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What Can You Do With A Massage Therapy License

By David Krug 12 minute read

Do you get a kick out of assisting others in their quest for healing and relaxation? Do you have a good sense of dexterity? How important is it to you to be able to work when and where you want? Then you might be a good candidate for a career as a masseuse.

Massage therapists alleviate stress, pain, tension, injury, and a wide range of other health issues by providing a safe and relaxing environment for their patients. Because their job is physically demanding as well as time-consuming, they must be extremely patient and knowledgeable. Work in this field also provides a great deal of freedom and flexibility, including the ability to choose your own treatment style, work from home, and work with a wide variety of clients in a variety of settings. Massage therapy is a popular choice for people looking for a second career in their forties or fifties. A massage therapist’s age is 46, according to the AMTA, and most have worked in other professions before entering the field of massage.

So, what’s the big deal with massage therapy? We’ve compiled the most current industry stats and professional requirements so that you can get up to speed quickly on massage therapy as a career. Find out what it’s like to have a job that allows you to work when and where you want, while also having the opportunity to help others.

Which of the following tasks falls under the purview of the massage therapist’s job description?

They manipulate the soft tissues of their clients’ bodies to bring about positive outcomes such as stress reduction and pain relief. Numerous studies have shown that massage therapy is effective in relieving the symptoms of a variety of health conditions, including anxiety, osteoarthritis, hypertension, sciatica, neuropathy, and inflammation. Massage therapy has shown promise as an alternative to high doses of opioids in treating chronic pain in studies and is frequently requested as a result of this promise.

Massages can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 90 minutes. A relaxing spa setting or a hospital bed can be used for a massage. In addition, there are many different ways to give a massage.

Massage therapists do more than just give massages; they also do things like:

  • Promoting their offerings
  • Management of appointments and bookings
  • The process of working with customers
  • Determining the specific requirements of a given client
  • Self-care education for clients (stretching, posture etc.)

What are the different types of massage techniques?

More than 350 different massage modalities can be found on the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals website! Deep Tissue Massage and Chakra Balancing Massage are well-known, while others, such as Swedish Massage, are more obscure.

A few of the most popular methods are as follows:

  • Five basic movements (such as tapping and kneading) are used in Swedish Massage, which was developed in the 1800s. US massage therapists use this type of massage the most frequently today.
  • During a deep tissue massage, powerful strokes are used to target the muscles and connective tissue in the deeper layers of the muscle.
  • In order to alleviate sinus headaches or stimulate circulation, aromatherapy massage uses essential oils in combination with specific movements.
  • “Finger pressure” is a literal translation of the Japanese word for Shiatsu, which means “finger pressure.” The goal of the technique is to restore the body’s natural flow of energy by pressing and tapping on the meridian points on the human body.
  • In Meyofacial Release, the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles is loosened to alleviate over-tightness in the fascia. Pain relief and a greater range of motion are possible outcomes of this treatment modality.
  • The goal of a sports massage is to help the muscles recover more quickly and more easily. For athletes, it has been proven to help them perform at their highest level.
  • In order to safely alleviate the discomfort, strain, and swelling that occurs during pregnancy, Prenatal Massage utilizes a more gentle form of massage.

There are many different techniques that can be learned by massage therapists after they complete their training.

The majority of massage therapists use a variety of these techniques in their work, but they tend to focus on one or two in particular. Working in an all-inclusive health spa, massage therapists are often required to provide services in more than one modality at any given time. On the other hand, an independent massage therapist can choose to specialize in a single technique and practice it exclusively. To become an expert in a particular type of massage, such as Thai or Rolfing, is common.

What Tools Are Necessary for Massage?

What kind of equipment is required for massage therapists to do their job? There are a surprising number of tools and materials required for the task. Massage therapists are expected to have the following qualifications:

Chairs and tables for massages

  • Sheets, towels, and bathrobes.
  • lotions and other skin care products
  • Ergonomic cushions and supports that are custom-made
  • Essential oils and hot stones are examples of massage-specific tools.

Many massage therapists are self-employed, which means they are responsible for purchasing, maintaining, and replacing their own equipment. Additionally, massage therapists who work for themselves need things like general liability insurance, appointment scheduling software, and office supplies.

What kind of clients do massage therapists see?

Massages are very popular, and you can get one almost anywhere. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) found that 33 percent of American adults had a massage in the previous five years, according to their 2017 Consumer Survey. Among women, massages are 30 percent more popular than those for men. Massage therapy is most commonly sought for medical reasons, such as pain relief and tension reduction, with stress reduction coming in a close second.

