For many health care providers, incorporating massage therapy into their practices is a new and effective way to help their patients maintain health or recover from illness. Patients understand the value of massage. After all, almost 40 million adult Americans had a massage at least once between 2014 and 2015 according to the American Massage Therapy Association Consumer Surveys. However, what many people don't know is that massage therapists often specialize in specific areas of practice.
But why choose to specialize?
For starters, according to the American Massage Therapy Association, 55 percent of massage therapists do not want to increase their work hours. The average massage therapist provides about 15 hours per week of hands-on massage. Increasing your hours could be exhausting to you, both physically and mentally. So if your hours stay the same, you’re going to hit an income plateau, right? Well, not necessarily. By specializing in massage therapy, you’ll have the ability to provide higher quality care while increasing your potential earnings.
Here are just a few of your options when it comes to picking a specialty:
Specialize in Sports Massage
High-performance athletes put their bodies under considerable stress and are always looking for better and faster ways to recover. Working with a sports massage therapist can help athletes improve their speed and performance while shortening recovery time. It is important for the sports massage therapist to have an advanced understanding of anatomy and physiology so they can use specific techniques to achieve the best results for their clients.
Sports massage therapists can also have a pretty exciting work life. Working with a sports team can mean providing support on the sidelines and traveling with the team.
Specialize in Fertility Massage
Fertility treatments can be invasive, expensive, and exhausting for hopeful parents. They’re also incredibly common. In fact, 6.9 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 have used infertility treatments. When a woman is dealing with infertility due to reasons such as blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, PCOS, or uterine fibroids, massage therapy can prove to be beneficial. This is because massage therapy helps increase circulation to the reproductive organs and helps reduce inflammation that may be impeding conception.
Massage therapy plays another very important role in aiding fertility treatments – reducing stress. Stress produces higher levels of cortisol in the body that is known to interfere with fertility. Massage therapy can help ease emotional and physical tension and induce relaxation. Massage therapists specializing in fertility and prenatal issues can help their clients live their dreams of becoming parents.
Specialize in Infant Massage
Providing infant massage can be a fun and fulfilling way to specialize in your practice. The benefits of infant massage are well documented and include better sleep, reduced stress, improved motor development, and enhanced parent-child bonding.
Not only will you be able to provide the massage, but you will also have the opportunity to educate the parents. Giving exhausted and nervous new parents the gift of infant massage will help them to feel empowered as they learn how to help their new babies sleep better and feel more calm.
Specialize in Myofascial Release
Myofascial release is a type of massage therapy that focuses on releasing muscular tightness. This can involve targeting knots with pressure and gentle traction along with positioning your joints in different angles. Learning the techniques of myofascial release gives you the tools to help relieve your clients’ pain conditions. It can be used for migraines, fibromyalgia, menstrual pain, and just about any chronic pain disorder.
If you’re interested in becoming a licensed massage therapist, the first step is to get the right education so that you will be able to have whatever type of practice you desire. The Massage Therapy Program at National University of Health Sciences provides you with extensive hands-on instruction so that you can provide the highest quality of care to your clients. You will also have the distinct advantage of learning human anatomy and physiology in a graduate-level medical cadaver lab. You will actually see the musculature, ligaments, and organ systems, not just read about them in books.
You can complete the Certificate in Massage Therapy in three trimesters or just one year of convenient evening classes.
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