Careers in Massage Therapy: A guide The increased interest in Complementary and Alternative Medicine has resulted in a surge in many different fields of natural or traditional methods of treatment. Further enhancing this move towards a less intrusive form of medical therapy is the green movement. All-in-all, now is an excellent time to become involved in such alternative forms of medicine such as Aromatherapy, Reiki, Shiatsu, Homeopathy and Reflexology. Massage Therapy, in all its forms, is highly in demand in North America. In the United States, therapeutic Massage is a growth industry. Associations, societies and other groups are touting this as an excellent career choice. There are many schools and colleges offering courses to help you in choosing an area of specialization. They provide you with the groundwork for one of the many possible choices in the field. You will find there are many different paths from which to choose. Careers in Massage Therapy are for budding entrepreneurs and for those who wish to work in a group atmosphere. There are careers providing salaries. You can also work on commission or be self-employed. The most probable career for a qualified massage therapist is in the environment of a health spa. In these places, a masseuse may perform their duties for a salary. A spa hires masseuses to tend to the needs of their guests. These types of jobs are for those who like to work within a structured framework. Depending upon the location and purpose of the spa, duties may be seasonal. There may also be an emphasis on massage as a tool for relaxation rather than as treatment for a specific problem. Clinics may also hire massage therapy. These facilities vary in size and focus. Some are multi-disciplinary. They attract and hire practitioners from all different fields. A clinic may offer only non-traditional medical treatment. A massage therapy practitioner is an integral part of the system of Alternative Medicine. It may complement and integrate with other forms practices within such an institute. In a medical clinic, massage therapy is also a frequent addition to conventional forms of medical practices. More doctors and nurses are utilizing massage to help patients heal quicker. Massage therapy is also employed as a form of preventative measure. Massage therapists find employment as a tool of integrative medicine. The fields of conventional medical doctors and chiropractors also have room for practitioners of therapeutic massage. A graduate from a credible school in massage therapy may well find employment within such an office. The services may be salaried or paid per case. More often, a massage therapist will come in to the traditional doctor’s office to work on specific cases. A chiropractor will find more use for a massage therapist. Rehabilitation Centers frequently offer employment to massage therapists. They recognize the benefits to their clients of the services. Practitioners of different types of massage can easily find employment in these facilities. It requires a thorough comprehension of the various possible injuries and a complete comprehension of the process of rehabilitation. It is great career for those who like to work one-onone under the umbrella of a group or organization. Also good for those who are not ready to set up on their own are jobs offered in health clubs or fitness centers. These are sometimes contract work, sometimes work on commission, sometimes salaries positions. It depends upon the size of the club, the services they offer to all members and the economic well-being. For those who enjoy sports massage, this is a possible choice. It offers a few risks and the chance to explore different aspects of your craft. Sports medicine clinics and sports teams often hire their own team or individual massage therapists. This can be a very seasonal thing. It can also mean travel. The Olympics and many other major sporting events mean greater exposure. They also require traveling, sometimes irregular hours, being on-call during peak season and sometimes an off-season. Nursing homes may also have a therapeutic massage on staff. More frequently, they hire someone for specific days of the week or month. It can be contract work. If you enjoy working with the elderly, this is an excellent career for you. If not, you may want to try for different clientele. Within the world of therapeutic massage, there is the opportunity to become a Pet Massage Therapist. This includes the accepted world of Equine Massage Therapy. You might work within a veterinarian practice or as part of a stable. Animal massage therapists may also want to work with small animals. There is an interest in this type of massage. You may consider setting up a practice treating small animals. You can deal with dogs and cats. You may extend your services to a veterinarian or have your own business. Setting up their own business is the goal of many people. This requires financial acumen and skill. This is for entrepreneurs who are good with people and finances. It for someone who thrives on challenges of different kinds. It is for those who are independent. Whatever your choice, you cannot deny there is variety for those who choose a career in massage therapy.