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Massage Therapy

One of the oldest-known healing arts, massage quickly is becoming one of the most popular and widely-used therapeutic techniques available today.

The National Institutes of Health have conducted studies and released findings supporting the highly-effective results of massage therapy for a variety of illness and injury. Stress reduction, pain management and the treatment of chronic illness and injury all can be accomplished through the use of massage therapy.

Massage therapists manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body through touch. There are a variety of methods used by massage therapists, with proven results for relieving pain, improving circulation, reducing stress and rehabilitating certain types of injuries.

Massage therapists work in a variety of settings, including spas and resorts, hospitals and fitness centers. Some massage therapists are self employed and travel to clients’ homes to provide private massage sessions.

Educational and licensing requirements for massage therapists vary from state to state; however, most massage therapists receive post-secondary training in their chosen field. Massage therapy programs include between 500 and 800 credit hours and include classroom studies, as well as the hands-on practice of massage techniques.

Among the most popular massage techniques are acupressure, connective tissue massage, shiatsu, trigger point therapy, pregnancy massage and sports massage. Curriculum should include courses in anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, pathology, business management and ethics. Massage therapy students also will learn how to communicate with clients to determine the best kind of massage for individual needs. While not a requirement, it is recommended that students choose a massage therapy program that is accredited through a reputable accrediting agency.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, requirements for massage therapists – including regulations and licensing – vary from state to state. Most states regulate the profession, which can include mandatory registration, certification or licensing. Licensing is the strictest form of regulation, making it illegal for someone to practice massage therapy without one. A complete listing of state requirements can be found on the association’s website at www.amtamassage.org.

Massage therapists earn an average annual salary of $35,970, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Demand for trained massage therapists is expected to grow by 23 percent over the next decade, which is faster than average when compared with other occupations during the same time period.

To find a program in massage therapy, please use the unique search tool onwww.Collegefinder.us.com.

Articles & content by Shari Berg, Collegefinder.us.com.

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