How To Become A Massage Therapist

There are many reasons why people choose to become massage therapists. It could be because they want to help others feel better, or they enjoy working with their hands. Whatever the reason, becoming a massage therapist can be a rewarding career choice.

If you’re interested in becoming a massage therapist, there are a few things you need to know.

Step 1: Research and understand the Duties of a Masseuse

After interviewing the client and determining their physical ailments, the masseuse creates a treatment plan. Depending on the client’s condition and the specialty of the masseuse, he or she may use hand or finger techniques to apply pressure to different areas. Various forms of therapy may be given, which can involve using whirlpool baths, ice packs or heat lamps.

The position of a massage therapist entails providing a soothing, relaxing, and therapeutic touch to people who are experiencing pain or stress. In this role, you’ll be working with your hands in an exfoliating manner, which can include direct pressure or kneading movements over areas like the back as well as the scalp. You’ll also be responsible for the maintenance of records, including client invoicing and keeping complete treatment documents. When traveling to client’s homes, you’ll need to set up equipment such as chairs or tables, provide lotions, pillows, and bedding.

Step 2: Complete an Accredited Massage Therapy Program

A career as a masseuse requires at least 500 hours of training from an accredited massage therapy school, which can take up to one year to complete. Students learn how to perform various types of massages, such as Swedish, deep tissue and sports massage. Classroom instruction covers topics like human anatomy, kinesiology and physiology. Students also get hands-on experience working with clients under the supervision of a licensed masseuse.

Step 3: Obtain a License to Practice Massage Therapy

Most states require licensure for massage therapists. To obtain a license, candidates must pass an exam administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. The exam covers topics like ethics, massage techniques and anatomy. Some states may also require candidates to complete a background check. Once you have your license, you can start looking for work as a massage therapist.


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Swedish Massage: This is the most common type of massage, and it involves long, smooth strokes over the entire body. It’s often used to relax muscles and improve circulation.

Deep Tissue Massage: As the name suggests, this type of massage targets deep muscle tissue. It’s often used to relieve pain and stiffness in the muscles and connective tissues.

Sports Massage: This type of massage is designed to help athletes prepare for and recover from sporting events. It can also be used to treat injuries sustained during athletic activity.

Aromatherapy Massage: This type of massage uses essential oils to provide a variety of benefits, including relaxation, stress relief and improved circulation.

Pregnancy Massage: This is a special type of massage that’s designed to help pregnant women relax and reduce stress. It can also relieve pain and tension in the muscles and connective tissues.

Hot Stone Massage: This type of massage uses smooth, heated stones to provide deep muscle relaxation. The heat can also help to improve circulation and relieve pain.

There are many other types of massage therapy. Choose the right one you feel comfortable with its learning process.

Job Opportunities For a Massage Therapist

There are many opportunities for self-employment as well, so you can be your own boss if you choose. Massage therapists can work in a variety of settings, such as spas, fitness centers, hospitals or private practices. Some massage therapists even travel to their clients’ homes or workplaces.

No matter where you choose to work, you’ll need to keep up with your continuing education requirements in order to renew your license. These requirements vary by state, but they typically involve taking courses or attending workshops on topics like new massage techniques or safety procedures.

5 Types Of Massage Therapist Certifications And Their Requirements

If you’re looking to become a more knowledgeable and skillful massage therapist, consider getting one or more of the following certifications:

1. Certified Massage Therapist (CMT)

The Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) credential is offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). To earn this title, you must graduate from an NCBTMB-assigned school and pass the certification exam, which covers anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, professional development, pathology and client assessment. You also must have a current massage therapy state license.

2. Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB)

The Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is the highest voluntary credential available for massage therapists. Attracting more customers, gaining reputation, and becoming more adaptable are just a few of the advantages associated with this designation.

3. Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT)

A Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) credential is required to practice massage therapy in most states. To become licensed, you must graduate from an accredited massage school and pass the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx). You also may need to complete a criminal background check. Each state has different licensure requirements, so be sure to check with your state massage therapy boards for more information.

4. Registered Massage Therapist (RMT)

The Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) credential is offered by the Canadian Federation of Massage Therapy Regulators (CFMTR). To earn this title, you must graduate from a provincially regulated massage therapy program and pass the CFMTR Registration Examination. You also must have a current massage therapy license in good standing and adhere to the CFMTR Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

5. Certified Medical Massage Therapist (CMMT)

The Certified Medical Massage Therapist (CMMT) credential is offered by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). To earn this title, you must complete an AMTA-approved medical massage training program and pass the CMMT exam, which covers topics like assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning and medical massage techniques. You also must have a current massage therapy license in good standing and adhere to the AMTA Code of Ethics.


If you want to become a massage therapist, keep in mind that not only will you be earning a substantial amount of money from the job, but you’ll also have the opportunity to assist individuals who are going through stress-related issues to unwind and enjoy life.

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