Find Training in Massage Therapy in the United States and Canada. There are over 80 different massage modalities in practice today. Training in massage therapy, however, is nearly as varied as the broad array of techniques available. Most curricula entail anatomy, physiology, and pathology; with standard hands-on instruction in deep tissue, sports and Swedish massage.
The variation of modalities taught in massage therapy programs depends on the school. For instance, if you are seeking training in massage therapy with an emphasis on Eastern medicine therapies, there are a number of healing arts schools that offer advanced and supplementary training in massage therapy including practical instruction in Thai massage, Oriental massage, Tuina, acupressure/Shiatsu and meridian therapy.
Students seeking more clinical training in massage therapy find that there are several massage programs that provide comprehensive training in hydrotherapy, Trigger point, craniosacral therapy, myofascial release; geriatric, prenatal and infant massage; and lymphatic drainage, among others. Certified massage therapists who have received comprehensive instruction in these therapies are often qualified to work in hospitals, medical clinics, physical therapy clinics, sporting events, health resorts, aboard cruise ships, spas and other healthcare related facilities.
Is there an animal lover in you? Then training in massage therapy with an emphasis on canine and/or equine massage might be right for you. These studies often include anatomy and physiology of the respective animal, and acupressure and sports massage for animals. Graduates of these programs typically receive a certificate of completion and/or diploma, and go onto working in holistic veterinary clinics, vet offices and animal shelters.
There is also training in massage therapy for the terminally ill. Patients with terminal conditions respond well to therapeutic touch therapy, and find it effective in relieving anxiety, musculoskeletal pain, insomnia and other symptoms. Certified massage therapists who have gained training in massage therapy for the terminally ill work in hospitals, nursing homes, and as home healthcare practitioners.
Want to work in a day spa or salon? Getting training in massage therapy for chair, hand and facial massage; hot and cold stone massage, and Watsu (water therapy) lends advantage for entry-level employment in the spa and beauty industry.
Additional training in massage therapy is designed for particular body regions. Reflexology, for example, is especially for the feet, hands and ears. This study is sometimes included in in-depth massage programs and is complementary to services already offered by a massage therapist or holistic healthcare practitioner.