So, you’re interested in becoming a massage therapist. You’ve made a great choice! This field leads to a lot of job satisfaction and you will find that you are excited to go to work every single day. Before you get started in the field of massage therapy, here is what you need to know.

How Massage Helps People

Massage isn’t just about making others feel good (although it does that too!). It is good for the mind, body and soul. It can help a client relax and deal with stress in a healthy way. Massage also has a lot of medical benefits. These include:

-Improving circulation

-Relieving muscle tension

-Helping with nerve compression

-Increasing energy

-Aiding in the healing of muscle tears

Being a massage therapist is so much more than just giving a client a massage. You will need to make sure the environment where you are performing massage is soothing and will need to have a comfortable spa massage table. Before the massage you will need to discuss with the client what their needs are and what they want to get out of their massage. During the actual massage, the massage therapist should check with their client to make sure that they are comfortable. For those with regular clients, they need to keep track of the progress of their clients.

What You Need To Get Started

The requirements to become a massage therapist will vary with the state you live in. This is why it’s important to check the requirements, with your state’s regulatory board, before starting a massage therapy program. This will ensure that the program you choose meets all of the minimum requirements needed to practice massage therapy. Once you find the right massage therapy program and enroll in it, you will have to complete anywhere from a little over 300 hours of training to up to 1,000. You may decide that you want to perform specialty massages that require additional training. One type of massage called, Asian bodywork, has become fairly popular. It focuses on finding energy channels in the body by using the hands and fingers. Dependent on your schedule and the type of massage therapy that you want to perform, you might be able to complete all of your training in less than 2 months. This is a real perk for those that want to start their career fairly quickly. However, after you complete your training you will need to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam, often referred to as the MBLEx. The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards administers it. You will need to pass it before you can practice massage therapy. After you have completed all of the requirements and passed the MBLEx, you can work in a variety of places which include:

-Rehab clinics or hospitals

-Spas

-Cruise ships

-Hotels

-Health and wellness centers

You also have the ability to open up your own private practice. If you are an entrepreneur at heart and are very dedicated, this may be a good fit. You will get to set your own hours and have a lot more flexibility by being self-employed. However, you might not have the support you need or equipment that you would have access to if you worked for someone else. It’s expensive to have your own business as you will have to buy numerous items like massage oils, towels and massage tables. This can be difficult for some individuals, especially those that are just starting out in the field of massage therapy. It’s not uncommon for individuals to start out working for someone else and then branch off to open their own massage therapy business after they’ve been in the field for a couple of years, gained some experience and saved up some money to buy equipment and supplies.

As you can see, a massage therapist can really make a difference in a client’s life. They can relieve pain, help someone recover from an injury or just improve their overall state of mind. If you are interested in becoming a massage therapist, you can easily complete your training in a short period of time. Once you pass the MBLEx, you can work in a variety of fields and branch out on your own. If you are looking for a career where you can have high job satisfaction and help people, then this may be the career for you.