As a massage therapists you will need to understand as many different techniques and massage methods as possible. Most massage therapy schools in California will focus on 2-3 different ones however you’ll learn more once you start your job as well as pick up others the longer you stay in the industry.
Some of the more advanced techniques include: Raindrop Technique, Rayid Method, Reflective Healing, Soft Tissue Release, Shiatus and Soma and more. Additional advanced techniques include:
Abhyanga – This massage involves the use of oil and aromatic herbs to help relax the client.
Applied Kinesiology – Is the study of chemical aspects of the body. You’ll help use a special diet and acupressure for your client. The technique involves using applied pressure on the body for a few minutes to target areas.
Bindi – This technique uses herbal treatments and algae exfoliation.
Cryotherapy – As the name applies the massage therapist uses ice to help with swelling and inflammation that clients has.
Crystledyne Therapy – Is the use of crystals and acupressure to release endorphins in the body.
Deep Tissue – Those who have chronic muscle tension usually need deep tissue massage. Often those with sports injuries have routine deep tissue massage to help speed up their recovery. This involves advanced training technique that sometimes isn’t covered in class.
Geriatric Massage – This type of massage focuses on the elder. Many nursing homes in California employ geriatric massage therapists. This involves understanding the sensitive nature of your client.
Lastone Therapy – You’ll use stones of different sizes and temperatures on your client’s body.
Macrobiotic Shiatsu – Not all massage therapy techniques are strictly massage. In Macrobiotic Shiatsu you’ll also combine diet and philosophy.
Oncology Massage – Cancer patients need a special kind of massage. You’ll need to understand their psychological needs, recovery plans as well as how to work with cancer survivors.
California has a lot of schools that offer massage therapy so look at all of your options before enrolling but make sure to fully research the top reasons why others enroll in a particular school.
School Accreditation: Make 100% sure the school you intend on enrolling in is fully accredited by an accrediting body that is accredited by the Department of Education. Not all accreditations are the same. You can always visit the DOE’s website that will list all of the accrediting agencies.
Job Placement Rates: One of the reasons why we like massage therapy as a career is that they typically have a high placement rate. Schools build relationships with companies that hire their graduates. We do work with several schools that have extremely high job rates for their graduates as they work with cruise ships and spas that are always in need of graduates will to travel.
Types of Massage Taught: As mentioned before you are usually taught the most popular massage therapy techniques during school. Take advantage of any other specialized training you can pick up by either the school or at your job.
What Makes a Good School? Different things make schools special including the type of programs they offer, student involvement, tuition rates, program length, reputation and more. Get a list together to talk to your advisor about so you feel comfortable before enrolling.
Employer Reimbursement: Sometimes your current employer will offer tuition reimbursement regardless of the type of education you are going for. Be sure to check with your human resource department to see what options you have.
The median salary in California $46,557 for massage therapists with at least 3 years of experience. Most entry level positions will range from $30,000 to $35,000 per year. The current number of massage therapist is 12,200 that are employed and the number is growing.
Top cities including:
Anaheim, CA - $42,500
Corona, CA - $41,250
Vacaville, CA including Sacramento, CA - $41,700
Los Angeles Area - $41,000
San Diego, CA - $42,630
San Jose, CA - $43,222
Carson, CA - $39,790
Ontario, CA - $40,541
Riverside, CA $35,330
Palm Springs, CA $44,229
Long Beach (and beach cities) - $42,512
Rene O’Riely is a massge therapist on a cruise ship and has spent the last 5 years traveling the world with her new career. She gave us an exclusive interview where we talked to us about her career and offered some advice for those who just started their training.
Where do you live?
I live in Newport Beach, CA however I’m only at my home for less than a week each month as my job takes me all over the world.
How did you become a massage therapists?
I went to school like most people however I never attended college and went right into training as soon as I graduated high school. I enrolled in a local massage therapy college in Los Angeles and within 10 months I was able to graduate.
Why did you decide on a cruise ship?
Funny enough I never really even considered it until about a month before my graduation date. I was working with the career services department when they showed me all of the possible cruise lines that had openings for entry level technicians. My school had built a really good connection with a cruise ship and had placed over 200 over the years so I knew with my determination and organizational skills I could get a job fairly easily and took full opportunity of the situation.
How is massage on a ship different?
One thing you’ll learn and I was taught is to always treat every client like they will be back the next day. On a cruise ship I can see the same client 10 times over the course of their vacation. One of the biggest disadvantages is that you do have a short period of time to fully understand your clients.
Talk to us about your salary
I’m paid a flat rate that I accepted when I took the job however I am paid more depending on how many tips I do that month. One thing that always changes however are the tips I receive.
What do you like best about your job?
Without a doubt the travel is the best part. During my first year I never took the time to enjoy the trips or the locations the ship visited but now I take my time and visit each port.
California Massage Therapy Council - https://www.camtc.org/
American Massage Therapy Association - https://www.amtamassage.org/index.html
American Massage Therapy Association - http://www.amta-ca.org/
California Massage Schools Association - http://www.camsa4u.com/