There are those who have great compassion for people with a life goal to enrich the lives of others. For those people, there is nothing more rewarding than having a career that helps and enriches their clients.
One of the most gratifying careers that falls into this category is massage therapy. Not only do you get to make others feel better but you’re able to see the difference in their mind and body with your healing hands.
How Massage Therapy Helps Others
Between July 2016 and July 2017 over 59 million US adults had a massage at least once, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. There is an increased demand for massage therapy from highly trained and compassionate massage therapists.
This is due to the fact that massage therapy works to help others in a variety of ways including:
- Helps alleviate anxiety
- Relieves lower back pain
- Soothes tension headaches
- Helps reduce depression symptoms
- Restores restful sleep
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves circulation
- Provides physical relaxation
- Helps with range of motion and flexibility
- Enhances vitality and energy
- Helps with aching muscles
- Release of nerve compression
There are a number of diseases and disorders that are relieved such as osteoarthritis, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Along with treating symptoms of diseases and disorders, there are also areas of help with specific pains such as carpal tunnel, scoliosis, whiplash and sciatica.
Osteoarthritis – caused by the inflammation, breakdown and loss of cartilage in the joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, Osteoarthritis affects 27 million Americans. There is no cure, but treatment can help control pain and swelling allowing the patient to stay mobile and active.
Gout – a form of inflammatory arthritis that can develop from high levels of uric acid in the blood. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the acid forms crystals in the joints that can poke the patient causing severe pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling. Gout occurs in over 8 million American adults.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joints, mistakenly thinking that the joints are a foreign body. This can cause swelling and pain in the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. According to the Arthritis Foundation, 1.5 million people in the US have rheumatoid arthritis.
Carpal Tunnel – a numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by a pinched median nerve in the wrist. A patient that is at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome may have hereditary factors, use their hand repetitively, put their hand or wrist in an improper position or have one or more health problems including diabetes. Carpal tunnel affects more than 3 million people in the US each year.
Scoliosis – a sideways curvature of the spine. Although the main cause is unknown, it is a symptom of cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. Scoliosis affects over 3 million people in the US each year.
Whiplash – a neck injury that occurs when a person’s head suddenly moves backward and then forward. Most cases of whiplash are caused by car accidents, when a person is rear-ended. Other activities that may also cause whiplash are bungee jumping, skiing or riding horses. Neck pain is usually associated with whiplash, plus neck stiffness, reduced range of motion, back pain and headaches.
Sciatica – pain that radiates down the sciatic nerve down to the lower back, through the hips and buttocks to the legs. Sciatica can be caused by a herniated disk or bone spur. The symptoms include inflammation, pain and numbness in the legs. Sciatica affects over 3 million people in the US each year.
Emotional and Physiological Benefits
Massage therapy isn’t just for helping those in pain, it works just as well for emotional and physiological needs. Just a few of the areas covered include lower stress levels, mood improvement, reduced fatigue, reduced anger, and a reduction in anxiety and depression. This is why so many get regular massages as part of their health and relaxation choices – it does so much for their psyche as well as their physical bodies.
Many clients come to the massage therapist to reduce the stress in their lives through massage. The massage therapist must create a comfortable atmosphere that allows a client to relax and let stress go. Through physical contact, the massage therapist will allow endorphins into the brain causing a reduction of stress and overall calming experience. Similar to yoga or meditation, the massage therapist can create a stress-free environment for the client to reduce their stress level while being massaged.
A Good Listener
Another aspect of helping others through massage therapy is that the massage therapist develops the skills to listen to others. While some clients wish to experience their massage with peace and quiet or appropriate background music, others will feel the need to talk to the massage therapist and listening skills will continue to develop. It is the perfect environment for some people to feel comfortable enough to share things, which helps them relax even further.
A Need to Heal
There is one thing that most massage therapists have in common – the ability to heal others. Massage therapy is an ideal career for helping others and doing it in a non-invasive way, that makes the client feel good.
There are many different types of massage such as Swedish massage, deep massage, sports massage, hot stone massage and trigger point massage.
Each one of these massage types help in specific ways that vary depending on what the individual needs. The best part is that the massage therapist gets to suggest the right one for their clients and cater to their distinct areas of concern.
For instance, the massage therapist may have a client that simply wants more relaxation and can suggest a Swedish massage; but a client who has been injured while running would benefit from a sports massage. It’s all about helping others obtain the kind of alternative medicine that makes them feel better while helping relieve pain and heal better.
A Creative Workplace
This is where the massage therapist’s own creativity comes in – they get to tailor their care as well as make their work area an extension of their own personality with the oils they choose, the lighting, music, and scents. Not only does the client benefit from the environment, the massage therapist is also working in the same type of atmosphere and reaps the rewards of a relaxing ambiance.
By being able to customize the type of techniques and modalities that they learn, it also makes their workday more creative and less repetitive – and best of all, the massage therapist is helping others.
The Rewards are Many
Along with the passion in helping others, the rewards of a career in massage therapy are numerous. Once you gain enough experience and can set out on your own, you have the freedom of choosing your own work space, setting your own hours, and choosing your own style for your workplace.
Even if you are newly graduated and work for someone else, you typically have choices in some of the elements of your workspace such as choosing your favorite scent or a specific oil that is part of a package.
There is a diverse range of workplaces that a massage therapist can use their gift such as hotels, beauty and health spas, resorts, cruise ships, health clubs, at large companies and wellness centers. It’s the best of both worlds with massage therapy, helping others while being in your own relaxing atmosphere.
Interested in learning more about a career in massage therapy? Ready to become a massage therapist? Upon graduation, Massage Therapy Program students will receive diplomas and be qualified to seek entry-level positions as clinical, medical, or deep tissue massage therapists in wellness clinics and centers, spa environments including resorts and franchises, and self-employment.
Contact us to learn more about how you can become a massage therapist today.