Massage Therapy

The Occupations

Massage Therapists

About The Occupations

Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, help rehabilitate injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in general wellness of clients. Massage also offers specific benefits to particular groups of people whose continued demand for massage services will lead to overall growth for the occupation. For example, some sports teams hire massage therapists to help give their athletes relief from pain and to rehabilitate clients with injuries.

Demand for massage services will grow as the baby-boom generation seeks these services as a way to help maintain their health as they age. Older people in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities also are finding benefits from massage, such as increased energy levels and reduced health problems. Demand for massage therapy should grow among older age groups because they increasingly are enjoying longer, more active lives.

In addition, the number of massage clinic franchises has increased in recent years. Many franchised clinics offer more affordable massage than those provided at spas and resorts, making massage services available to a wider range of customers.

Work Environment

Massage therapists work in an array of settings, both private and public, such as private offices, spas, hospitals, and fitness centers. Some massage therapists also travel to clients’ homes or offices to give a massage. Most massage therapists, especially those who are self-employed, provide their own table or chair, sheets, pillows, and body lotions or oils.

A massage therapist’s working conditions depend heavily on the location and what the client wants. For example, a massage meant to help rehabilitate a client with an injury may be conducted in a well-lit setting with several other clients receiving treatment in the same room. But when giving a massage to help clients relax, massage therapists, generally work in dimly lit settings and use candles, incense, and calm, soothing music.

Typical Schedule:

Many massage therapists work part-time.

Because therapists work by appointment in most cases, their schedules and the number of hours worked each week vary considerably. In addition to giving massages, therapists, especially those who are self-employed, may spend time recording client notes, marketing, booking clients, washing linens, and conducting other general business tasks.

Worker Portrait

Massage Therapists typically do the following

  • Talk with clients about symptoms, medical history, and desired results.
  • Evaluate clients to locate painful or tense areas of the body.
  • Manipulate muscles or other soft tissues of the body
  • Provide clients with guidance on stretching, strengthening, overall relaxation, and how to improve their posture.
  • Document client’s condition and progress.

Massage therapists use touch to treat clients’ injuries and to promote general wellness. They use their hands, fingers, forearms, elbows, and sometimes feet to knead muscles and soft tissues of the body.

Massage therapists may use lotions and oils and massage tables or chairs, when treating a client. A massage can be as short as 5-10 minutes or could last more than an hour.

Therapists talk with clients about what they hope to achieve through massage. Some massage therapists suggest personalized treatment plans for their clients. They also may offer clients information about additional relaxation techniques to practice between sessions.

Massage therapists can specialize in many different types of massage, called modalities. Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, and sports massage are just a few of the many modalities of massage therapy. Most massage therapists specialize in several modalities, which require different techniques.

Usually, the type of massage given depends on the client’s needs and physical condition. For example, therapists may use a special technique for elderly clients that they would not use for athletes. Some forms of massage are given solely to one type of client; for example, prenatal massage is given to pregnant women.

Massage therapists who are self-employed may need to do business-related tasks such as marketing and maintaining financial records. They also may have to but supplies and do laundry.

Individuals considering a career as a Massage Therapist in Texas must attend a MT School licensed by TDSHS to obtain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to sit for state licensure. Effective reading comprehension and writing skills are critical for the student to be successful.

Degree Plans

Massage Therapy Certificate