Thinking About a Career in Massage Therapy? Here’s Why It Might Be Your Calling

Have you ever wondered if a career in massage therapy is right for you? If you want to help others relieve pain and stress with your healing hands, massage therapy allows you to make a meaningful impact every day.

But taking the leap into a new career path comes with lots of questions. Will I enjoy doing massage therapy long-term? How long does the training take, and what will it equip me with? What does the job outlook and earning potential look like?

This guide will walk you through all the ins and outs of launching a rewarding, sustainable career in massage therapy. You’ll learn:

  • The pros and cons of working as a massage therapist
  • Everything you need to know about massage therapy programs and licensing
  • What a typical day in the life of a massage therapist may look like
  • Expected job growth and salary ranges in this rewarding career
  • Why massage therapy might be an ideal fit if you enjoy helping others feel their best

If you’re on the fence about whether a massage therapy career aligns with your interests and professional goals, let’s explore the possibilities!

Did you know?

Rock Valley College offers a premier Massage Therapy Training Program through Bodycraft Wellness & Massage Center LLC – a 600-hour/under 12-months training that prepares you for a thriving career in massage therapy!

What is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is the practice of manipulating the soft tissues and muscles in the body to provide therapeutic benefit or relaxation.

As a massage therapist, you would provide massages designed to reduce people’s pain, improve blood circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of your clients.

There are numerous massage therapy specialties and techniques you can pursue:

  • Relaxation Massage- A gentle, full-body massage using long, fluid strokes. It promotes relaxation, increases circulation, and relieves muscle tension.
  • Therapeutic Massage – Applying deeper pressure focused on realigning the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. Helps chronic aches and pain.
  • Sports Massage – Preventing or treating injuries for athletes before, during, or after sports events. Uses stretches and compression techniques.
  • Trigger Point Massage – Concentrating pressure on myofascial trigger points (painful irritated areas in muscles). Allows muscles to relax.
  • Shiatsu – A Japanese massage utilizing kneading, tapping, vibrations, and stretching along the body’s meridians. Aims to balance energy flow.
  • Prenatal/Pregnancy Massage – Designed to relieve pregnancy-related back, hip, and leg pain, reduce swelling, and improve sleep.

The type of therapeutic massage you’ll perform depends on your specialization and the needs of clients. You develop customized treatment plans to target the problem areas they want to address.

The Pros and “Cons” of a Massage Therapy Career

So, why invest the time and resources into training for massage therapy? The pros are many, and even some of the “cons” aren’t truly cons at all!

Pro: You get to provide healing and hope to those in need of destressing

An overwhelming pro is the gratification you’ll feel in helping clients relieve pain, decompress from stressful lives, recover from injuries, and generally relax. Humans need healing touch; you’ll provide this much-needed service.

Pro: Autonomy and flexibility are possible as you work for yourself

Many massage therapists enjoy the flexibility to create their own schedules, work part-time if desired, and even provide on-site massages. Whether employed at a spa/clinic or self-employed, you control the flow of your day. Autonomy can be very fulfilling.

Pro: Massage therapy is a recession-proof role

Massage has thrived even in tough economies as people prioritize affordable self-care. There is growing demand as interest in alternative wellness modalities increases. The industry is projected to expand 20%+ over the next decade.

Now let’s address two “myths” that aren’t really cons for most:

Myth: Massage therapy is a career without much prestige or value

Some assume massage therapy lacks the prestige of careers like medicine or law. But most find status matters far less than the joy brought through caring, empathetic touch therapy. Helping others feel their best is profoundly meaningful.

Myth: The pros of massage therapy are outweighed by the physical demands

The work does take some physical stamina as you’re on your feet routinely kneading muscles. But you’ll learn body mechanics to work smart. And the physical nature keeps the job engaging – not deskbound. For most, this aspect is rewarding.

A Day in the Life of a Massage Therapist

Wondering what an average day as a massage therapist entails? From interacting with interesting clients to running your own small business, massage therapists enjoy quite a busy and rewarding day.

You might start your morning with a cup of tea and a review of your schedule and client notes. Checking your time slots for the day, you prepare the soothing music you’ll play during massages and ensure your space is sterilized and calming.

Your first appointment – a regular client with chronic back pain – arrives. You provide a personalized session, using kneading and trigger point therapy to address problem areas.

Based on feedback, you make adjustments to target new knots that formed since last week. She leaves feeling significantly better – back to gardening without restriction. That positive outcome energizes you!

Between clients, you update paperwork, sterilize equipment, drink some water, and stretch. Your next client, a runner struggling with shin splints, appreciates how you combine deep tissue pressure along his leg with gentle stretching to increase mobility.

In the afternoon, you have three more appointments, including a prenatal massage. With that client, you position support cushions for ultimate comfort. Addressing sore hips and swollen feet, you incorporate light Swedish and compression techniques suitable for pregnancy.

At the end of the day, perhaps you provide an on-site chair massage for a corporate client’s health fair. Or you catch up on billing and schedule social media posts showcasing the health benefits of massage.

Each day is new and exciting – even as your repeat clients become like old friends, and you continue to learn and grow in your practice.

Everything You Need to Know About Massage Therapy Programs and Licensing

To become a massage therapist, you must complete massage therapy education and training, pass an exam, then become licensed in your state. And while there are many places to seek your education, the exceptional program offered at Bodycraft Wellness & Massage Center LLC in Rockford, IL, is unmatched.

Bodycraft Wellness Massage Therapy Training Program

This 600-hour massage program provides comprehensive training combining lectures, demonstrations, and clinical practice. Approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, it instills a strong foundation in areas like:

  • Anatomy/Physiology
  • Deep Tissue Modalities
  • Applied Kinesiology
  • Business/Ethics
  • Student Clinic Experiences

The program starts every September and April at the Rock Valley College campus in Rockford, IL, which is convenient for those in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin and nearby towns of Loves Park, Belvidere, Chicago, and nearby Beloit.

You’ll develop customized treatment plans and gain hands-on experience in both basic relaxation and medical massage techniques. The student clinic allows you to hone skills with real clients under supervision. Elective courses are also available in specialties like sports massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, and more.

Admission requires applicants to be 18+, hold a diploma/GED, and interview with the Program Director. Tuition comes in at $7,995, covering everything except electives/supplies.

Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist

Upon completing the 600-hour program, you’ll be eligible to take the MBLEx licensing exam. This assesses knowledge in areas like anatomy, terminology, ethics, and practice. Passing allows you to apply for your massage therapy license through the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.

Licensure requires additional steps like a criminal background check and fingerprinting. Renewing your state license every two years through continuing education ensures you provide safe, ethical treatment.

With NCBTMB approved training and state license, you’ll be fully equipped to launch a rewarding, meaningful career helping clients feel their best through massage.

Launch Your Massage Therapy Career in Rockford, IL

A career in massage therapy allows you to help others relieve pain, recover from injury, destress, and feel better through compassionate touch and natural healing.

As demand for affordable wellness services grows, this is a stable, meaningful career path that positively impacts your community.

The acclaimed 600-hour massage therapy certification program offered at Bodycraft Wellness and Rock Valley College provides exceptional hands-on training under industry experts. Upon completion and passing your licensing exam, you’ll have the rewarding opportunity to improve clients’ well-being as a Licensed Massage Therapist.

Whether you dream of opening your own practice, working at a resort spa, or offering athletic recovery for sports teams, this program gives you a strong foundation.

Pair that with your compassion, attentiveness, and therapeutic skills, and you’ll find great fulfillment in using your talents to help people feel their best!

Register today to start your career!