What May I Learn at Massage Therapy Classes?
Going into the widening field of massage therapy requires enrollment in an accredited massage therapy program or school. You will quickly find there is much more to this career field than giving a shoulder rub or back rub. Massage therapy classes will teach you everything you need to know to venture into this increasingly growing field.
Types of massage therapy
There are many different types of massage therapy. You can go into the field to learn how to give spa quality Swedish massages for relaxation. You can also go into massage therapy to learn how to relieve pain and make those who are plagued with chronic conditions feel better. Athletic and medical purposes for massage therapy are growing industries. As the industry grows, so does the range of courses and fields of study for the massage therapy career field.
When you attend accredited massage therapy classes, regardless of the type of massage therapy, you will have to learn all the ins and outs of the human body. Basic classes in anatomy are a must. There are hundreds of muscles in the human body. Anatomy class will not only teach you how to identify those muscles; but you will also learn how each muscle affects the others and how range of motion works. Without knowledge of basic anatomy, it would be impossible to effectively help clients with muscle issues.
Physiology and kinesiology
Physiology and kinesiology are also classes that will be taught as part of any accredited massage therapy program. Physiology will teach students about the functions of the human body and how to manipulate the body to benefit those functions. Without a basic understanding of the how to safely manipulate the human body, you could easily injure someone if you wrongfully try to practice massage therapy. You will also learn the basics of the body's pain response and how to alleviate pain from a variety of ailments. Kinesiology will teach practitioners of massage therapy how to enhance a person's ability to move freely and without pain.
Once you have mastered the basic science of the human body and the role massage therapy can play in enhancing or bettering a person's physicality, you will explore different techniques and practices. One aspect of learning massage therapy techniques does not focus on the client's needs at all. You will learn how you are affected by the massage therapy style you will learn to perform.
Practice and technique classes will teach you how to best manipulate your hands, fingers and even elbows to not only give a beneficial massage, but also to protect your own body from injury or fatigue. You will explore different techniques that will give you insight to what you are able to do best and what your own body will allow you to do comfortably over the length of your career.
Managing your career
Many massage therapy classes will also help you learn how to manage your career after you get started. Aside from the actual act of massage therapy, success in the field can be attributed to your interpersonal skills and business sense. You will have courses that teach you how to assess your client's needs and determine what style or type of massage therapy will best meet those needs. The business side of this career will also be taught in massage therapy classes. You will be taught how to stay organized financially and how to stay competitive in a growing market. You will also gain valuable knowledge of how to maximize your financial success as a massage therapist.
Most accredited programs teaching massage therapy vary in length and structure. Most also adhere to common requirements across most states. Exams to be certified are required by 43 states and there are also national certification exams and requirements. The course work may include much more in-depth classes or may be more general than others. However, learning the basics of the human body, the most up to date techniques and practices, along with learning the financial aspects of the business are necessary for any branch of the massage therapy field.