I interviewed Claire Bunney, site manager for MassageSchool.org, about massage therapy school for readers who may be interested in a career in massage therapy. MassageSchool.org it is an online resource designed to connect prospective massage therapy students to schools and related resources. It helps them to narrow their interests and provides answers to many of their questions though informational articles.
Ms. Bunney became affiliated with this website because of her passion for natural healing techniques. She said that massage therapy is very rewarding. "When you completely focus on someone else, you grow as a person."
The MassageSchool.org website provides a listing of accredited colleges offering massage therapy programs*. Although the website does not include every accredited school, Ms. Bunney explained that as their website grows she intends to add more schools.
There are many different training programs for massage therapy offered throughout the United States. While there are some bachelorís degree training programs in massage therapy, most massage therapy programs offer diploma or associate degrees.
Massage therapy courses include topics such as anatomy, physiology, body systems, kinesiology, pathology, ethics and business practices. Generally, massage programs also include hand-on experience as well.
Ms. Bunney advises prospective massage therapy students to determine their specific career goals before choosing in a training program. Massage schools vary in the type of massage taught, graduation requirements and their type of accreditation*.
Ms. Bunney suggests prospective students should answer the following questions before selecting a massage school:
What work setting would I prefer?
Massage therapy can be found in several different work environments. Some examples of places massage therapists are employed include medical practices, spas and massage-only practices.
What type of massage therapy do I want to practice?
There are many forms of massage therapy. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, therapists can specialize in over 80 types of massage techniques. Some examples of message techniques include deep tissue massage, sports massage, trigger point therapy and Swedish massage.
Where do I want to practice massage therapy?
Training and credentials required to become a massage therapist in the U.S. varies from state to state. Therefore, it is important to ensure prospective massage therapists have met the requirements to practice massage therapy in the state they intend to work.
Most states regulate the practice of massage therapy. Specific state requirements vary; they may include requirements such as coursework, supervised experience and/or a licensure examination. Prospective students who want to learn more about the specific requirements for their state can contact the American Massage Therapy Association.
Once prospective students know where they want to work, the type of work setting they prefer and the method of massage they would like to practice, they can investigate and select an educational program.
For those interested in visiting the massage schools website mentioned in this article, go to MassageSchool.org.
* College accreditation may be national or regional. Massage therapy programs offered at accredited colleges do not necessarily have a program accreditation. Consider future career and educational goals when evaluating the importance of college and program accreditation.