists are required to have their clients covered by a sheet at all times and expose only the part of the body being massaged.
After allowing the client ample time to get organized and lie down on the massage table, the therapist will knock on the door to see if the client is ready. The therapist then re-enters the room and adjusts the face rest and pillows to ensure their client is comfortable and properly positioned. Massage therapists should ask clients if they are too warm or cold and adjust the temperature in the room accordingly.
Typically, massage therapists use a light oil or lotion on the skin and begin the massage. A full body massage usually begins on the back and then moves down to the legs. After completing the first portion of the massage, clients are requested to turn over so they are face up. The massage continues on arms, legs, neck and abdomen.
After the massage, the therapist leaves the room so their client can relax for a few minutes and get changed. To complete the session, therapists typically ask clients for feedback on the massage for insight on the client's experience. Therapists may use this information when planning the next massage session. And therapists may also take this opportunity to schedule the next appointment.
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Looking for a Massage Therapy School?
Try our Massage Therapy Schools & Training page, which offers program descriptions and request information forms to find out more.
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