Up until a few years ago, massage therapy was mostly looked upon as a “shady business”. The general perception was that massage therapists were mostly women wearing revealing clothes who performed massages in a sensual way in a dark ambience.
That perception has changed considerably over the years which can be considered a major development in the history of massage therapy as a business. Today, more people than ever are seeking massage therapy as a means of relieving stress and living a healthier life. In fact, many medical providers and insurance companies now consider massage as a viable medical treatment.
Professionals in many fields, from to athletes to celebrities, are going in for massages quite regularly. There is no doubt that getting a massage is one of the best ways to feel relaxed and healed from strain and tension in the muscles. Keeping this in mind, it is surprising to know that this profession had a bad reputation up until the recent past. What could possibly be shady in a person giving another person a massage? Was the whole concept of massage therapy abhorred or was it just the fact that it had become a profession?
It is true that there were some nefarious elements in the massage industry. They were the ones who used the cover of a massage therapy to provide questionable (and unmentionable for our website) services to their clients. As a result of their misdeeds, the entire massage community was blamed for encouraging these vile practices.
The fact of the matter is that these businesses made up less than 1% of all massage businesses in the USA. 44 states have their own regulatory body that governs massage therapy and it is next to impossible for any such questionable business to go unnoticed by the people in charge. As soon as they discover that something like this is going on, they take the sternest action, including shutting down the establishment and canceling their license. Not to mention, action would include legal actions involving the police, courts and attorneys.
It is due to the efforts of such bodies that the public perception of massage has changed. Make no mistake; there are still many people who don’t view massage therapy in a positive light. They still feel that there is much that has to be improved before massage can achieve mainstream acceptance.
But there is no doubt about the fact that the opinion is shifting and massage therapy is now viewed in a more positive light. This is the reason the demand for these services are on the rise, leading to more students enrolling in massage school than ever before.
The mainstream media has had a role to play in this as well. When characters in movies and on TV shows are portrayed as massage therapists, their profession is shown positively. This has helped changed the perception people had about massage therapy. People who previously looked down on massage therapy are now going in for massages on a regular basis.
There is certainly no reason today to be hesitant about becoming a massage therapist and you don’t have to worry about what people would think about you. The change in opinion means the profession is mostly viewed with respect these days. The profession itself is growing fast, with wages rising and opportunities increasing in every city across the country.
Another notable change when it comes to the massage industry is the attitude of insurance companies towards it. More insurance companies now cover the cost of massage therapy under the basic health plan. This means that people can use their health plans to receive massage therapy and the costs would be covered by the insurance company. The reason is that more doctors and physicians are now recommending massage as an alternative treatment. If other tried and tested methods don’t work, they usually refer their patients to massage therapists.
Most significantly of all this is that massage therapy has become an integral part of alternative care services. People are realizing that making massage a regular part of their health and fitness routine could enable them to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. Not only do massages help them get rid of their pain and discomfort, it is a holistic treatment that promotes overall health and wellbeing. This is why you may get many regular clients who come in for a massage on a daily or weekly basis.
As mentioned above, the number of people entering the massage industry is increasing. This means that more people are now looking at massage therapy as a viable career option. This wasn’t the case until a few years ago. Most of the massage therapists working today are female and in their 40s. Most of them have been working in the industry for over 7 years. Moreover, over 70% of the massage therapists working today are self-employed or own a massage facility at least in partnership. The number of jobs available in the industry is increasing 20% on an annual basis.
When compared to other fields, this growth is virtually unimaginable and there are plenty of job opportunities available for the people entering this profession. All you have to do is enroll in a massage school and complete the program. You could then be eligible for receiving a license and working professionally. This is possible only because massage therapy has become widely accepted. It is quite clear that the future for the massage therapy profession is bright, and now is a great time to consider becoming a massage therapist.
If you still feel any degree of apprehension about entering the massage profession, just answer this question: would you get a massage? If you answer this question in the affirmative, then you should have absolutely no qualms about becoming a professional massage therapist.
In order to become a successful massage therapist, it is important that you consider the qualities of a professional therapist. Come up with a list of things you look for in a massage therapist when selecting one. These are the traits you have to imbibe in yourself when working.
The bottom-line is that many people think positively about massage today. This wasn’t the case a few years back. There is no reason why the perception should revert to the way it was before. You definitely don’t need to think twice about becoming a massage therapist.