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A strong knowledge of anatomy & physiology, pathology, kinesiology,
therapeutic massage, spa services, medical and sports massage is
necessary to be proficient as a massage therapist. These programs
provide training in essential areas for this specialty such as medical
terminology, anatomy and physiology, computer fundamentals, and
legal issues of the profession. In addition, Massage Therapy programs
stresses personal development, as well as communication skills,
to ready you for all aspects of a successful career, including therapeutic
massage techniques and ethical responsibility.
Students will also have supervised hands-on practice that will
enable them to become skilled massage therapists. This real world
experience is gained while working in the campus clinics. Since
faculty members are all professionals in the fields they teach,
Massage Therapy students benefit a great deal because they can learn
about various techniques and then have them demonstrated. They also
get an insider’s view of the business before they even enter
it. This, and the invaluable advice students receive from their
instructors, further prepares them to be successful in the massage
Massage therapists can specialize in more than 80 different types
of massage, called modalities. Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage,
reflexology, acupressure, sports massage, and neuromuscular massage
are just a few of the many approaches to massage therapy. Most massage
therapists specialize in several modalities, which require different
What training is required to become a massage therapist?
Training programs usually require a high school diploma to get
started. Your state will then usually require 300-1000 hours of
in-class training, a certain number of hands-on (massage) hours,
and a certain number of continuing education hours. You should look
for a school that is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy
Accreditation (COMTA) and/or state licensed.
Accreditation is important because it tells you that the program
has gone through a testing process and they are prepared to teach
you what you need to know in order to pass a state or national massage
Massage curriculum and types of schools vary from state to state.
So, be sure to ask lots of questions about what massage techniques
are taught when you talk to the schools. For instance, if you want
to work in a spa after school, make sure they teach you about body
wraps, hot stone massage, and body scrubs...three things very commonly
performed in a spa setting.
Most programs cover the basic knowledge and skills required to
become an entry-level Massage Therapist and prepare students to
sit for certain certification exams offered by the National Certification
Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
There are hundreds of massage job opportunities just waiting to
be filled! Whether you want to work in a spa, medical setting, cruise
ship, or your own private practice.