Massage therapists are currently in demand. Currently, there are more jobs in massage than there are massage therapists to fill them.
The Medical Massage sector is rapidly growing. In most states, massage therapy is covered for injuries sustained in car accidents and at work. More and more health insurance companies are paying for massage therapy for injuries, health conditions such as headaches, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, back/neck pain, and more. Hospitals are using massage in headache clinics, pain clinics, pediatric clinics, childbirth centers and in cancer treatment centers. Sports massage therapists work with people pursuing athletic activity – from training, pre and post event as well as rehabilitation from injuries.
Medical Massage Therapy
Most therapists in the medical massage sector start and run their own business which can be very rewarding both financially and emotionally. These types of clinics will work with back/neck pain, computer stress, headaches and injuries/diseases/conditions that massage therapy can help. You can also get a job in a medical massage clinic, but it usually requires more training than basic massage therapy school. There are some schools that will provide more training in this area.
You can also start your own hospital based massage program or get a job in one. Massage therapy is being used in headache and pain clinics in hospitals. It is also being used in cancer centers where massage therapy is used to help with the stress of cancer treatments and side effects of treatments like lymphadema and pain from surgeries.
More and more insurance companies are covering massage therapy. In most states, auto insurance companies will pay for massage therapy to help recover from auto accidents. Workers’ Compensation/Labor and Industries will also pay for massage therapy to help recover from injuries at work in most states. You will have to check your benefits. If it is not covered, you can also be apart of the movement to make this happen.
The term Medical Massage is what is more well known to the public, but in the profession this term is very controversial. There is no ONE type of massage that is medical massage. Every and any type of massage can be applied to almost any medical condition (ruling out contraindications). A better term would be clinical massage therapy.
There are many jobs available in the franchise/spa sector than there are massage therapists to fill them. These jobs start at $12 an hour. But who wants to go through all that training in massage school only to get paid $12 an hour when you can just get a job at a grocery store for about the same? Franchises have created a riff in the massage profession. The low cost massage has taken a toll on the massage profession but has also made massage therapy more available at a low cost. Their presence has also brought massage therapy more into the media, creating more awareness of massage therapy. Spa/franchise jobs focus mainly on relaxation massage which is also a very important part of healthcare. They can be a good place to start to get more experience to move on to high end spas that pay more or to help you get more training in working with medical conditions.
There are still some high end spas that will pay more and will have a tendency to have better working conditions. Your goal should be to work towards higher paying jobs – jobs that pay $35 or more is a good start. Some will pay up to $70 per hour depending on the fees charged and the services provided.
If you are planning on getting a job in massage rather than starting your own business, be sure you know what you are getting into before you go to massage school.
Sports Massage Therapy
Becoming a sports massage therapist is one of the paths you can follow as a massage therapist. You can work with everyday people who work out for fun and health or work with amateur to professional athletes as they pursue their sports.
More importantly than the specific career path, it is important to understand the 4 basic outcomes that massage can provide. It isn’t so much about the techniques or methods but what massage can or can’t do.
Wellness massage is massage for general wellness and relaxation. Most any type of massage can provide this. The massage therapist just has to take what they know and apply it to each persons unique situation.
Stress Management massage is closely related to wellness massage in that the main goal is relaxation. With stress though, pain can start to be an issue or is already a main issue.
Pain Management is a key outcome of massage therapy. Pain of headaches, injuries, various pain syndromes, arthritis, overuse syndromes and more.
Functional Mobility can become limited with pain and injuries. Massage therapy can help with the issues of pain and surrounding issues of mobility.