Neuromuscular Massage Training
If you choose a career in massage therapy, you will find there are many different massage techniques. Eastern therapies focus on massage with Asian roots. They include Thai and Ayurvedic massage. Many of these therapies incorporate yoga, meditation, and herbs. Western therapies, commonly practiced in the United States, feature Swedish massage for relaxation, and deep tissue massage for the relief of pain. If you choose to learn Western therapies, much of your training will focus on neuromuscular massage (NMT).
Neuromuscular massage training will teach you about the physiology of the nervous system and how it affects the body's muscular and skeletal systems. Expect to learn anatomy, physiology, pathology, and lymphatic drainage massage. After training, you will know how to locate trigger points in the body and deactivate them using pressure from your fingers. This type of massage addresses the underlying problems behind the pain your patients feel. During a career as a massage therapist, you may perform several therapies during one massage.
You will learn neuromuscular massage and other modalities through lectures and demonstrations. You will learn to recognize adhesions in the body structures, restriction of blood flow, and nerve compressions. During the early part of your training, you will practice what you learn on your fellow students. Instructors will supervise and evaluate your massage techniques, giving you suggestions on how to improve. Finally, you may give massages to paying customers in a practice clinic. This will allow you to perfect your techniques and business skills.
How much training you need before practicing neuromuscular massage for pay depends on what state you work in. Each state regulates massage at its own discretion. Some states do not have minimum education standards or licensing laws. Those that do require at least 500 hours of training, which meets the standards of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Most state board exams require that you have some knowledge of neuromuscular massage to pass the exam.
The cost of training depends on your location, and whether you enroll in a private program or one at a community college. As of 2010, some programs start at $4,000 or less and can cost as much as $26,000. According to www.costhelper.com, a private program in East Hampton, Massachusetts offers an 800-hour massage therapy program for $3,600, while one community college in Vermont offers a two-year associate degree massage program for out-of-state students that cost $26,000. After training, you may use neuromuscular massage training in a clinical or medical environment. If you prefer to work independently, you can start a private massage practice specializing in neuromuscular massage.