So, the next question is, what new skills do you want to learn in the next five years?
Because now is the time to start thinking about it. It may take you some time to learn the new specialties that will ultimately differentiate yourself among other massage therapists in your area, so you need to start planning.
If you’re a little unsure of what may be of interest to you, then take into consideration the demand, and what the most-booked types of massage therapy specialties will be within the next few years and that are growing in popularity due to demand.
You could be mastering any of these to your advantage in no time.
**Medical Massage **
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) says 50% of adult Americans seek massage therapy for health reasons such as pain management and to treat specific health conditions.
As more people are recognizing the health benefits of massage, it’s no longer just a time to relax. It’s a time to heal.
So having expertise in medical massage has a special ring to it. Because it’s also known as a treatment massage.
Don’t worry, doctors make the diagnosis and the referrals. But you need have to have experience and mastery of several techniques to provide pain relief or complementary treatment to other health conditions. These massage techniques include but are not limited to the following;
Deep tissue massage
Neuromuscular trigger point therapy
Muscle energy technique
The good news: massage techniques under these types of massage therapy specialties are one of the highest paid in the industry, as reported by Payscale. So if you want to tap into the largest base of clients who need a massage, then you may want to consider medical massage as a specialty.
You don’t have to be athletic to practice sports massage. But John G. Louis, L.M.T., and founder and director of Massage Therapy Center of Winnetka notes 2 things: you need advanced training and experience.
“Neuromuscular therapy, with an emphasis on trigger-point therapy, is very important. Would-be sports massage therapists should also learn Active Isolated Stretching, which I believe is the only consistently safe and effective stretching technique out there,” Louis shares to Massage Magazine.
The experienced sports massage therapist also recommends volunteering at local college and high school sports events before joining the big leagues. So you can practice your newly acquired skills and help at the same time.
If you are able to hit the ground running, you could be working on the sidelines during sporting events in no time. Where you’ll offer pre- and post-event massage therapy to professional athletes and performers alike, from the Olympics to Cirque du Soleil, your experience will be just as active and thrilling.
But don’t think sports massage is limited for athletes alone.
Technically, sports massage therapy is also a form of deep tissue massage that may incorporate myofascial techniques to assist in correcting imbalances and problems in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and in connective tissues.
Many people like gym enthusiasts, dancers and physically active individuals could use sports massage to find relief from muscle and joint injuries.
It’s ideal for promoting flexibility and increasing endurance which we could all use at some point.
Corporate or Chair Massage
Chair massage has evolved from - seated massage to on-site massage and now to corporate massage.
Basically, the client sits on the chair (with their clothes on) while the therapist applies bodywork and somatic techniques, such as Shiatsu, Amma, and Swedish massage.
For employees, imagine the convenience of relaxing in your office during lunch break and have a massage therapist work out your stress.
Probably the reason why large corporations are drawn to give corporate massage to their employees as part of health care benefits.
A 2013 RAND Health study even found that corporations save more money when they incorporate wellness programs like chair massage into employees’ healthcare benefits as opposed to when they don’t.
These wellness initiatives are now one of the leading trends in controlling healthcare costs in corporations who want to remain competitive. Which gives you a reason to go not just mainstream but corporate as well. Or corporate only!
Plus, chair massage offers a level of portability that extends to malls, health fairs, airports or anywhere clients can sit, relax and recharge.
Opportunities are Everywhere
The truth is the best specialty you’ll need is your passion to flourish and heal not just your clients but yourself. Finally, if massage therapy really is your calling, you’ll always find ways to grow in this bodywork field and flourish into the amazing massage therapists we know you are.
You can take continuing classes, learn more types of massage therapy specialties or inspire others to learn more.
Knowledge is power. When you have more tools in your pocket, you can help more types of clients than the ones you usually cater to.
If you’re the massage therapist who just wants to spice things up and try new experiences, the options are even endless.
Do you want to work in a hospital setting? In schools and in sports events? Or do you want to own a massage therapy business?
It is important to understand your deepest motivation to work and what you want most out of your massage therapy career.
Then pursue it with passion and hard work. Again, for massage therapists, the possibilities are endless. Remember, you have extraordinary hands, use them wisely, and you can grab any opportunity you want.
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