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Did you know that between July 2014 and July 2015, roughly 39 million American adults had a massage at least once? Bottom line, if almost 40 million American adults want massages, there needs to be people who are able to give them. Those who are licensed to give massages have completed their massage therapy diploma and taken a state exam to obtain their license in the state they want to practice
We often get asked what is the difference between medical massage and spa massage. Spa and medical massage are often the same modalities of massage, but it’s the goal of the massage that distinguishes the two. Spa massage is often referred to as relaxation massage, where the therapist is ultimately focused on the satisfaction of the client. The environment often includes luxuries that put the client at ease.
In clinical massage, the goal is to address a specific issue or condition to provide relief from pain and discomfort. The treatment is highly individualized based on the client’s needs.
Medical massage therapy college diploma programs can provide the resources necessary to develop your understanding of massage therapy, allowing you the opportunity to prepare for the state examinations which are required to begin practicing as a Licensed Massage Therapist.
Being a licensed massage therapist doesn’t limit you to working in a spa setting. Massage is offered in a variety of locations and to a variety of clients to achieve a variety of treatment goals. Here are a few ways that you can use your medical massage therapy training:
With the population of people 65 and older projected to approach 54 million in 2020, there will be a higher demand for wellness therapies in health care. Instead of having clients, you will have patients with a wide range of medical conditions that can benefit from your medical massage expertise. A medical massage therapist in rehab clinics and hospitals may need to know massage techniques relevant to the health care setting, such as cancer massage, pregnancy massage or neuromuscular therapy.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, the top place in 2015 to receive a massage for the first time changed from spas to massage therapist’s office or location. Massage therapy clinics are becoming a popular place for massage therapists to put to use their medical massage therapy diploma. At Daymar College, medical massage therapy college students receive hands-on experience in our own on-site massage clinic, helping prepare you for future employment in a massage therapy clinic.
The Massage Therapy Foundation states that massage and chiropractic care have been coined as alternative healthcare’s “dynamic duo.” The integration of massage therapists into a doctor’s office or chiropractic office varies, but you will most likely find yourself collaborating with your colleagues. In this setting, you must be able to work well as a team member to provide the best care for your clients.
In a nursing home, with more fragile clients, you must be patient and flexible as a medical massage therapist. These clients are most likely seeking pain relief, relaxation and increased range of joint motion. The therapy session must be adjusted to the needs of the client and their physical capabilities. As a medical massage therapist in a nursing home setting, you must also be willing to work with care coordinators and nurses.
According to the International Spa Association, massage is the number one spa treatment people seek out globally. Consumers head to spas seeking relaxation and relief from stress. Those who use their medical massage therapy college diploma to practice massage therapy in a spa may be hired as an employee of the spa or as an independent contractor.
For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, starting your own private practice may be a fulfilling route to take. With more flexibility and freedom comes more responsibility. But, for some, being involved in all aspects of the business—the finances, marketing, client contact and logistics—is the most ideal way to take on a medical message therapy career.
With a medical massage therapy license, you do not have to limit yourself to one kind of work setting. In this industry, you can work alone and manage all aspects of your own business, or work with other massage therapists or health care professionals. Regardless of the direction you choose to take your medical massage expertise, your desire to enhance the life of your client or patient is the ultimate goal.