CareerChoice:SPA and Massage Therapist

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Contents

Introduction

The life today is becoming hectic, with people hardly having any breathing space or a moment to call their own. Hence turning over to specialized ways of relaxation to revitalize themselves is the only way out to chill and unwind. This is also the need of the hour as the stress levels of people are increasing day by day with rising competition in the markets. This therefore has given rise to careers in Massage and Spa Therapy.

Nature of Work

Not long ago, it was frequented only by the cream section of the society. They were the people who had enough means to indulge in such luxuries. Today, however the rules are changing and people of all sections of the society are inclined towards this thing. Demand for the fully trained massage and spa therapist professionals has been on the rise over the years, as many clubs and hotels prefer to include massage and spa therapy, for the ultimate customer satisfaction.

Personality

A Massage therapist is not a career for the shy (you'll need to tell complete strangers to take their clothers off and get under a sheet), the restless (complete concentration at all times is a must), or anyone with hang-ups about making skin-to-skin contact with people off the street who migh call to schedule an appointment. One need to believe in the healing power of the human touch to come to this field with an open mind, ready hands and a desire to help others. A massage therapist is charged with reducing stress, relieving muscle aches and pains and lulling clients into a state of blissful relaxation.

Massage is a physically demanding and thse who practice must be in good shape. Masseurs must be ready for any personality or body type to walk into the treatment room.

Having a thick skin will come in handy as clients can be critical if the massage isn't exactly the way they want it to be.

Moreover, good interpersonal skills and a grasp of good conversational skills could take a professional a long way.

Professional Courses

The professional courses in Massage and Spa Therapist careers are also availing popularity with its rising demand. Courses and programs intended to teach massage and spa therapy, endows the students with skills, essential to provide the best in massage and spa therapy.

Programs of massage and spa therapy, helps students to learn about the basic physiology and anatomy of the human body. It also enables better understanding of different types of body forms and for identifying its imperfections. Students learn about the various forms of massage and spa therapy and also about the conditions that can be rectified or healed through massaging.

Students also are taught how they can treat cellulite and also learn to administer heat therapy, body wraps, mud wraps, body polishes and salt exfoliations.

Students gather information about the trigger movements, Pettissage, effleurage, tapping and sensory. Aromatherapy, muscle stimulation, sanitation, and sterilization are also covered within these programs. Courses also cover hydro and stone therapy, Swedish massage techniques, remedial exercises and different techniques of massage theory.

Massage and spa therapy career also offers great deal of financial security and has tremendous potential for further growths in future.

Colleges, Institutions and Universities

There are many schools that offer professional education in the state of Massachusetts, USA. However when opting for a program it is important to assess whether it is affiliated and recognized by the Department of Education and does it fulfill the state requirement of covering 500 hours of training. It is best to make a thorough research of the various schools before enrolling in any of the institutes. Schools that specialize in massage therapy or spa therapy should be one's ideal choice. An associate or bachelor's degree in complimentary health care might be an additional advantage. To acquire, nationally certified credentials, students graduating from approved programs by the National Certified Therapeutic Massage and Body Workers can opt for the national certification exam.

Shahnaz Hussain in India runs a chain of institutes that offer courses in Diploma in beauty therapy, Post graduate diploma in skin and beauty therapy and short term vocational courses.

There are several institutes in India that offer courses in massage and spa therapy:

The Body Tree Training Centre for Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Medicine, Massage, and Traditional Indian Practices usually work with persons who are from socially and economically backward communities. Particularly tribal communities, refugees and displaced persons are part of this institute.

Abhyanga massage training is offered at Goa in India in combination with Shirodhara.

Kerela in India also has several schools that offer training in massage and spa therapy.

Specialization

Abhayanga massage is a special form of massage practiced in India. This massage involves a head to toe massage using warm medicated oils and lasts for forty five to sixty minutes. It relieves anxiety, stress, exhaustion and vata disorder. Body Tree has introduced medicinal plant curriculum, theoretical and practical knowledge, yoga and preventive medicine.

Career Prospects

There's no thing as such promotions in a massage and spa therapist's career. The progress is gradual and additional courses are an advantage to attain newer heights. This increases the therapist's ability and efficiency, apart from increasing the number of clientele and fees. It takes at least a period of six months to a year, along with constant effort and perseverance, to earn a reputation and name in the field of massage and spa therapist's career. Income automatically witnesses a positive rise with the increase in the number of clients attended on a day to day basis.

