Massage therapists can specialize in more than 80 different types of massage. According to the Medical Massage Practitioners of America (MMPA), Medical Massage is “result-oriented, and the treatment is specifically directed to resolve conditions that have been diagnosed and prescribed by a physician. The therapist may use a variety of modalities or procedures during the treatment, but will focus that treatment only on the areas of the body related to the diagnosis and prescription.” Medical massage is not limited to any particular specific technique.
The medical benefits of “friction” were first recognized by the Greek physician Hippocrates around 400 B.C. Today, massage therapy is used as a means of treating pain, decompressing tired and overworked muscles, reducing stress, rehabilitating sports injuries and promoting general health. By manipulating the soft tissue of the body including fascia and skin, muscles, and lymphatic system circulation is improved and waste products are removed from the muscles and their supporting systems.
Massage therapy may help cancer and other patients dealing with severe illness to cope with the stress, anxiety, fatigue, pain, and problems associated with diagnosis and treatment. The medical community widely embraces this complementary form of cancer therapy for its mind-body healing benefits. Unlike conventional medicine, massage therapy addresses the whole person, not just the body.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 2010 data of 154 thousand jobs nationwide with a 20% increases in growth over the next ten years. This is a faster than average increase. The average salary is about 35K per year. Those working as self-employed massage therapists usually work as independent contractors or own their own business. Those who are not self-employed usually find employment in places such as physician and chiropractic offices, massage therapy day spas or fitness centers. Those working for themselves or a company often practice massage therapy as a way to earn a second income. Metropolitan areas, resorts and destination locations offer massage therapists many job options.
Massage Therapists who complete proper Medical Massage training will have access to more job opportunities. As state licensing and requirements become continuously refined and updated, massage therapy will grow increasingly respected in the industry.
SWIHA’s Massage Clinic offers scheduled appointments with both student and licensed massage therapists in our relaxing and spa-like setting. Experience a rejuvenating massage therapy session yourself. Please visit our Massage Clinic page to schedule an appointment today.
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