A Career in Massage Therapy

Massage therapists use hands-on techniques to manipulate soft tissues and relieve pain. They also communicate with clients to understand their needs and preferences.


Credentials indicate a massage practitioner’s qualifications, ability and training. They may include professional designations that vary by state and certifying organization. They may also include certification exam results. Visit https://www.flowstate918.com/ to learn more.

Many states require massage therapists to complete at least 500 hours of training. The curriculum at most career training schools or community colleges is structured around the science of massage therapy, with classes in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and contraindications to massage (conditions or symptoms that make it inappropriate). Students usually learn classic techniques such as Swedish and deep tissue work. In addition, most programs include coursework in hygiene, professionalism and communication skills. Some schools are accredited by a national organization such as the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation or the National Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Many massage schools incorporate hands-on learning as a vital component of the program, often requiring students to complete externships at spas or wellness centers. This enables students to gain experience with real clients and provides the foundation for starting their own private practice upon graduation. Some massage schools also offer additional modalities not covered in the core curriculum, such as sports massage, energy healing, craniosacral therapy and ayurvedic massage.

In some states, massage therapists must pass a board certification exam in order to become licensed to practice. These exams are based on the curriculum and requirements set by the state’s Office of the Professions, which regulates massage therapy education, sets instruction, training and exam standards for massage therapists, and enforces ethics and licensing rules for the profession.

In addition to passing a state-approved exam, graduates of massage therapy programs must have at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. They must complete at least 500 hours of classroom and clinical instruction, of which at least 250 must be in hands-on practical application. The Office of the Professions creates this curriculum and maintains a list of approved schools, and examines massage therapists for licensure, taking appropriate legal action against those who violate the rules and regulations. This office also establishes and updates state massage regulations, including training and education standards, professional practices, and the use of massage modalities. Its website provides detailed information about these laws and regulations.


Massage therapists can work in spas, resorts and hotels; at gyms and health clubs; on cruise ships; with professional sports programs and teams; holistic clinics and wellness centers, many prestigious hospitals or in private practice. Those who obtain a degree from an accredited massage therapy school have the most options for employment.

In addition to completing a minimum number of training hours, most states require massage therapists to complete a state exam and to obtain a license before they can legally work. Those who graduate from an accredited massage therapy program are eligible to take the National Certification Board in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) examination.

The examination consists of questions on applied science, massage techniques and professionalism. Applicants must also pass a criminal background check and agree to adhere to NCBTMB ethical standards.

Many massage therapists pursue additional education to further their careers and improve their skills. This may include taking courses in specialized modalities such as reflexology, acupressure, sports massage and shiatsu. This additional training helps them treat a wider range of patients and injuries.

Massage has been proven effective in treating a wide variety of conditions, including anxiety, headaches and neck pain. In some cases, it can even help people with inflammatory arthritis and osteoporosis. However, it is important to communicate with your massage therapist about your health condition so they can adjust the pressure and technique used during the session.

Massage therapists can also join professional organizations to learn about the latest developments in their field. These organizations often offer career resources, a site to help promote their members’ services and liability insurance. The American Massage Therapy Association is an example of a professional organization that provides its members with these benefits.


A career as a massage therapist is one that can provide a flexible schedule, a competitive salary and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. To become a licensed massage therapist, or anywhere else in the United States, massage therapists must complete an accredited program, pass a national certification exam and fulfill any additional state requirements to get their license.

Getting your massage therapy license can be expensive, especially in the beginning stages of your career. In addition to the costs of your training and licensing fees, you may also need to purchase a massage table, business insurance and other supplies. You should research the specific cost of getting your massage therapist license in your area to ensure you are fully prepared for this investment.

Many states have websites dedicated to their licensure boards and have information on their requirements for massage therapists posted on those sites. However, it can be difficult to locate these materials amongst all of the other legislation and information on a state’s website. It is often easier to get the information you need by speaking directly with the massage therapist licensure board or regulating agency.

Another option is to consider joining a professional association, such as the American Massage Therapy Association, which provides its members with educational and networking resources as well as government relations. They can often help with finding the most up-to-date information on massage therapist license requirements in other states.

In fact, the AMTA has a section of its website dedicated to helping its members obtain their massage therapist licenses. In addition, the New York chapter of the AMTA has a free newsletter and hosts events for its members, as well as keeping its members up to date on state regulations via social media.


Massage therapists work in a variety of settings, including spas, health clinics and hospitals. In addition to providing clients with massage services, these professionals may also aid in rehabilitation and physical therapy. They are trained to manipulate the soft tissue of the body, which includes muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments. Massage can help to relieve pain, reduce stress and tension, and promote relaxation and healing.

Massage therapy is one of the oldest “healing arts,” dating back as far as 2700 B.C. It is used in many different cultures and a wide variety of conditions are addressed through this treatment method. Some massage therapists specialize in therapeutic massage and may work with a physician or other healthcare provider to design a treatment plan for specific patients.

During a massage session, the therapist uses their hands and fingers to manipulate soft tissue, applying various techniques and pressure levels to alleviate discomfort. They may use kneading, circular movements, vibration and tapping to stimulate blood flow and improve range of motion for the client. This helps to increase flexibility, decrease muscle tension and enhance recovery from athletic injuries.

After a thorough assessment of the patient, the therapist develops a treatment plan based on the individual’s needs. This may include recommendations for the client to perform at home or during regular sessions at the massage studio. Massage therapists also educate clients on self-care practices and provide tips for maintaining optimal physical well-being.

Most massage therapists are sole practitioners and work part-time. This is due to the physically demanding nature of the job as well as administrative duties such as scheduling, billing and keeping records. Massage therapists report high levels of satisfaction with their careers.