Take the time to explore the pros and cons of massage therapy before making the leap into a new career. While you'll likely find the positives of massage therapy far outweigh the negatives, understanding all aspects of the practice will help you come to an informed decision.
The pros touch on various aspects of the massage therapy practice and its impact on health, from the business side to the clinical, and including massage therapy types and techniques. For many patients, massage therapy tends to complement mainstream medicine, adding a positive and synergistic effect to treatment.
One of the benefits of practice includes the fact that a massage client can choose between modalities, or types of massage, and customize their treatment. Massage can also be very effective when performed immediately after a workout session at the gym, when the treatment can help relieve pulls or strains, and have a lasting effect for days afterwards. After a day of work, massage can provide calm and relaxation, and a window of serenity in the midst of a busy and hectic work schedule.
Massage also provides other general health benefits, including:
- Improving circulation
- Aiding the body's healing processes
- Increasing the range of motion in joints
- Releasing toxins
- Reducing pain
The majority of massage therapists are women at 86 percent of practitioners, according to the American Massage Therapy Association, though more men are entering the field. Although practices for centuries, massage is a relatively new profession in the health care industry. Massage therapists must have the time willingness to not only market themselves, but also be able to communicate with and educate the public about the benefits of massage therapy in general.
Last but not least is the matter of insurance reimbursement for massage therapists, an evolving and complex issue for the industry. Some practitioners choose to form a partnership with a big insurance company, and believe such a partnership can assist in developing one's clientele. Other therapists argue that an insurance partnership may limit the decisions a massage therapist business owner may make. These are some of the challenging decisions you might have to make if you decide to open a massage therapy practice.
For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs you can email our admissions department.