The healing power of touch is not unknown. A personalized massage regimen not only relieves the body of the toxics generated within, but also helps the person regain vitality emotionally and mentally. A career as a massage or spa therapist can be particularly rewarding for this very reason. If assisting people relax and find peace through touch therapy thrills you to bits, there could not be a better career option. And since what you give away comes back to you, you can revel in the satisfaction that comes from doing a job well. A career in massage and spa therapy would ideally be perfect for a person who rejoices in others relief. A pleasurable job comes sans work related stresses and hence increases the chances of you enjoying it manifold.
The present scenario
The spa and massage industry has experienced an unprecedented high in the last decade. Several trends in massage suggest that the opportunities for massage therapy careers are exponentially rising, with an increasing number of people opting for massage and spa relaxation to relieve themselves of stress and pressure. A spa therapist hardly ever faces a dearth of job opportunities, which makes this area of study one of the most rewarding fields in current times.
Massage and spa therapies have come a full circle and are today known to supplement traditional medicine. The myriad specializations that can be pursued have only made the profession more organized and hence, respectable. From relaxation massages to specialized clinical applications that require rigorous training, students of this vocation can choose to work with medical offices, clinics, spas, or varied segments of clients including athletes, infants, elderly or people with injuries, sicknesses or handicaps. The most preferred option, though, is the setting up of a massage saloon.
Massage therapy as a career option
The decision of whether or not to take up massage therapy as a career depends upon a number of factors. Answering a few basic questions such as 1) Do I like interacting with people? 2) Am I satisfied with the smile on their faces at the end of a session? 3) Do I believe in the power of touch therapy to cure illnesses? 4)Do I love contributing in my own way to the overall well being of an individual through personalized care? – would put to rest the dilemma. Deciding whether this field is the right choice as a career goal is not as difficult as pursuing this goal.
The training required
Recognizing the needs of the growing spa industry, many institutions have come up with courses on massage therapy. These dwell upon the overall anatomy of the human body with detailed emphasis on muscles and their particular functions in the body. Apart from this, the certification courses involve giving and receiving massage to learn about the intricacies of touch therapy.
Choose a course keeping in mind the requirements of the industry. A course that is in conjunction with the industry standards will help enhance your prospects as a massage and spa therapist. A certification course or a degree that is recognized by a national accreditation agency and offering a minimum 500 instruction hours is a good option. Many states that regulate massage and spa therapies ask for these criteria from the practitioner. Taking up the national certificate exam for therapeutic massage and bodywork is the next step towards a career. Meeting the requirements of the local body governing or regulating such therapies is imperative. Be aware of their requirements and stand in compliance of them.
A massage therapy is both an art and a science. See if your chosen program offers both theoretical and particle knowledge. Make sure that the basic of massage therapy is covered by the curriculum in depth. Try to find out if the course encourages the development of your touch skills. The importance of continuing education cannot be pooh-poohed either. Advanced training in the departments of therapies for sports, orthopedic, neuromuscular therapy, therapeutic touch and polarity and Shiatsu proves to be an added advantage and decreases the competition you might face in your career as a massage therapist.
Marketing or business administration courses, though not essential, will definitely add value to your basic course. These will be of immense help in targeting the niche clientele your business focuses on, and retaining them.
Making a career
Once you are armed with the necessary degrees and certifications, its time to contemplate what exact option would you like to plunge in. Do your home work and decide whether you want to set up your own saloon or work in association with other businesses? Are you looking for a full time career or do you want this career to supplement your other income generating work?
If you decide to work in conjunction with some other businesses or want to get employed at a spa as a therapist, choose the type of spa you would like to work in be it a day spa, resort spa, destination spa or a medical spa. Writing a good resume listing your qualifications and experiences along with a precise cover letter is half the battle won. Since it is the first communication from your side, avoid spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors in the document. Speaking up with the managers of spas that you intend to wok in will give you an idea of the ambience and work culture there. Forward your resume to all the businesses you intend to work with.
A personal interview is the best opportunity to convince the manager of your strengths. Explain in what way you could contribute to the growth of the spa. Reaching a little while early than the scheduled time will not only help you prepare for the discussion, but will also help you gauge the ways of the employees and superiors.
A career in massage therapy is a way to help people overcome personal anxieties and allows the practitioner a unique personal interaction with fellow beings. Even though money can be the motivating factor in the choice of this career, majority prefer being a practitioner solely for the joy of personal connection.