Your massage therapy training and all the in-depth details gained in your massage therapist classes, have opened the door to a world of career possibilities, and health benefits for your future clients, but … there’s more!
As a registered massage therapist (RMT), or one currently in massage therapy school, it is essential to recognize the broad range of modalities, and how they benefit those you serve. The more you understand, the better you can care for your clients and guide them in the direction of what will support them best. This, in turn, gives you the edge in a competitive market. So, let’s dive into the details, and get you connected to what you need to know …
Massage Therapy Specializations & Benefits, Empowering You to Thrive in Your Career
A gentle full-body massage, geared for those experiencing massage for the first time or wanting a gentle touch. It involves long gliding strokes, kneading, tapping, friction, and gentle stretching to improve circulation and initiate relaxation. You’ll work on sections of the body, one by one, and the focus is on the top layers of muscle to simply relieve tension.
- Increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream,
- Improves blood circulation and flexibility,
- Reduces toxins in the body,
- Relieves muscle tension, firing up those happy hormones,
- Boosts the immune system.
Deep Tissue Massage
This is a deeper massage, using more pressure to release knots, muscle tension and trigger points within the body. The focus in on reaching those deeper layers of muscle, connective tissue, and fascia. This is for clients who suffer from chronic muscle pain and soreness, back pain, or imbalances.
- Relieves stress and stiffness, even for those dealing with arthritis,
- Lowers blood pressure,
- Reduces heart rate,
- Increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream,
- Helps in the relief of chronic pain.
Focuses on muscles frequently used in sport, targeting those muscles specifically to provide relief. Repetitive movements can cause chronic pain; sports massage can ward off these debilitating issues. You may focus on one particular area or give a full-body massage, depending on the concerns or request. This type of massage is best for athletes or those engaged in high levels of activity.
- Reduces muscle soreness, pain, and tension,
- Improves flexibility,
- Helps to prevent sport-related injuries,
- Can speed up workout recovery time.
Also referred to as lymphatic drainage, this type of massage is done in slow circular motions, adding pressure to move lymph fluid throughout the lymphatic system. This technique is often used for those experiencing a build up of fluid, causing swelling (lymphedema).
- Reduces swelling (lymphedema) and pain,
- Circulates the lymph fluid to relieve soreness,
- Drains lymph fluid accumulated after breast cancer surgery.
A mild massage, using light pressure to release tension, helping expectant mothers with body aches, reducing stress levels, and easing muscle tension. Typically, this massage focuses on the lower back, hips, and legs and on providing on overall feeling of care and well-being.
- Relieves muscles tension caused by changes in the body during pregnancy,
- Improves circulation,
- Reduces anxiousness,
- Provides a sense of care and overall well-being for mom and baby.
A Japanese form of massage, focusing on finger pressure using varied and rhythmic pressure at precise points of the body. This goes alongside a belief, and understanding, that stimulating the acupressure points helps the flow of a person’s energy and relieves blockages.
- Relieves muscle soreness and pain, and headaches,
- Mental health benefits, including a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression,
- Creates an overall state of relaxation and calm.
A full-body massage that uses pressure from the hands, palms, and fingers, but also encourages stretching and twisting various parts of the body to relieve tension from the body, improve circulation and flexibility. This type of massage is for those who want a more active treatment and an increased range of motion.
- Treats headache and back pain,
- Eases joint stiffness,
- Boosts energy,
- Reduces anxiety,
- Increases flexibility and movement.
This massage is for those undergoing cancer treatments. You may focus on just one type of massage or combine various methods, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and lymphatic massage during a session. As this, ultimately, is to simply make the patient feel relaxed, you will often change the technique and method based on their needs in the moment.
- Provides both physical and emotional relaxation for the patient,
- Relieves the physical pain experienced by patients undergoing cancer treatments.
Benefits of Choosing Your Niche
So why does understanding these various specializations matter and why would you take the time to expand your knowledge base and offerings?
There are a number of key advantages to delving deeper into a niche, that can impact you both professionally and personally.
Advantages of Specialization:
- Enhancing Your Skillset – Your ability to expand your knowledge base and techniques, increases your proficiency and ability to truly serve your clients.
- Attracting Clients – In specializing in a particular modality, you become the go-to expert for those seeking out your specific services.
- Expanding Professional Credibility – Establishing yourself as a professional with an expertise in one, or a few, specialized areas gains the respect of your clients and your colleagues and will ultimately allow you to expand your business year by year.
Reflecting on, researching, and specializing within the areas of care that reflect your passions and careers goals, will help you to hone your skills, target your ideal audience and enrich your prospects in the months and years to come.
If you’re still researching whether massage therapy is for you, take the “Anderson College Massage Therapy Career Training Readiness” Quiz .
If you’re still looking into your massage therapist education at massage therapist colleges, we can help. Anderson College has a leading-edge program, taught by industry experts offering hands-on training. Our team is here to support you as navigate your way from program selection to graduation.
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