Training to be a massage therapist give you skills in several techniques that can help you serve clients well
You may be aware of massage therapy as a profession. But do you know about the different techniques that massage therapists use to help clients? With the right training, these healthcare professionals not only improve overall wellness but can address specific physical issues. To do that, they need to draw upon a number of different techniques and therapies. It’s an interesting profession in that you build a varied set of skills.
Here’s an overview of some of the popular techniques that massage therapists put to use:
Deep tissue massage
Similar in some ways to Swedish massage, deep tissue massage focuses on specific areas of the client’s body that need healing or special attention. This can be especially useful if the client comes to the appointment complaining about a certain area—such as tightness in the lower back, stiff shoulders, or a sore neck. Through a series of slow, gradual movements, therapists use their hands to release tension in the muscle, working intensely and deeply. The therapist may also focus on other areas of the body that receive a lot of stress, including joints, the sensitive connective tissues (called fascia), ligaments, and tendons. This is a good option for a client who enjoys a massage with a certain amount of pressure, because some describe the experience as slightly painful—but in a good way. Clients often say they feel relief and a degree of relaxation at the end of the session.
This is a European technique that has become a staple at a lot of spas in the United States—perhaps because one of its main objectives is relaxation. The first thing to know is that it focuses on the entire body. Using long, smooth strokes, the therapist is gentle but firm stretching and kneading all groups of muscles. These types of movements are intended to improve your circulation by increasing the flow of oxygen to your muscles.
Hot stone therapy
In this technique, the massage therapist heats up special stones to a temperature that’s comfortable when they come into contact with the skin. The therapist places the stones on key places on your body, often where we hold a lot of stress, such as the hands or back. The heat of the stones helps the muscles to relax and loosen. Some people believe that the use of these natural materials has a calming and grounding effect. This technique can be integrated with other kinds of massages.
If you choose a massage therapist school like the one at the Salter School, you’ll learn the skills it takes to perform these types of massages, as well as several others, often including sports massage, reflexology, aromatherapy (using scented essential oils), the Japanese technique of Shiatsu, and Thai massage.
Interested in pursuing a career in this field? A good next step it to learn more about what massage therapists do. Then you may want to look for a massage school near you. You could be on the path to a new profession in a matter of months!
This article is part of the weekly blog of the Salter School. We offer several different professional training programs at our campuses in Malden and Fall River, MA. Reach out to us today for more information or to schedule a campus tour!