Massage Therapy: What is it?

Massage Therapy School Billings MT I love this question ever so much better than the WHY question, simply because the answer is that it can be such a versatile form of wellness care. Over the next few posts I will outline some different types of massage therapy/bodywork, and discuss the benefits of each.

First of all, on the most basic level, we define massage and bodywork as physical manipulation of soft tissues for the purpose of relaxation or rehabilitation. We aren’t chiropractors, so spinal adjustment is outside of our practical scope. (That isn’t to say that some of our clients don’t experience spontaneous adjustment, but the CRAAAACK of an adjusting spine isn’t our goal, just an occasional, lovely side effect 😉 ) Also, the manipulation of or energetic field, while included under the umbrella of ‘bodywork’ doesn’t actually require hands-on. We will also discuss energetic work in a future post.

We in the field of Massage Therapy tend to divide the different types of massage, known as MODALITIES, into two different main categories: EASTERN and WESTERN.

Eastern massage approaches originated in China, India, and Japan, for example. Eastern approaches are very old, many dating back as far as 3-5000 years! They tend to focus on finding and managing energetic imbalances in the CHI, or life force that flows in specific patterns, called meridians. The focus is upon soothing overactive energy flow and stimulating under-active energy flow by specific body manipulations. In the future we will discuss reflexology, Ayurvedic massage, Thai massage, Jin Shin Do, Shiatsu, and TuiNa. These are a few examples of Eastern forms of bodywork.

Western massage approaches, for the most part, can be traced to roots in Western Europe. The foundation on which many western techniques are built is called SWEDISH MASSAGE (though it was not thought to have been founded in Sweden, nor was is designed by a Swede… and the names of the movement techniques are French… who said History isn’t funny?!) We will discuss Swedish (also known as Classical Massage), Myofascial release, Structural Integration, Sports Massage, Spa Therapies, NeuroMuscular Therapies, and Active Release Therapy to name a few.

So the answer to the question, “What is massage?” is a very broad topic that I am looking forward to sharing with you. Check back soon!


The SHORT TRAINING TIME Principle

Massage School Billings MT

Continuing our discussion of the many, varied and unusual reasons that massage therapy is an excellent career choice:

The SHORT TRAINING TIME Principle

Massage therapy is one of the rare, golden careers that the relationship between training time and dollars earned is not direct. For example, physicians earn a high wage, but they have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and many many years into their training before they can earn a penny. Massage therapy, on the other hand, requires a minimal time/money investment compared to the earning potential.

Our school, Mossmain College of Therapeutic Massage, has taken all of the nationally recognized, entry level standards and created a curriculum that, though it exceeds the standards, it is presented in a manageable and learner oriented fashion. The state of Montana requires a mere 500 hours of training at an NCBTMB(National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork) approved institution to qualify to apply for licensure. MCTM offers a 656 hour program, meeting or exceeding requirements in 45 US states. We have broken down our curriculum so that it can be digested in smaller bits, we are in class for only four hours per day, four days per week. Even after we add in the student clinical hours, we are still able to provide a well-rounded, entry level education in nine months.

Yep, your training time is 9 months of half-time school. Compare this to cosmetology. (I’m not picking on cosmetologists, by the way. It is simply another personal-service profession that is trained in a similar fashion.)

Cosmetology school in our city is 2000 hours of training, or a full year of full time school. It also costs nearly twice what MCTM costs. The kicker here is that massage therapists earn a median wage of $17.29/hour, while cosmetologists earn a median wage of $10.95/hour.*

So, in a comparable, service-oriented profession, side by side comparison shows that the SHORT TRAINING TIME of Mossmain College of Therapeutic Massage actually pays off exponentially.

Call us here at Mossmain College of Therapeutic Massage if you are ready to explore a new career! 406.656.3366

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition


Diverse Opportunity Principle

Massage School Billings MT Massage on Cruise Ship Continuing our discussion of the many, varied and unusual reasons that massage therapy is an excellent career choice:

The DIVERSE OPPORTUNITY Principle

If I asked you to close your eyes and envision the perfect work environment, what would it look like? A Hospital

  • A Chiropractic Office
  • Gym
  • A Spa
  • A Salon
  • A Hotel
  • A Beach
  • A Cruise Ship
  • A Physical Therapy Office
  • A Wellness Center
  • A Health Club
  • A University
  • At Home
  • A Retirement Community
  • An Assisted Care Facility
  • A Private Office
  • A Portable Environment
  • This list is by no means comprehensive, but you can see the plethora of options available. Do you want the security of being an employee? The opportunity to own your own business? Do you want to contract out your services? Do you want to work with athletes? Children? Oncology patients? Students? Elderly people? Vacationers?

    So not only is massage therapy flexible for day to day scheduling, (see previous post) it offers extreme flexibility in the work environment.

    Our training program at Mossmain College of Therapeutic Massage has this wide range of possibilities in mind. Because massage therapy is a rapidly growing industry, there will be more and more diverse opportunities to work in whatever setting you choose. We have a strong Business Strategies course, which can assist you in making good career choices and exploring possibilities for business ownership.

    With the broad range of diverse work environments, there is something for everyone. Call us today to discuss training to become a massage therapist!


    You’re a Massage Therapist? WHY!!?

    Continuing our discussion of the many, varied and unusual reasons that massage therapy is an excellent career choice:

    The INDUSTRY IS GROWING RAPIDLY AND STEADILY principle.

    In 2013, Americans spent approximately 8-10 billion dollars on massage therapy and other complementary/alternative treatments. Did you notice the “B” as in BILLION? In addition to that big B for Billion, that spending is projected to grow 20% by the year 2020. So within the next 6 years, Americans will be spending about 12 BILLION DOLLARS on the type of services we provide. That is a very large pie, and it is there for us to take our slice!

    Our town of Billings, MT – and really the US in general – is on the cusp of a wellness revolution. People are opening up to the idea of exploring other pathways to healthy living besides heavy reliance on pharmaceuticals and the like. People no longer have to rely solely on blood pressure medication, for example. It has been proven that regular massage helps to lower high blood pressure as a medical condition, thereby possibly reducing or eliminating the need for medication.* I am obviously not suggesting to my clients that they simply stop their BP meds, but it is marvelous to know that there are some alternatives that can support them and their bodies while they pursue health!

    The physiological benefits of massage can really help people to feel better. As this simple fact becomes more well known, it stands to reason that the field of therapeutic massage will grow. The earlier a person decides to enter the field, the more experienced s/he becomes and better s/he will be able to accommodate the flocks of people beating down the door for the purpose of receiving therapeutic massage! Come join the rapidly growing WELLNESS REVOLUTION and explore the idea of training to become a MASSAGE THERAPIST!


    “You’re a Massage Therapist? WHY!!?”

    question-mark In the several years that I have been a practicing Licensed Massage Therapist, I have been asked this question numerous times. As in, How can you do that job, it would be so tiring, boring, gross, you touch people’s feet [insert preconceived notion here…]

    For some people, the “WHY’s” are based purely on assumptions about what we “Masseuses” do. (BTW, the preferred term is Massage Therapist or Massage Practitioner!) Instead of discussing those misconceptions, I am going to share over the next few posts some of the many, varied, and unusual ways that becoming a massage therapist is an excellent career choice.

    The WELLNESS Principle

    There are few professions that require as focused, personalized attention on the recipient as therapeutic massage. People in our Western culture are chronically ‘touch deprived’ and this can lead to a whole host of physical and psychological problems. While we are not nor should we ever claim to be physicians or psychologists, therapeutic massage is a definite boost to WELLNESS.

    Being what I call a WELLNESS WORKER is such a rewarding calling. Anyone who is a service person at heart can relate to what I am saying. People in patient care in the medical field, people who choose to teach our children, people who assist us every day in too many ways to list, they are our service people. For many of us, knowing that we have made a difference in the day or week or month of another person is so rewarding and reinforcing. As we educate our clientele on the fact that massage therapy supports and enhances wellness, people will begin to dispel the notion that massages are a treat or an undeserved luxury. Everyone deserves to feel WELL!

    The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami is dedicated to scientifically studying the effects of massage therapy and other touch modalities on both specific conditions and general health and wellness. They have scientifically proven that:

    MASSAGE THERAPY SUPPORTS AND ENHANCES THE FUNCTION OF EVERY ORGAN SYSTEM IN THE HUMAN BODY.

    This is a powerful bit of information, and what we can glean from it is that while we may go to see our massage therapist for a stiff neck, the treatment that we receive may in fact help us to sleep better, digest better, eliminate better… in other words, it enhances our feelings of wellbeing, or our WELLNESS.

    POW!


    Why should you train for a career as a massage therapist?

    Massage therapy is a booming business. In 2013, it was reported that Americans spent 8-10 BILLION DOLLARS on massage and complementary modalities. Projections indicate that this number is growing rapidly, and will hit 20% growth by the year 2020.

    Massage therapists often have flexibility in their schedules. This lends itself perfectly to a variety of situations.  Raising a family is easier with a flexible work schedule, and if your choice is to use massage to earn supplemental income, it is simple to work around your other employment.

    Massage therapy training is largely a hands-on process.  Although there is book work involved, our  coursework emphasizes hands-on, which works very well for people who have been away from a classroom for a long time.  It is a superior method for teaching alternative learners as well.  If “traditional school” was a struggle for you, it does not mean that becoming a well qualified massage therapist is out of reach.

    Massage therapists can find employment in a wide variety of venues.  We have trained MT’s who work in hospitals, yoga studios, student health services, chiropractic offices, naturopathic offices, spas, retirement/assisted care facilities and oncology care wards to name a few.  Of course, many of the massage therapists we have helped train are independent business owners as well; the options are endless!

    Finally, EVERYONE LOVES THEIR MASSAGE THERAPIST!!!

    Call us now for your opportunity to train in this rewarding, fast growing career!

    406-656-3366  Mossmain College of Therapeutic Massage