Training for Massage Therapy

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Massage therapy is fast becoming an appealing career choice for young professionals. Finding the proper training is easy, and job possibilities are endless. In addition, the money is very lucrative. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to healing both the body and soul for a living.

  1. Dedicate a few months to devouring all the information you can find on the art of massage therapy. Visit your local library and used book store, and search the Internet. Study the historical and cultural origins of massage therapy. Investigate the different types of massage and the therapeutic benefits of each. Start jotting your new knowledge into a special notebook or binder. Become a self-taught expert before jumping into formal training and you'll be amazed at how smooth the road to certification will be.
  2. Decide on your specialty. Your interest in becoming a massage therapist shows that that you have a natural desire to make people feel good. A typical raining curriculum includes fundamental techniques such as Deep Tissue, Swedish and Trigger Point therapy. You can also choose to specialize in a more medicinal or therapeutic massage technique, such as Pregnancy, Infant or Medical massage. If you are an animal lover, you can even specialize in the niche area of animal massage. After training for the basic certification, you can continue on to become certified in your specialty area.
  3. Investigate certification requirements. If you live in the state where you intend to practice, local accredited schools will offer training programs that meet state certification requirements. However, if you plan on moving after graduation, you should investigate certification in that state and try to come as close as possible to meeting those requirements with your curriculum. This will help to reduce the amount of training courses you may have to take at your new place of residence.
  4. Find an accredited school. Call the schools in your area to ask questions or stop by to pick up brochures. Most community colleges and universities offer degrees/certifications in massage therapy, and therefore provide financial aid options as well.
  5. Build a reputation. Practice on your friends and family and you will never lack for volunteers! This is one hands-on occupation where practice definitely makes perfect. As you near graduation, ask for help in finding an internship or apprenticeship where you can train under a respected local massage therapist (preferably in the field that you want to specialize in). Volunteer through different organizations or offer several hours a week at the local hospital or rehabilitation center. No one will turn down a free massage, and you will appreciate all the hands-on training while you finish school.
  6. Get a job. With a degree or certification in massage therapy, your career choices are endless. Would you like to work as a massage therapist on a cruise line? How does working at a resort or casino sound? If you specialize in medical massage, find your local cancer, heart or children's hospital and present your services. If you chose to specialize in animal massage, call local veterinary clinics. Have business cards printed with your credentials. Write a professional resume and list all of your training experience.
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