Massage therapy involves the use of touch for manipulating the soft tissues of the body. It is primarily intended to improve blood circulation, relieve pain, reduce stress and anxiety, heal injuries, and provide relaxation to clients. Massage therapists are responsible for communicating with clients and finding out about their symptoms and medical history. This enables them to identify the most appropriate type of massage for the client's specific needs. They also provide counseling related to matters like strengthening, stretching, relaxation, posture improvement, and monitor the client's condition and progress throughout the duration of the therapy.
If you are looking to start a career in the area of massage and physical therapy, acquiring a certificate will prove to be helpful. These certificates may be pursued through distance learning courses. Earning your massage certification online does not sacrifice the quality of the education and training you gain. Online education allows you to keep your current job, and study within the comfort and convenience of your home. However, due to the hands-on training required, some institutes offer hybrid courses that require students to attend some on-campus classes too. You usually are not required to have any prior academic knowledge related to the discipline before you start the certification program.
Certificate programs are designed to provide the students with comprehensive knowledge of physical anatomy, massaging techniques, and therapeutic practices. There may be variations in the types and titles of courses being offered by different institutes, but examples of some courses include:
Anatomy and Physiology
Energy Techniques Course
Swedish Massage Course
Sports Massage Course
The coursework will teach students about the benefits of massage therapy and the effects of massage on the body. They'll learn about medical conditions that could be treated with the help of massage and how to deal with any contraindications. Students study about western techniques as well as Asian massage techniques along with their expected results and performance methods.
Many graduates find employment in various public or privately owned businesses like spas, wellness centers, hospitals, hotels, and offices. Alternatively some may be self-employed and work independently as private massage contractors. Some example positions for graduates of massage therapy certification programs include hotel masseuse, health spa masseuse, sports massage therapist, and clinical masseuse. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2012, massage therapists earned a median annual salary of $35,970. The BLS estimates suggest a good employment outlook for the profession, with a much faster than average growth rate of 23 percent from 2012 to 2022.
Certification and Licensure
In order to practice as a massage therapist, you may be required to obtain certification or a license from a state or national agency. The requirement may vary depending on the state in which you live. Certification is also a good way of enhancing your employment prospects, and indicating to prospective employers and clients that you meet state or national standards and you are committed to the field. After completing an online program, you may become eligible to take certification exams including the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage (NCETM) certification exam, National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) certification exam, and the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) administered by the Federation of States Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB).