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What do I learn in massage therapy school?

Find out the components of study in a massage educational and training prgoram. Each area of study is broken down in detail. Also, we show you the next steps to becoming a licensed masseuse or masseur in your state.

What does a massage education entail?

What is involved in a massage therapy educational program?

So how do you become a massage therapist? Typically, massage programs offer a certificate in massage therapy. Completion can be from 9 months to 2 years. Training to be a massage therapist is no walk in the park. School curricula include several areas of study. You can remember them as B-M-B: Body, Massage, and Business.
  • The Body
    • Physiology. This is the study of the different systems at work in the body as well as their functions.
    • Anatomy. This massage class will be a serious course of memorization. Students will learn not only the names of the different muscles and tendons, but also their range of motion and effect on other parts of the body.
    • Kinesiology. This is the study of how the body moves. Kinesiology will help the massage therapist better understand the body holistically.
    • Pathology. Pathology is the study of disease. The body's parts work together so intrinsically that the correct usage of massage can help bring comfort along the path of healing.
    • Nutrition. Though massage therapists are not nutritionists, their understanding of general nutritional principles helps them to establish a more thorough wellness plan for each client.
  • The Massage
    • Massage history and theory. Massage is an age-old study dating back to ancient China and Greece. Understanding the roots of massage aids in an appreciation for technique and also inspires students about the future role of massage in society.
    • Massage techniques and practice. This is the part of the study that we typically think of first. Students complete their state-required practice hours as they learn techniques such as:
      • Swedish massage
      • Deep tissue massage
      • Foot reflexology
      • Hot stone massage
      • Pre-natal massage
      • Shiatsu massage
      • Sports massage
      • Lymphatic massage
      • Aromatherapy
    • Assessment. This study provides the therapist with a valuable tool. Coupled with the client's verbal description of how they are feeling, physical assessment helps the therapist develop the best plan of action for the wellness and increased comfort of the client.
  • The Business - Knowing how to give a great massage is not the same as knowing how to make your business financially profitable. Good massage therapy programs include some training in personal book keeping, customer service, and the ethics associated with an upstanding massage office.

How do I become a massage therapist?

There are 100s of schools that provide massage therapy training and massage therapy certification.
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Massage Job Requirements (by State)
View each state's massage licensing and certification requirements.

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