A Career in Massage Therapy

Massage Therapist Tulsa works with clients to assess their needs and provide massage treatment. They also maintain accurate and confidential client records.

Massage Therapy

It’s rewarding when a client calls to say that they can lift their arm for the first time in months or that they are sleeping better. Kevin gets to experience those successes daily.

As the healthcare industry continues to undergo a shift from traditional medical methods, patients are seeking out natural solutions like massage therapy and holistic healing. Health practitioners in New York are at the forefront of this movement, providing innovative treatments and promoting wellness. If you’re interested in a career in holistic healing, you need to attend an accredited Massage Therapist school and receive the necessary training.

Look for a school that emphasizes hands-on learning and offers a variety of clinical opportunities to hone your skills in a real-world setting. You should also consider the school’s academic approach, including how well it integrates science and technique. Finally, find out what kind of support the school offers its students, including financial aid and scholarships.

When you’re considering a school, ask about the number of hours it requires its students to study before they graduate. Then, compare that number to the number of hours required to become licensed in your state. Keep in mind that many states require at least 1,000 hours of education before a person is eligible to practice, but it varies from one state to the next.

If you’re considering taking the national massage therapist exam, check to see whether your chosen school provides practice tests. The exam can be a nerve-wracking experience, but with the right preparation, you can be ready to excel.

Most schools require their students to have a minimum of 75 hours in “related subjects.” These courses may include topics like first aid, hygiene, the effects of massage, and the use and application of oils and powders. Additionally, you’ll likely have to take a course on the legal and ethical aspects of massage therapists.

In the state of New York, you need to complete a 1,000-hour program to become a massage therapist. Once you’ve completed your coursework, you must pass the New York state licensing exam, which is offered in January and August each year. You’ll also need to renew your license every three years, which involves completing 36 hours of continuing education classes.

In addition to your state’s licensure requirements, you must also meet professional standards set by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). The NCBMT sets qualifications for massage therapists, maintains a list of approved schools, and creates examination and licensure rules. It also investigates complaints of professional misconduct and takes action as needed.


Massage therapists manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of the body to promote relaxation and wellness. They also help treat sports injuries and other health-related conditions. This is a career that requires a high school diploma or GED certificate and certification from an approved massage therapy training program.

Massage therapy programs include courses in human anatomy, physiology, and other topics that help students understand the science behind the practice. Students must be able to apply this knowledge when working with clients and developing treatment plans. They must also have strong communication skills to relay information about the benefits and risks of massage to their clients.

As a massage therapist, you can work in a variety of settings. Some therapists are employed by spas and resorts, while others set up private practices or are independent contractors. The work environment is usually quiet and soothing, with dim lighting and relaxing music. Therapists may also use aromatherapy to enhance the experience for their clients.

Many therapists choose to specialize in certain types of massage, such as deep tissue, which uses more intense pressure to help release chronic muscle tension and adhesions; or sports massage, which helps athletes prepare for their athletic activities by reducing pain and tension, and improving flexibility. Therapists can also acquire additional qualifications such as board certification in therapeutic massage and bodywork, which shows employers and clients that the therapist has attained a higher level of skill and expertise.

In addition to the specialized skills, massage therapists should be physically strong and flexible to stand for long periods of time and maneuver their clients into different positions on the massage table. They must be able to provide treatment for clients with various medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis, and should know how to modify the massage techniques to avoid discomfort for these patients.

Massage therapists are licensed health care professionals, and therefore have the same professional judgment as other health care professionals such as physicians, nurses, or physical therapists, regarding which assessment and treatment services they should provide to their clients. If a massage therapist determines that a client should receive evaluation or treatment by another health care provider, the therapist should refer the client.

Licenses and Certifications

If you have a love for helping people feel good, are comfortable using your hands and can manage long periods of standing, massage may be a career path for you. Regardless of whether you choose to become a certified massage therapist (CMT) or licensed massage therapist (LMT), both positions require extensive training and education before you can begin practice. Many states set licensing requirements for massage therapists to ensure that practitioners have the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to provide high-quality services.

Most states require a minimum number of hours of in-class initial training that typically includes studies in anatomy, physiology and the theory and practice of massage therapy. Most programs also include a significant amount of practice time so that you can refine your skills in real-world settings. Once you’ve completed your initial training, most states require that you pass a massage licensing exam. This exam, which is administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, commonly consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics like anatomy & physiology, kinesiology, pathology, effects of massage, client assessment and professional practice & business concepts.

After you’ve passed your massage licensing exam, most states will issue you a license with a registration that allows you to legally perform therapeutic massages. In New York, for example, only practitioners who have successfully passed the massage licensing exam and met the registration requirements of the Office of Professions can use the title “massage therapist.” New York has adopted gender-neutral terminology to promote inclusivity, so that both male and female practitioners are referred to as “masseurs” and “masseuses.”

In addition to meeting your state’s requirements for licensure, you can also pursue voluntary board certification through the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork to further demonstrate your commitment to your career. The certification process is designed to ensure that massage therapists meet and maintain minimum standards of education, training and competency, and have achieved a level of expertise that’s recognized as professional and trustworthy by clients and employers. The board also offers specialty certificates to help you hone your skills in certain modalities.

Career Opportunities

A career as a massage therapist can be rewarding for those with an interest in helping others heal. A therapist can help improve range of motion, lower stress levels, alleviate headaches and even help women through their pregnancies. For those that don’t want to take on management responsibilities, but still need to be a part of the business world, this can be a suitable choice.

Aside from the obvious day spas and resorts, other options for a Massage Therapist include:

Nursing Homes and Hospices

Eldercare is a growing industry, and many people can benefit from the soothing touch of a professional massage therapist. This career path often requires travel, but the reward can be immense.

Chiropractic Offices

Back pain is a common complaint and the services of a qualified Massage Therapist are invaluable for these patients. Many doctors and chiropractors now offer on-site massage services to their patients as a way to improve patient outcomes and reduce stress.

Hotels, Spas and Resorts

Most hotel guests are looking to relax during their stay and the services of a professional massage therapist are a welcome addition. Many hotels have on-site massage facilities and offer a spa menu of services to their guests.

Franchise Locations

With the number of massage franchise locations expanding rapidly, opportunities are available to massage therapists across the country and sometimes internationally. This career option is less hands-on than the independent practice, but can provide a consistent client base and support staff for the practitioner.

Many massage therapists find that they have a desire to travel and the opportunity to work in different settings appeals. Working for a hotel, resort or cruise ship provides this and much more. There are also national massage chains that can provide a steady client base with more travel time required to reach the clients. Massage therapists can also opt for a more regimented lifestyle and work in medical clinics, chiropractor’s offices, hospitals or physicians’ private practices. Regardless of the setting, comprehensive massage therapy insurance is always a best business practice. Massage therapy has proven efficacy in improving both physical and mental health, so it’s no wonder that more and more medical professionals are recommending their patients receive massage.