Massage therapy is a medical modality in which the therapist uses various massage techniques to manipulate the joints and soft tissues of the body for therapeutic reasons. They may propose treatment plans for better range of motion of the joints.
The main job of a massage therapist is to assess a patient’s needs through massage. This will include assessing the condition of the patient’s range of joint motion, quality and function of each joint, muscle strength and more. Using this information they may refer clients to other medical professionals for treatment or proceed with an in office treatment plan. They may treat patients in their office or they may travel to a patient’s home or work space. They use a variety of tools as a part of their job. These may include heat and cold compresses, infrared lamps, ice, aquatic therapy techniques and much more. They develop a treatment plan for various types of massages to be used on the patient. They provide their clients with information on at home therapies and ways to improve their condition. They massage muscles and soft tissues to provide pain relief or to correct problems such as injuries and accidental tears in the muscles and tissues. They prepare and mix oils to apply to the patient’s skin to further their massage techniques.
Massage Therapist Salary:
The current national average for massage therapist salary in the United States is about $40,000 a year. The amount that a massage therapist makes will depend on the amount of experience they have, the type of clients that they work with, the place that they work, the specialty that they work in and even the state that they work in. Location is very important to the amount that you will be offered for the massage therapist salary. The top states to work in are New York, Washington State,Vermont, Delaware and Alaska. All of these states offer massage therapist incomes from $53,000 to $86,000 per year. The top cities to work in are Grand Haven, MI at $64,000 yearly, Mount Vernon, WA at $64,000 per year, Hanover, PA at $77,000 a year, Covallis, OR at $80,000 a year and Anchorage, AK at $86,000 per year. The most jobs can be found in the following states: Illinois, Washington, Texas, Florida and California. The majority of these states offer average massage therapist salary of around $35,000 to $38,000 a year.
Massage Therapist Education:
In order to become a massage therapist you will need to attend an accredited massage therapy program. The time that it takes to complete your training will depend on the state that you intend to work in. Different states have different requirements. These can range from 330 hours to 1000 hours of training in an educational environment. This can take anywhere from about 12 weeks to 2 years of training. Course work will include anatomy and physiology, neurology, pathology, clinical applications, kinesiology, reflexology, massage therapies, shiatsu, spa therapies and more. Course work will include classroom work and practical clinical classes in which you will work with actual clients.
Massage Therapist Work Environment:
The work environment for a massage therapist varies. It will depend on what type of facility that you work in. This can be in a medical office, a spa, a hospital, a clinic, a fitness center or even in your own home or your client’s home. Many massage therapists provide their own equipment including a massage table or chair, oils, sheets and pillows for their clients comfort. The type of massage will also indicate the type of environment used. If it is for medical reasons, it is typically a more medical setting. However, if it is done for relaxation or stress relief the environment may be dimly lit with candles and incense. The job of a massage therapist is physically demanding as you will be standing for several hours and bending over your clients. There is also a high chance of injuries due to these conditions. Using proper massage techniques will limit injuries. The majority of massage therapists will work a part time schedule. Less than twenty five percent of all massage therapists work a full time schedule. Hours worked will vary on the clients you have at the time.
As a massage therapist, you have the chance to have a career in which you can feel independent and you are in control of the amount of money that you can make. You will be in charge of your client load and you even have the ability to work for yourself out of your own home in addition to having a job within a clinic or hospital. You will need to have a good business sense as not only will you be seeing clients, but you will also have to perform business tasks such as marketing, booking clients, washing linens, bookkeeping and more.