Remunerations

Location, level of experience, type of practice, skills and different techniques, modalities used can largely affect a massage therapist's income. Massage therapists, having their own facilities usually earn the most and also have the maximum responsibilities, which includes building and maintenance of sufficient clientele. Massage therapist, working on hourly wages, usually earn the least. Independent contractors, who work in clinic settings, usually spilt their fees on a percentage basis, that covers the services provided, such as costs incurred on availing a working space, supplies, like oils, linen etc, receptionist and equipments that include things like massage tables, stools, chairs, etc.

The charges depend on the complexities and the features offered. Practitioners, who work on hourly wage basis although earn less, do not have to cover overhead expenditures. As the emotional and physical demands of massage therapy is pretty high, so massage therapists do not work more than 35 hours a week. However the capacity of each individual varies. So many therapists practice part time, usually less than ten hours a week

How to find a Job?

Massage and spa therapist careers have a wide variety of options. Those who indulge in massage and spa therapist careers can work as self employed practitioners, independent contractors, salaried or commissioned employees and in private or group offices. Hence they get an opportunity to practice in a variety of settings.

Massage and spa therapists, who want to indulge in business enterprises, can open their own clinics. After owning a clinic, the practitioner or the owner of the clinic, can also hire additional practitioners. He can even allow them to practice in the same area for a suitable fee. Private practice, hence, is the ideal thing for therapists, who have a natural inclination for setting up their business.

Massage therapists willing to team up with other health professionals, can opt for the multidisciplinary clinics. It serves the purposes of a full service clinic, where means of all sorts of alternative health care can be availed. There are options to restrict it strictly to massage but it has to be of different types to cater to the needs of different clients.

For massage therapists, spas are turning out to be huge sources of revenue. Several high-end spas have packages, including massage therapy. If you are retainer with a spa, being a massage therapist, can prove to be extremely profitable. On the other hand in chiropractors' and doctors' offices, massage therapy complements traditional medicine and also chiropractic medicine. For healing purposes too, massage has proved to very efficient. Due to that vast employment opportunities are available for massage therapists at the rehabilitation centers.

For the elderly and the sick, massage is the ideal therapy and some of the therapists specialize in these areas. For that reason, practicing massage in nursing homes or hospitals is like getting past the reticence of people, who never had any such experience before. Even in health clubs and hospitals, the opportunities are vast. If you are part of a high end club, ample opportunities would be available to you. However if associated with a budget facility, it might prove to be a wastage of time, as hiring a full time massage therapist, is unlikely to take place in these centers.

If one can manage to get a break in one of the sports team or sports medicine clinics, it can prove to be a huge break. Sports teams or sports medicine clinics usually can afford to have huge budgets and can easily accommodate a therapist on full time basis or on retainer. If big bucks are what you are looking for, this is the place for you. But if they have big bucks to offer they also expect the best from you in terms of professionalism. Very much in the same league are the sports medicine clinics. This can be rewarding not only in terms of job satisfaction, but also in terms of money.

Many therapists, in private practice, find on-site massage in the workplace, to be very lucrative. Employers now are offering massage as work perk, sometimes footing the entire bill and in other times, paying only a portion. This might however require some additional efforts as one needs to build up connections and relationships with prospective employers. There are some massage therapists who have portable tables to do house calls. But this requires lot of traveling from one place to another. Not only this, you also have to meet the client's expectations of being able to provide customer satisfaction. This however is a low cost means of initiating an independent business.

Certain massage equipments are essential if one plans to start a massage therapy business in an office, on the road or at home. Massage tables, a massage stool, a towel cabinet, massage oils, massage creams, massage lotions and gels, candles, healing stones, relaxation CDs are some of the essential things. Apart from this a well furnished reception area, with adequate number of chairs and desk along with a product display equipment are equally required if one plans to sell retail products. Few of the extra things that might be necessary are adjustable headrests, table side extensions, foot rests, armrests, neck bolsters, massage cushions and electric table warmers. If you are planning a portable massage business, then you will need a portable massage chair, a portable massage table or desktop massage chair that largely depends on your clientele and preferences. Also a table, a chair carry case accompanied with a reliable and large vehicle to transport it all is also required.

The overall future of massage and spa therapists' career is very bright and hence the numbers of professionals are increasing largely in numbers, with every year.

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