Massages are like tickles: you can't really do it to yourself as well as someone else can, and it just makes you happy all over. Any time we feel that tightness in our necks, our shoulders, our backs, our hands, or anywhere else, we crave the experienced touch of a massage therapist to cure our aches. There's no denying that massages feel so good, and we tend to put those individuals who can give us a good one onto a unique pedestal. Often times when we relax, we try to relax our mind and we do this by reading, watching television, or just sleeping.
But massages remind us that there is something else that needs just as much relief: our bodies. When you earn an Associate's Degree in massage therapy, you will become one of the prized individuals who are placed on a pedestal and who can deliver the physical relaxation that is so uncommon.
Massage therapists are often confused with masseuses. A masseuse provides a massage to help us feel better and relax. When we hear the word "massage" we are often so enraptured with the idea that someone is going to rub our aches right out of our muscles that we completely miss the word "therapy" that comes right after it. A massage therapist's responsibilities differ from a masseuse's in that they attempt to treat particular ailments of patients. Unlike pharmaceuticals, massage therapists merely use the touch of their hands to relieve pain, reduce cramping, rehabilitate injuries, and decrease stress. A therapist is trained not just to make patients feel good, but to consider their skills as a type of natural treatment for the physical stress our bodies undergo.
In light of these considerations, massage therapists spend time talking with clients about symptoms and histories so that they can properly target appropriate results for this therapy. Even specific types of evaluations and assessments are utilized to learn more about a patient's body than the patient may necessarily know. The therapist then selects the appropriate techniques for meeting their target goals, and they provide advice to clients about how to improve their bodies in the future following the massage.
The vast majority of massage therapists are self-employed, working within their own clinics or traveling to places that request their presence. Spa and salons also known as personal care services, employ massage therapists to give their customers the special relaxation experience they're looking for. Physicians might also assign their patients to regular see a massage therapist at one of these locations. Chiropractors' offices are also a common employment location, as such an office target many similar techniques and goals that massage therapists utilize. Fitness and recreation organizations and businesses often have massage therapists to work on soothing those areas particular affected by a day's work out, and even certain hotels feature massage therapists as part of their luxurious travel accommodations.
Someone pursuing a degree in massage therapy will find their program course of study packed with classes that study the sciences, like anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. There are many different massage techniques that they'll become adept with. And they'll also find more practical courses related to business administration and ethics.
Massages are indeed like tickles, and here's one more similarity: there are millions of individuals who are aching to benefit from both. While you might consider yourself an expert tickler, it's time to gain the hands-on experience that will really put the magic into your fingers and the knowledge into your head. Massage therapists are able to work small miracles into our muscles and skin. So with your associate's degree in massage therapy you'll be equipped to work with clients and regularly provide them with the knowledge, the goals, the advice, and the touch they need to feel good.
When researching schools for your massage therapy associates degree it is a good idea to keep an open mind as every school will be different in what they offer. Below are just some of the main areas we recommended looking into first.
Curriculum – What areas of massage therapy does the school cover? Some schools focus on a particular type of massage such as: Swedish, Sports Massage, Prenatal, Deep Tissue and more. It is important they cover what you want to learn. Also does the school offer a course that will help you find clients as well as retain them? This is extremely important, especially if you want to own your own massage therapy business.
Program Length –How long is the massage therapy associates program? Typically any Associates degree will last approx. 24 months. We do know some accelerated degree programs that can be completed in 15-18 months so be sure to shop around before enrolling, especially if you have a particular timeframe in which you want to graduate.
Once you graduate with your Associates degree in massage therapy you can either try to find a full-time job at a company that already has clients waiting for you or you can choose to start your own business and find your own clients. Below are some of the top ways to find new clients.
Go Door-to-Door – This method doesn’t require you to actually knock on doors looking for clients but many successful massage therapists use door hangers to advertise their new business.
SEO Marketing – One of the harder but more productive ways is to develop your own website and use online marketing to find new clients. These clients will turn to the web to find massage therapists and if done correctly you’ll be able to show up in the search engines so you’ll be found.
Business Connections – Do you know someone working in a corporate setting? Reach out and offer up your massage services. Many massage therapists work exclusively at large companies and having a contract with just a few companies can turn into a full-time job.
Fitness Facilities – Often gyms hire outside therapists for on-site therapy sessions. Often they want sports massages to help alleviate pain from a workout or even an injury.
Sports Teams – Sports teams hire massage therapist for after practice massages. They also work with sports medicine doctors to help with sports injuries.
Hospitals and Rehabilitation Centers – Many hospitals as well as rehabilitation centers employ massage therapists both full as part-time positions.
Cruise Ships – Many of the schools listed already have great relationships with cruise lines in fact they often have employment ready for you when you graduate. We are excited to have these schools listed as it takes pressure off of students so they don’t have to worry about finding a job.
Resorts – Like with cruise ships resorts hire a large number of massage therapists to take care of their guests.
As a massage therapists your salary will depend upon several factors. The first career path will be a full-time massage therapist which your salary will average around $37,500 per year. This will however depend upon which state you are working in. The second career path is that of an independent massage therapist where you charge each client by the hour. Your prices per hour range from $50 to 150. The industry is expected to increase 23% over the next 8 years and currently has over 165K jobs.