As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job opportunities for massage therapists will increase by 20% between now and 2020, it’s no surprise you’re interested in enrolling in massage therapy school so you can look for work in this field.
However, aside from having a passion for this profession, you’re going to need a couple of important skills if your career in massage therapy is to be a long and successful one.
Do you like people?
If after taking massage therapy classes you remain committed to your goal of entering this profession, you’ll be dealing with a lot of different people – many of whom may not have the sunniest disposition due to the physical pain they are in. For this reason, if you’re not a people person, you’re going to want to consider another line of work.
According to the BLS, massage therapists can’t do their job without listening to their clients and finding out what it is they hope to get out of their treatment. Furthermore, they have to possess the ability to explain what they can and cannot do to make people’s lives better.
At the same time, you want to make sure your clients’ experience is as positive as possible. That means that empathy goes hand-in-hand with providing a comfortable experience.
Do you have the patience to practice?
Some patients may have stubborn personalities, and the same goes for their bodies. While there are issues that can be corrected very quickly, others will require multiple appointments. This is just one reason why you’re going to need a lot of patience as you help clients on the road to recovery. A second reason is the fact that you’re likely to treat multiple people over the course of the day. There’s really no time to get tired when your schedule’s full. After all, your patients expect you to free them from the stress or physical pain they are experiencing. Don’t let them down.
Are you strong enough to be a physical therapist?
Something else you need to consider before becoming a physical therapist is just how strong you are. While professionals in this field don’t have to be bodybuilders, they do have to use their hands, fingers, elbows and forearms to knead clients’ muscles. Some people even use their feet to get the job done. These treatments are typically given while massage therapists are standing. As a result, anybody who gets tired after standing for a while or isn’t known to have the strongest handshake may want to find another career.
Of course, there are always ways for massage therapists to expand their skill set, even after they finish up in massage therapy school. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, professionals in this field take 22 hours of continuing education each year, on average.
What is it about massage therapy that appeals to you? Let us know in the comment space below.
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