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What Does a Massage Therapist Do?

massage therapy what does massage therapist do massage therapy training programMassage therapy can be a fun and exciting career for you!

The common saying “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life,” may be a useful piece of advice for those choosing a new career path. A frequent complaint heard from many people today is that they’re stuck in a job they find boring or uninspiring. It’s important to find a job that makes you happy and gives you purpose.

If you’re considering entering a new career field, a fun and desirable career path may be that of a massage therapist. Before you enroll in a massage therapy training program, you should first examine the role a massage therapist plays to see if the job description fits the type of career you want.

The Role of a Massage Therapist

As a massage therapist, you’ll provide massage techniques and health and wellness services for your clients. Massage therapists use a range of techniques to relieve the pain in muscles and soft tissues in various parts of the body. Different massage modalities may also help calm a patient’s mind and improve circulation in their body.

Professional masseuses are trained to provide techniques like deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, Shiatsu, hot stone therapy, Thai massage, and sports massage among others. They assist the health and well-being of their clients by using their hands, elbows, fingers, forearms, and sometimes feet, to relieve tension in the muscles and soft tissues of the body.

Massage therapists speak with their clients to evaluate and identify the focal points of their pain and aches. Before scheduled massages, these professionals undergo a patient consultation to get a sense of the patients’ expectations and to ask patients questions about any pain or discomfort they may have and to learn or update their medical histories. Masseuses need to communicate occasionally throughout the massage process to make sure their patients feel comfortable with their techniques and the amount of pressure they apply. Depending on the environment or facility, massage therapists may massage patients from five minutes to an hour.

During a typical day, a massage therapists’ duties include the following:

  • Communicate with clients about symptoms and expectations
  • Record medical histories and updates in patient medical charts
  • Evaluate patients for pain
  • Perform various massage techniques on painful or tense muscles and soft tissues
  • Provide relaxation to clients
  • Educate clients on techniques to stretch and strengthen muscles at home

The techniques you use on patients may vary depending on their age and pain tolerance. You can stay active and fulfilled with a mixture of professional socialization, therapy techniques, and business management throughout the day.

The Workplace

Massage therapists may work in a various work settings. They frequently work in spas, health clinics, doctors’ offices, hotels, and fitness centers. Sometimes massage therapists operate their own private practices. Others may perform their services in the homes of clients. Often, massage professionals bring or offer their own massage table, chair, linens, and body lotions during patient appointments.

Massage therapists can assess how busy they are by the number of appointments they have each day. Oftentimes, their hours fluctuate. Professionals, particularly those who are self-employed, need to manage marketing and promotions, finances, and assist in administrative duties like scheduling appointments and patient billing. They’ll also have to maintain the cleanliness of their facility or the supplies they use like linens and massage tables.

Apply to a Massage Therapy Training Program at the Harris School

The Harris School of Business features a massage therapy training program at our campuses in Linwood, Hamilton, and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. We also offer courses at our locations in Dover and Wilmington, Delaware. Courses in the program include Massage Therapy: The Science of Touch, Anatomy and Physiology Fundamentals, The Art of Massage Therapy, and The Business of Massage Therapy. The program provides students with the opportunity to learn about classical and therapeutic massage techniques. Communication and business skills are also highlighted in this program so students may go out into the professional world and know how to manage their own businesses. Our program can also offer you the chance for a hands-on massage externship so you can get all the practice you need to build a budding career as a massage therapist!

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, a publication of the US Department of Labor, the massage therapy career path is projected to increase by 22% from 2014-2024. Now may be a convenient time to become enter a massage therapy training program!

If you want to learn more about our massage training program, read our article: 7 FAQs about Massage Therapy Training.

If massage therapy seems like a fun and exciting career path for you, then contact the Harris School to learn more about applying or to schedule a tour. We look forward to hearing from you!