Massage Therapy Training & Certification
by Megan Peterson Morrow
Massages reduce stress and tension.
A growing branch of the natural healing arts, massage is appreciated for its ability to reduce stress and tension, healing injuries and provide relaxation. Massage certification and training requirements vary by state, but every state has different programs for those interested in learning to become a masseuse.
Noted in a Chinese book in 3000 B.C. and used for Olympic athletes in Greece 776 B.C., massage therapy is known through history for its popularity across cultures. The first training schools were developed in China hundreds of years ago, and massage therapy was introduced in the United States by George and Charles Taylor, physicians and brothers who previously studied in Sweden. Today thousands of training and certification courses are available in the United States.
To identify a good massage training and certification program, a potential student should make sure that the school meets all the licensing and certification requirements for that state. They can also make a visit to the school to get a better feel for the atmosphere, ensure it covers what they're interested in, and finally, compare costs and scheduling to ensure the program meets their budget and timing needs.
Massage therapy and certification programs will first cover anatomy, since a massage therapist must be familiar with the entire body, muscles, organs, bones and skin.
It will also covers topics that include massage theory, history and techniques, physiology (the functions of all the organs), kinesiology (the study of how the body moves), pathology (the study of disease), nutrition, treatment options, ethics.
The program will include classroom time and practical application, learning to give a good massage.
Depending on the particular school, a massage training and certification course will average around 500 hours, which can generally be completed in a year or a little longer. Some programs will be nights only for adults who already have other jobs and commitments, and some offer daytime study options.
The benefits of receiving a diploma in massage therapy are numerous, since the profession continues to grow. Massage therapists are well paid, generally $50 an hour and up, and if you work for yourself, you can set your hours. In addition, a massage therapist knows she's giving her client an incredible and relaxing experience that can boost health, promote sleep and decrease stress. Finally, it's an active profession that gets people out of their chairs and away from the computer.