Massage therapy careers have the potential to provide positive working environments, flexible schedules and lucrative earnings. Because physicians frequently recommend massage therapy to patients these days, candidates with “healing hands” can pursue a massage education at one of several accredited massage therapy schools.
In a massage program, students gain hands-on instruction in a variety of health-related science like anatomy, physiology and musculoskeletal pathology. In addition to general biosciences, healing arts schools will regularly extend training in CPR and first aid, as well as muscular testing (kinesiology).
Traditionally, the vast majority of vocational massage courses give students practical training in Swedish massage, deep tissue massage and sports massage; however, a growing number of technical schools and alternative medicine schools have integrated Asian bodywork therapies like acupressure, Shiatsu, Chinese medical massage (Tuina), Lomi Lomi (Hawaiian massage), craniosacral therapy, Rolfing, Trigger Point, medical massage, as well as numerous other modalities.
Some of the more centralized curriculums involve studies like reflexology, chair massage, and meridian therapy. While each educational program varies, the normal length of a massage course will range between 300 and 500 hours. However, with the expansion of integrative medicine, more and more health schools have begun increasing these training hours to well over 1,000 and in some cases, may provide degree programs in medical massage or massage therapy. Candidates who successfully complete all required coursework and clinical training achieve certification, diplomas or a degree.