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Profile: Massage Therapy

The rebirth of massage therapy as a sophisticated profession that gained widespread acceptance in society occurred in the 1960s. Since then, massage has been one of the fastest growing professions in the country. It has expanded into many different contexts and related forms of bodywork such as medical (i.e. sports, orthopedic, medical, isolated stretching, and neuromuscular) and energy (i.e. Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and Polarity). Today massage therapists are common place in chiropractic offices, health clubs, spas, corporations, and stand-alone private offices.

The National Certification Exam has been in existence for over ten years and State regulation of massage exists in 30 states, most of which use the exam as an appropriate qualification. However, specific requirements do differ from state to state; for example, Texas requires 300 hours of training whereas New York and Nebraska both require 1,000 (though, for most states, it's 500). Once trained, there are a variety of ways that a therapist can be paid: commission, salary, or on an hourly basis (most massages cost $50-$60 an hour). You may also want to consider opening your own office where you will be in control of the finances.

Before deciding what type of practice you plan to pursue, you should make sure the school and/or program is accredited (note: all programs affiliated with this site ARE accredited). Accreditation means a school has gone through a rigorous examination to make sure that you receive a quality education.


Schools to consider: