Is a Massage Therapy Career Right For Me

Is a Massage Therapy Career Right For Me

By Dr. Jane Garofano, Ph.D., NCTMB

Massage Therapy is a professional career included in health care practitioners which also includes Nurses, PT’s and other health related careers all requiring a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent.

Before anyone decides that a career in massage therapy is for them, it is important to consider how much time and money you are willing to commit to this level of study, which will include many courses as, anatomy and physiology, ethics, business and most important, the practice of massage itself.

Since massage is not a sit down job, it’s not for everyone, physically and mentally. So, as I have experienced, those interested in massage as a career ‘feel’ a desire to help and heal others or, are adding it to their primary career.

Tuition can range from $6,000 to more than $20,000 depending on the state and the length of time of the program. Each state requires a minimum of 500 hours to 1000 hours of study of Theory and Practice of Massage.

As a massage therapist, you can work for a spa, hospital, airport, sports facility, wellness center, chiropractor, physical therapy center, cruise ship and more!  Adding massage therapy to a related field as nursing, physical therapist, personal trainer, skin care, Reiki, craniosacral or yoga will provide more opportunities for employment, self or otherwise.

Since Massage Therapy will increase 22.6% by 2020 with earnings up to $70,140 according to the U.S. News and World Report, it is a viable career to consider either on its own or as part of a primary career.

As for my school, JSG School of Massage Therapy in Northvale, N.J., I have gotten such a variety of interested students with so many backgrounds, I could write a book over the 20 years.

First of all, most interested students aren’t sure what you learn in the program. They are always amazed at how much one has to learn before you even start a massage including body mechanics, draping, stretching , grounding, the Swedish strokes, then the routine.

Plus, all the anatomy and physiology, business, law, ethics and more. They really are scared or excited to start learning all there is to know in the clinic hands-on and the lecture. Usually more than they bargained for and 500 hours to qualify for New Jersey License, plus the National Mblex exam now required.

In the end, if the student really wants to add massage therapy to their primary career, then it is right for them. Others find that they want to change careers and massage sounds good, friends say they have good hands and should try it or they just have that long desire to use massage training to help or heal others, especially the elderly, hospice and infirmed. These are all good reasons to train in massage therapy as it continues to grow in popularity across the board of medical, spa and fitness facilities.

o once a student makes the commitment to attend my school, which has small classes, 6-8 only, they can prepare by reviewing some massage books, get a massage table and watch my DVD on my licensed routine.

I also have them attend a student clinic to feel what they will learn, but always recommend that they should experience a professional massage before attending school.

When they have completed the course, the applications to the state and Mblex and CPR requirement begins. An official transcript is always required for any application to verify that they qualify by school attended, grades and completion of all courses required by the state.

With the License in hand they are ready to seek employment on their own or work for various venues. Lastly, it’s not over, states require continuing education to grow, expand and keep up with ethics.

Dr. Jane Garofano, Ph.D., NCTMB

The owner, director and instructor of Anatomy and Physiology and the Theory & Practice of Massage Therapy. Dr Garofano is a nationally certified massage therapist, master lypossage, pet massage, trainer and author of the review book for the NCTMB National Massage Certification & MBLEX Exam.   JSG School of Massage Therapy



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