Some massages are reserved exclusively for a specific demographic of clients. There are a number of different types of massage, such as prenatal massage for pregnant women and lymphatic drainage massage for people who are experiencing swelling.

Where can you find a masseuse?

Massage therapy is becoming increasingly well-known as a legitimate method of altering the human body. Because of this, it is being used in a wide variety of settings for the first time.

Some of the most popular massage therapists work from their own offices or in their clients’ homes. Sports massage therapists are frequently found working in gyms. As a matter of fact, some personal trainers are massage therapists as well. Most resorts and spas offer massage, with Swedish, hot stone, and aromatherapy among the most popular options. To make adjustments easier, chiropractors’ offices employ massage therapists to loosen the muscles and ligaments that surround the spine and joints. Massage therapists are increasingly being used in hospitals to help patients deal with stress and pain caused by their illness or injury.

Additionally, the majority of massage therapists use multiple plugs throughout their practice areas. For example, a massage therapist may work with patients in a chiropractor’s office as well as with clients at their homes outside of business hours.

What is the future of massage therapy as a profession?

There is no doubt that massage therapy is a huge and rapidly expanding industry. For the first time since 2005, the AMTA has found that the massage therapy industry generated $16 billion in revenue in 2016.

Between 2016 and 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of massage therapists will rise by 25 percent, from 160,300 to 202,400. A growth rate of more than three times the national average is astounding!

What’s causing all of this growth, and why is it happening now? The number of massage-specific franchises (such as the popular chain, Massage Envy) has grown exponentially, while the growth rate of spas has remained relatively stable. For the first time, massage therapy is being recognized as a legitimate treatment option for medical conditions, resulting in more medical professionals offering massage therapy as a service.

Finally, people are increasingly turning to complementary and alternative medicine to alleviate their pain and other health issues. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking alternative and complementary healthcare providers like chiropractors, wellness coaches, acupuncturists, and others. This is in part due to the growing scientific evidence that these treatments are effective, which has led to mainstream acceptance. In response to increasing customer demand, a growing number of physical therapists, yoga studios, sports centers, and health clubs have begun offering massage services on-site in response to the ancient practice’s renaissance as an allied health profession. Doctors have also started referring patients to massage therapists in response to concerns about over-prescription of medications. According to the AMTA, 18% of Americans have inquired about massage treatments with their doctors, and 59% of these patients were given the go-ahead to do so by their doctors.

Do massage therapists earn a lot of money?

According to the AMTA’s survey of massage therapists, massage therapists earn a median hourly rate of $72.13. A high hourly rate like that can lead to a sizable paycheck. However, for a variety of reasons, the average massage therapist makes significantly less money than the national average. About half of massage therapists work part time, which may explain why the BLS reported annual salary of $39,990 for massage therapists is so low. Health care providers, for example, pay higher wages and offer better benefits than hotels and spas because of the setting.

Outside of massage sessions, related tasks can have an impact on a massage therapist’s take-home pay. Average massage therapists work a total of 19.5 hours a week in the massage room. It’s also necessary to schedule appointments, travel to work sites, set up and clean etc., tasks that are unpaid for the large number of self-employed workers. It is estimated that the average hourly wage for massage therapists is $58.

Credentials for Massage Therapists

How do you become a massage therapist, then? If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a massage therapist, you don’t need a degree. That means that if you have a GED or high school diploma, you can work in this field without needing a college degree. Although the field is unregulated, it does not mean that anyone can start seeing clients right away without any prior training. The path to becoming a licensed massage therapist is long and winding.

There are currently 46 states and the District of Columbia that regulate or offer voluntary state-level licensing for massage therapists (or, in some cases, certification or registration). Massage therapists and customers alike will benefit from state regulation, which has been steadily increasing in recent years. Customers can rest assured that they’re receiving treatments from a licensed massage therapist in these states because it is illegal to practice massage therapy professionally without a license in these jurisdictions. However, each state’s requirements for obtaining a massage therapy license are unique, so you’ll need to look into what credentials you’ll need in the state where you intend to practice.

Acquiring 500 to 1,000 hours of hands-on experience, most states’ massage credentials require attending an approved massage school and passing an exam.

You’ll need to renew your massage therapy license on a regular basis, usually every two to four years, once you’ve obtained it. Paying a renewal fee may suffice, but other options include completing an online safety and hygiene course or earning a certain number of CEUs.

A Massage School is what?

As the name suggests, a massage school is a place where students can earn their certification in massage therapy and gain the knowledge and skills necessary to work as massage therapists in the field. Many massage schools have “student clinics” where the public can get discounted massages from aspiring massage therapists while they are still in school.

