If you’ve ever had a massage, you’ve probably spent some time chatting with your massage therapist. As a result of this conversation, many people go on to decide they want to pursue a career as a massage therapist.


Massage therapy is the systematic manipulation of the body’s muscles and soft tissues for wellness-related purposes, such as relief of pain and tension. Specific techniques vary widely depending on the massage type, or modality, practiced; the most common technique—Swedish massage—involves combinations of these basic movements:


  • Effleurage (long, gliding strokes)

  • Petrissage (kneading)

  • Tapotement (tapping with the sides of the hands)

  • Friction (vigorous rubbing)

  • Shaking (gentle jostling)


Like any career, becoming a massage therapist begins with deciding what you’re passionate about and aligning your passions with the position.


Most schools of massage therapy require enrollees to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. However, many people enter the massage therapy profession as a second or third career, or after retiring from another field. Having education and experience beyond high school can greatly enrich what you bring to your massage career.


A massage therapist may work in many different settings. The type of setting where a massage therapist treats his or her patient dramatically influences their day. Some typical settings a massage therapist might work in may include:


  • Spas

  • Assisted-living facilities

  • Private or corporate offices

  • Hotels

  • Hospitals

  • Fitness centers

  • Doctor or chiropractic offices

  • Wellness or rehabilitation centers

  • Shopping centers


Becoming a massage therapist is an opportunity to be a part of a rewarding field while working on your professional and personal growth.


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