One of the great things about graduating from massage school is the breadth of career opportunities that are available. Massage therapists work in a wide range of environments, from medical offices and sports clinics to resort spas and cruise ships. Many massage therapists start their own private practices and work for themselves.
The Medical Field
Career opportunities in the medical field have exploded in recent years as alternative therapies continue to prove themselves to the medical community. Massage is now an integral treatment offered in doctor’s offices, chiropractor’s offices, rehabilitation facilities, and hospitals.
Research is increasingly demonstrating the medical benefits of massage, showing among many other things that it:
- Soothes chronic back pain better than other complementary therapies
- Helps premature babies gain weight
- Boosts the body’s immune system
- Lowers blood pressure in stroke patients
- Eases post-operative pain
- Reduces pain, fatigue, stress, nausea, and depression in cancer patients
Sports massage has also grown rapidly in recent years as athletes of all kinds have learned to appreciate the benefits of massage in enhancing performance, preparing for competition, recovering from competition, and speeding the healing of injuries. Most professional athletes and teams as well as an increasing number of college and amateur athletes and teams employ massage therapists in order to gain a competitive edge.
The Spa and Cruise Ship Industries
The spa industry has grown tremendously in the last ten years. It is now a 12 billion dollar industry, employing hundreds of thousands of people. Day spas, in particular, have proliferated in recent years. The demand for massage therapists in the spa industry continues to grow.
There are opportunities for massage school graduates in resort and destination spas all over the world. Massage therapy is a portable profession – there are opportunities for massage therapists no matter where they go because they take their tools – their hands and their knowledge – with them wherever they go.
Spas on cruise ships offer a special kind of opportunity, enabling massage therapists to travel the world and get paid doing it!
Many massage therapists start their own practices after massage school, taking the opportunity to set their own hours and be their own boss. A private practice lets a massage therapist define the scope of his or her own practice. It provides maximum flexibility to fit work around life instead of fitting life around work. Most private practitioners cite freedom as the chief benefit of having their own business.
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