Many community colleges offer credentials in massage therapy, but the majority of massage therapy students go to schools that specialize in massage. There are accredited and non-accredited massage schools, as well as schools that specialize in certain modalities, such as Reflexology or LomiLomi massage.

How Do I Know If I’m Ready to Become a Massage Therapist?

Most states allow students to earn a massage license after attending an unaccredited school. Be sure to check your state’s regulations before applying because the kind of school you need depends on where you live. A list of “approved schools” is maintained by some states, while others require accreditation, and still others have no requirements at all.

Accreditation: What is it? An independent body certifies that a school’s teaching, testing, grading, and other measures of student success meet high standards by giving its seal of approval through the accreditation process. Accreditation will not be granted to a school that grants diplomas to anyone who applies.

Massage schools are accredited by a few national organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, such as:

  • Accreditation Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (COMTA)
  • Accrediting Commission for Schools and Colleges of Occupational and Technical Education (ACCSC)
  • Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences Accreditation (NACCAS)
  • The Commission on Accreditation for Lifelong Learning (ACCET)
  • Health Education Schools Accreditation Bureau (ABHES)

Accredited schools tend to charge more because of their proven high quality and to offset the cost of the lengthy accreditation process, which schools must continually maintain.

Attending an accredited massage school may be beneficial even if it is not mandated by your state. Why? In the long run, you may be forced to relocate your practice to a jurisdiction that mandates it. Second, if your school is accredited, the validity and quality of your massage therapy credentials will be more widely recognized. Finally, if your school is accredited at the national level, you are eligible for federal student loans and grants.

School for Massage Therapy lasts how long?

Depending on the length of the program, massage school can last anywhere from a few months to two years. Students who have day jobs and want to pursue a career in massage therapy typically attend massage school part-time, which is why most programs offer evening and weekend classes.

It will take you longer to earn your massage therapy credentials if you want to become certified in multiple massage modalities. Keep in mind that you’ll need to accumulate experience hours (typically 500) before you can apply for a massage therapy license after graduating from massage school.

Exactly how much does it cost to go to massage school?

When it comes to the length and cost of massage school, there is a wide range as well. Depending on the school, you may pay $5,000 or as much as $15,000 for the course. Additionally, depending on the program, you’ll have to budget for the following expenses in addition to tuition:

  • Textbooks
  • Commuting costs
  • Fees for college students
  • A massage chair or table (if not included)
  • Indemnity coverage for students (if not included) Financial aid and grants from the federal government are available to students who attend accredited colleges and universities. According to a study published in the International Journal of Massage and Bodywork, 84% of massage therapy students received federal financial aid and paid an average tuition of $13,605 each year.

Is There a Way to Take Massage Classes Online?

If you want to become a masseuse you’ll need a lot of book knowledge, and online massage therapy schools can help you learn this quickly and easily. There are a wide variety of methods used by online massage therapy schools to teach students how to perform a variety of massage techniques. Hands-on experience hours required for licensure and board certification cannot be obtained through an online school and must instead be obtained through an additional internship or apprenticeship.

What Do I Learn in a Massage Program?

Hands-on training and practice are woven into the curriculum, along with studies in the body, business and personal care. Among the most common offerings:

  • Anatomy
  • Kinesthetics
  • Pathology
  • The rules of the game in the workplace
  • Massage’s health-promoting properties
  • Considerations of morality and the law
  • An examination of the needs of the client

What is the MBLEx?

There are 100 questions in the MBLEx, which stands for “Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination,” and it takes two hours to complete. It is meant to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills in massage therapy. The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) oversees its administration, and the organization’s website features a study guide.

In massage school, students learn about anatomy, ethics, pathology, and professional practice, among other topics. There is no limit on the number of times you can take this test, but you will have to pay the application fee again if you fail the first time.

Who can help me become a board-certified physician?

Some massage therapists pursue board certification after completing their training at an accredited college or university. Board certification differs from state licensure in that it is recognized across the country, whereas licensure is required by law at the state level.

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork administers board certification (NCBTMB). Obtaining board certification necessitates proof of schooling from an NCBTMB-approved institution, as well as passing a difficult online exam administered by the NCBTMB.

The NCBTMB exam may be used as a substitute for the MBLEx in some states, so be sure to check your state’s licensing requirements. If you’re approved by the NCBTMB, you’ll be able to call yourself a “Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork” (NCTMB) massage therapist on your resume and other professional documents. Every two years, Board Certification must be renewed.

David Krug