Want to become a massage therapist? Interested in what a massage therapist does on a day-to-day basis? As a massage therapist, you can help athletes recover from training. You can also help the growing elderly population. Massage therapy is predicted to grow over the next 10 years so become a massage therapist and fill the vital role of helping others.
What a Massage Therapist Does
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, massage therapists treat clients by using touch to massage the muscles and soft tissues of the body. Massage therapists relieve pain, help heal injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients. Massage therapists typically do the following:
- Talk with clients about their symptoms and medical history
- Evaluate clients to locate painful or tense areas of the body
- Massage muscles and other soft tissues of the body
- Provide guidance on stretching, strengthening, overall relaxation, and how to improve posture
- Document clients’ conditions and progress
Sports Massage Therapy
Many sports teams hire massage therapists to help their athletes rehabilitate from injuries and to relieve or manage pain. Sports can cause parts of the body to be overused and stressed from repetitive and aggressive movements. Sports massage therapy can reduce recovery time during training or after a sporting event. Massage therapists play a vital role in keeping athletes in peak condition to perform at their best.
Massage Therapy and the Elderly
As the population of baby boomers begins to age and the life expectancy of humans increases, more of the elderly population is in need of massage therapy. Geriatric massage therapy can be used to increase blood circulation, combat depression, reduce pain from arthritis and increase joint mobility. Massage Therapy is valuable for the aches and pains associated with growing older, decreasing muscular stiffness, reducing inflammation of joints, and enhancing digestive and respiratory function, alertness, sensation and circulation.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), The benefits of massage include relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Osteoarthritis – increased blood flow to the joints and warming of the affected areas helps reduce pain from osteoarthritis.
Alzheimer’s Disease – therapeutic touch and massage therapy produced a relaxation effect for those with dementia.
Depression – a reduction in physical activity leads to an increase in depression, which leads to many age-related diseases and conditions. Massage therapy offers relief for patients with depression allowing the body and brain to relax and reduce stress.
Stroke – massage therapy can help stimulate the parts of the body that are paralyzed after a stroke.
Falls – many elderly individuals suffer from imbalance or joint pain. Massage therapy can help range of motion before falls and soothe aches and pains after a fall.
Additional Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is generally considered part of complementary medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. These conditions include digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia, myofascial pain syndrome and temporomandibular joint pain.
Digestive Disorders – massage therapy can help relax the body and reduce gastrointestinal flare-ups. Stress is a major trigger of digestive issues and massage therapy can reduce stress helping improve digestive disorders.
Fibromyalgia – massage therapy can improve chronic pain from fibromyalgia. It can be useful to reduce heart rate, relax muscles, improve range of motion and release endorphins and serotonin to the brain.
Headaches – massage therapy is performed to ease the pressure brought on during a migraine or tension related to headaches. The massage therapy for headaches focuses on the neck, shoulders and head.
Insomnia – massage therapy can help ease pain or a condition’s disruption of normal sleeping patterns. Many issues of insomnia are related to headaches, massage therapy can ease the pressure and tension related to headaches helping patients sleep better at night.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome – a chronic pain disorder that causes muscles to be sensitive, typically causing pain in unrelated parts of the body. Myofascial pain syndrome occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. Massage therapy helps relieve the tension in muscles from myofascial pain syndrome.
Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ) – can cause pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement. Massage therapy can help relax the muscles around the jaw joint to relieve pain and reduce the symptoms of TMJ.
Growth of Massage Therapy
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024. Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.
Do what you love and help others through the art of ancient healing. Mildred Elley’s Massage Therapy Programs in Albany, NY, Manhattan, NY and Pittsfield, MA offers you the education, practice and skills necessary in the massage therapy profession. The program satisfies the academic requirements to qualify massage therapy graduates for the New York State Massage Therapy Examination. Contact us today to learn more about our Massage Therapy Program.