Mueller College of Holistic Studies

Mueller College offers a wide range of holistic health subjects such as massage therapy, hypnotherapy, herbology, reflexology, Reiki, nutrition, and Eastern and Asian modalities.

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Massage & Body Work

Massage Thearpy & Body Work Overview

Massage therapy is becoming more and more popular as a way to relieve stress and promote health. It is helpful for reducing pain in muscles and joints caused by a variety of conditions from arthritis to sports injuries. The growth of alternative medicine and holistic healing methods will foster increased job opportunities for massage therapists.

There are several different types of massage including Swedish, deep tissue, trigger point, Shiatsu, and sports massage. Massage therapists often specialize in one or more techniques that improve circulation and remove waste products from the muscles of the body thus promoting healing. The application of oils or lotions, herbal wraps and oil compresses, and the use of water, ice or steam as part of massage is common. A massage therapist uses the science of the body’s anatomy with the art of hands-on healing. The goal is usually to relax the client while promoting health and well being.

History of Massage Thearpy & Body Work

Massage and bodywork techniques have existed for thousands of years. Ancient Chinese, Egyptians and Hindus used massage to treat many conditions including the alleviation of chills and fever. Greek and Roman physicians helped reduce pain with massage.

Human touch has been shown to be important to both physical and psychological health. Bodywork is often part of holistic healing in oriental medicine. There is the Shiatsu tradition in Japan and lomi lomi in Hawaii. A Swedish physician, Per Henrik Ling, developed the Swedish massage method in the 19th century. Massage is an important part of health practices around the world.

Massage Thearpy Current/Future Situation

Since the medical benefits of massage are becoming more widely known in the United States, more physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, naturopaths and acupuncturists will refer their patients to massage therapists. More people are becoming interested in massage as a way to relieve stress and promote health. The aging baby boomer population will increase the number of people with conditions that can benefit from massage therapy. It is beneficial for arthritis, lower back pain, high blood pressure and many other chronic problems. Nationally, job growth for massage therapists is expected to be approximately 20.3% through 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Descriptions/Places to Work as a Massage Therapist

There are many types of career opportunities for trained massage therapists. If owning your own business is appealing, you may establish a practice alone or with other therapists. Some practitioners have portable tables and make house calls. You may work in an alternative healthcare clinic. Spas are another popular venue for massage therapists. Chiropractors’ offices, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, resorts, hotels, cruise ships, and health clubs are other employment sources. Sports massage therapists can find work at sports medicine clinics or with sports teams.

The profession offers flexibility of work hours, independence and choice of types of practice locations. Many massage therapists work part time. Due to the physical nature of the profession, 15 to 30 hours of work is considered by many to be full time for massage therapists.

The median hourly salary is approximately $16.00. The highest 10% of massage therapists earn about $32.00 hourly. Those who are experienced and self-employed with many clients have the best earnings potential.

Day in the Life of a Massage Therapist

A typical day in the life of a massage therapist begins with preparation before the client arrives. The treatment room’s table is set up with fresh linens. Towels and any oils or lotions to be used are arranged. The client’s file is reviewed. When the client arrives, there is a short welcome for regulars and a more extensive consultation with new clients. The goal is to help the client become comfortable and better able to relax and enjoy the benefits of massage. The therapist customizes the session to suit the needs of the client using various techniques. Typically, massages are 30 minutes to 60 minutes. A therapist may treat several people in a day. It is very satisfying to see clients relaxed and feeling better after the massage.

Graduate/Professional Quote

"Massage is the study of anatomy in Braille." – Jack Meagher

Stat/Fact/Tip of the Day

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, there are currently between 250,000 and 300,000 massage therapists in the United States, 85% of which are female.

Many states now require formal education from an accredited training program and certification for massage therapists.

Good communication skills, a friendly, outgoing personality, and the desire to help others are helpful to someone in this profession.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition