Do you seek a relaxed work environment?
Do you have the ‘soothing touch’ and a passion to help others?
If you answered “yes” to these three questions you might want to consider a career in massage therapy, a field that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade.
According to bls.gov:
Employment of massage therapists is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.
But this rapid growth has turned many potential massage therapists away from the profession. These people find it concerning that the average massage therapy school is full of aspiring masseuses just like them. They worry that National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork has slowed the certification process because there are so many new massage therapists out there – therapists who will inevitably be competing with each other for clients and jobs. In short, then, they worry that the massage “bubble” will soon pop and that the field will thereafter contract.
Such concern is understandable, especially in light of the current job market as a whole. But it ignores one important factor at play here: demand.
Even as the number of massage therapists continue to rise, so too does the demand for these professionals. This growing demand is no fluke; rather, it shows no signs of abating anytime in the new future.
With lifespans increasing, birth rates down, and the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age, the American population is currently older than it’s ever been before – and it will only continue to age in the future. This translates into a tremendous demand for health and wellness services, and massage therapy is no exception.
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Recent studies have shown that massage therapy confers benefits beyond lower stress levels and more relaxed muscles. Since a massage can help your body lower cortisol levels and boost lymphatic circulation, it can effectively produce more disease-fighting cells and strengthen your immune system. These findings have made massage therapy an attractive treatment for a variety of diseases.
Increased institutional respect
Finally, on a much more basic level, massage therapy’s growth in popularity has translated into greater institutional respect over the past few years. Businesses and corporations are now more likely to include massages in worker benefits and incentives programs.
Health insurance providers are now regularly including massage therapy as a covered medical expense. Both of these measures have the effect of exposing more people to the treatment – and giving them an incentive to come back.
These three factors help explain why the field of massage therapy is experiencing a growing demand that shows no signs of future abatement. If you’re interested in the profession but concerned by the large number of massage therapists out there, you might want to keep these factors in mind as you do more research and further explore the career path.
Find more info on massage therapist salary and career prospects at bls.gov website.
Are you planning on a career change as a massage therapist? Share your tips!