Anybody who has ever experienced a professional massage knows the difference training makes. That’s not to say that casual shoulder rub from a partner or friend isn’t relaxing — but when you lie down on that table for a professional treatment, you know it’s not the same thing. So why should you consider enrolling in a massage therapy certification course? Here are four big benefits of doing so.
1. Job prospects
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, massage therapists are in greater demand every year. Specifically, a 23 percent increase in gainfully employed massage therapists is expected between 2012 and 2022. Also consider the fact that the number of office jobs is expected to rise continually into the future — massage therapy is becoming more and more relevant on the job market. Being trained in professional massage is reliable professional skill, and will only become more reliable in coming years.
2. Your own practice
Setting yourself up as a certified, licensed massage therapist is the best way to become an independent massage therapist in your area. A lot of professionals appreciate the ability to set their own schedule and build their own client base, while making a name for themselves in the community. Of course, it’s possible to prey on the public and offer massage without the proper training. But this should never be done without proper training and certification — especially if you want your practice to thrive.
3. Diversity of skills
People often don’t realize how in-depth and comprehensive a proper massage therapy certification course should be. Reputable program teach a wide array of techniques and disciplines, including: Myofascial release, reflexology, Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, hot stone therapy, hydrotherapy, chair massage, trigger points and more. Maybe of the best programs involve up to 600 hours of hands-on training — so when you finish the course, you can expect a broad range of experience and knowledge.
4. Industry insight
A good massage therapy certification course should not only train you to deliver professional treatments in a variety of settings — it should also give you plenty of practical insights and information to prepare you for the business. Did you know that many healthcare programs (and medical professionals) are adding massage therapy to their wellness programs, and recommending therapeutic massage to their patients? Health insurance programs are also covering massage more frequently. Professionals looking to enter or strengthen their presence in the field of massage therapy need an active understanding of how the business is evolving, in addition to all of the necessary technical skill and knowledge.
Choosing the right course
Obviously, not every massage therapy certification is created equal. When you look for a program, focus on those that go deeper into the study of anatomy, physiology and pathology. Having a grounded understanding of the human body is vital to mastering the practice of massage therapy. Also look for programs that offer hands-on clinic time and are dedicated to ethical business practices in the community. It’s also important to know that the certification you receive will meet or exceed the massage therapy certification standards of the State in which you live and intend to practice. Do your homework before you choose a program — you’ll be glad you did!