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Written by Jeff Zutaut

Over the years many studies have shown a massage has amazing benefits to our overall wellness, such as reduced stress, improved range of motion and reduced pain. However, we rarely have a chance to discuss the benefits of giving a massage. Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) is an incredible journey, and often, an incredible career. Learning to become a massage therapist can benefit all age groups and walks of life; such as recent highschool graduates, single parents and even those looking for a “retirement job” can learn this amazing skill and reap astounding rewards.

A recent U.S. News and World Report article listed massage as one of the top five careers in the field of healthcare support. According to the article, massage therapists often enjoy a very flexible schedule, above average work life balance, strong job market and low stress levels. Thanks to research being performed all over the world, massage has started to change the way we view modern medicine. Massage Therapists
can be found working with physical therapists, dentists, chiropractors and even with M.Ds. We’re no longer bound to day spas and private clinics, though a large number of therapists still lead happy and successful careers there as well. Indeed, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics gives massage a “bright outlook,” and shows it to be one of the fastest growing fields in the United States over the next seven years.

Massage therapists enjoy a unique role. We’re allowed to provide safe, healthy touch to our clients in a protected atmosphere. Allowing a person to relax and seek comfort is a crucial step in the healing process for many people. For example, The Atlantic’s article, “Study of the Day: Massage Speeds up Muscle Healing, Reduces Pain” suggests the support massage therapists provide the skeletalmuscular system can be astounding. Massage helps speed the recovery process for injuries, balances the body and improves the posture of the recipient. Massage Magazine’s 2017 article, “Cancer Pain Populations Benefit From Massage” indicates massage modalities even relieve some of the pain and discomfort associated with cancer.

Career opportunities aside, massage allows the therapist a chance to have a truly mindful hour. How often, in 2017, do we have an hour to focus simply on one task? Where our problems are not laid open to be examined, and where we can concentrate on the needs of another? The low lights, peaceful music and quiet associated with massage treatment rooms provide a stark contrast to the busy offices and city streets most of the population endure. Stresses from the outside world do not have a place in a massage room—which is a benefit to the therapist and client alike. Plus, massage therapists receive unique training in the sciences. Anatomy, physiology and kinesiology play an important role in guiding the intuitive touch of a massage therapist. Educated minds and skilled hands are the earmark of an LMT.

Therefore, a strong education is important. While regulations vary from state to state, most programs should be no less than 600 clock hours. A quality program will cover the sciences mentioned above as well as massage techniques. Classes in career readiness, and the ethics of massage should be included to guide the prospective therapist on their path to happiness and success in the industry.

While working at Lexington Healing Arts Academy as the Compliance Coordinator and Placement Specialist, I’ve watched many students reach success. As a LMT myself, I always grow super excited for new class-starts, because I know every student who walks through our doors has a fresh chance to change their life, and the lives of their clients.

If you would like more information on becoming a massage therapist, there are plenty of great resources available. The American Massage Therapy Association is a treasure trove of knowledge and quality insight into career benefits and job openings for a LMT. The AMTA provides a list of schools that meet the association’s standards for quality education. My Alma Mater, Lexington Healing Arts Academy, is another resource open to students in eastern and central Kentucky. With nearly twenty years of experience educating massage therapists, LHAA has the knowledge you need to begin your path toward providing a healing experience for you, and your future clients.

About the Author

Jeff Zutaut is a licensed massage therapist (LMT) and a staff member at Lexington Healing Arts Academy. Beyond his role as massage therapist Jeff coordinates the academy’s compliance efforts including student retention and placement.

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