Working as a massage therapist is very rewarding work with a lot of benefits including the opportunity to set up your own business and decide your own working hours, but how do you get into this line of work and what do you need to know?
If you like helping people and supporting them in their health and wellbeing then this could be the perfect job for you. Clients come to massage therapists for a number of reasons, including relaxation, muscle tension issues, and aches and pains, or for specialists it could be dealing with sports injury problems or rehabilitation clients.
Skills Required for Massage Therapy
To become a massage therapist you need to make sure you have the right qualities and characteristics initially, which include being a good listener, understanding the needs of customers, and being calm and welcoming.
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It’s also important to be a good timekeeper as some clients might feel so relaxed they want to chat or may even fall asleep on the table but you need to be ready for your next appointment so having the diplomacy to end a session gently is a vital skill.
You will need to study massage at a recognized college or institution and displaying those qualifications on the wall will help to provide peace of mind to clients that they are in the hands of a professional. It could well make all the difference to a client and could mean they choose to use your services rather than someone who is not qualified.
A qualification in massage therapy could take around six months to achieve and there are a variety of options to choose from including a basic certificate, which is available for a range of different massage types.
It then depends on what level you wish to achieve but you can build up training and experience through a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) program or undertake more high-level courses, including a professional diploma.
For specialist areas, such as sports massage and rehabilitation, it is also possible to study these at the university level, due to the more in-depth knowledge of the human body which is required for this type of therapy.
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Another way to reassure your clients and to increase your professional massage therapist status, once qualified, is to get accredited by one of the national massage therapy accreditation bodies as that provides even more evidence of your knowledge and professionalism.
Moving on to Specialist Training
It may be that once you have trained in the basics of massage technique that you decide to specialize in a particular style of massage or a particular area of therapy, which will require further professional training.
Examples of some specialist massage therapy that you could opt for include:
- Hot stone
- Deep tissue
Flexible Working Solutions
As a massage therapist, you might be working full-time from a gym or sports center, or in a dedicated health center, or setting up at home so clients come to you. It can be a full-time profession or just a part-time job in the evenings to top up your income.
If you have children you can book appointments to fit in with your childcare arrangements and if you are working for yourself it can be one of the most flexible jobs you can go for.
Other skills which you might need if you have decided to set up as an independent massage therapist are those required for running a business from your home or any premises from which you might decide to work from.
In this case, alongside your professional skills, you will need to know how to register as a business, how to organize your taxes, what kind of insurances you need, and how to run your accounts and appointments, as well as marketing your business to attract clients.
Becoming a massage therapist is a great way to be able to help people who are suffering from aches and pains and seeing the difference just one session can make to somebody can be incredibly rewarding.
It is a very physically demanding job for the therapist so it’s a great role to take on if you enjoy being active and keeping up your personal fitness and strength, particularly if you take part in some of the more rigorous therapies like sports massage.
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If you enjoy meeting people and have a genuine interest in helping to improve their health and wellbeing, as well as providing instant relief for their aches, pains, and tight muscles, then becoming a massage therapist could be the ideal career.
Getting an official qualification and accreditation will not only give you confidence in your own skills but will also give your clients the boost they need by knowing they are in safe hands with you.