If you have gifted hands and want to become a certified masseuse, heading to massage therapy school is your first step. Massage therapy training will turn your knack for working out muscle knots into a highly evolved and scientifically based healing system.
Requirements for Admission to Massage Therapy College
To embark on your massage therapy education, you'll need your high school diploma or GED. While specific admissions requirements vary from massage therapy institute to massage therapy institute, completion of high school is a universal necessity.
To facilitate your study of massage therapy and bodywork, it is preferred that you have a background in the physical sciences. Thus, if you're currently a high school student eyeing a career as a massage therapist, taking biology and chemistry courses is a very good idea.
Topics of Study at Massage Therapy School
You can still get into massage therapy school if you don't have a background in the physical sciences – most academies require students to take introductory courses in human anatomy. A sound understanding of the human body is an essential part of your massage therapy education, and the best programs include both basic and advanced anatomy courses.
Your massage therapy courses will focus largely on proper technique, both in terms of understanding specific muscle and joint problems as well as how and where to apply pressure on the patient's body. Depending on your school's philosophy and mandate, you might also have the opportunity to delve into supplementary topics of study that you can combine with your massage therapy training to become a more effective service provider. Aromatherapy, for example, is a common offering at massage therapy school; many holistic practitioners draw on a variety of therapeutic techniques to help their patients heal.
It will take you one to two years to earn your massage therapy certification. From there, you can land a job with a massage therapy institute, or go into business for yourself. However, most students find that gaining practical experience by taking a job with an established company is the best option when emerging from massage therapy school. It offers you an opportunity to build practical skills to complement your theoretical training as well as network within the industry to make it easier to build a client base for your future business.