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kedhegard

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I've got a question that you guys might have more experience in answering.

Is massage therapy a viable career? Do you ever work with these people? I've got a young family member thinking about it, and I want to know what kind of advice to give. Thanks much.

-KE
 

DORoe

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If you?re not willing to put time, effort and money into it, you?re not going to get anywhere.? If charging $40 to $75 an hour, notes Onondaga?s Web site, a massage therapist working full time (approximately 20 sessions a week) can make $40,000 to $70,000 a year.
I think massage therapy is a viable career option. I have a friend who does it and makes pretty good money. Plus you can pretty much set your own hours. Even if it doesn't pan out to a full time thing you can still do it and make some extra cash on the side.
 
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zenman

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It really depends on your location and marketing skills. Plus it helps to be good...very good. I can tell the minute a person lays their hands on me if they are any good. The type of modality should also be considered. Do they want to do a more relaxation oriented type such as Swedish or more treatment type such as medical massage or myofascial release? Do they want to go the Eastern types such as shiatsu, thai massage, Tuina etc.? Some types of massage can wreak your body if not done correctly and you'll wind up with carpal tunnel and other problems. I do Zen Shiatsu for example and used to laugh at a fellow practitioner who did deep tissue massage and was always complaining and moaning about her aches and pains. I felt better after each session! You can also refer them to my website (www.LaughingHara.com) where you can see what can be done when bodywork is combined with other healthcare professions. I learned Zen Shiatsu in acupuncture school where I found I liked it better than acupuncture. Anymore questions just ask.
 

Cuthbert

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I think that it is a fine career... for a little while. My sister-in-law is a massage therapist and from what I hear, the burn out rate is high. This can depend on what type of massage you do or your technique. Using your hands and arms for that long can do a number on you in the long run. I don't think that we are see a lot of 40-50 yr old massage therapists in the future. Of course you don't see that right now because it is a relatively new field.

Of course there are exceptions that disprove the rule. I really don't mean to shoot all massage therapists down. Good luck to your family member!
 

wholehealth

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I am 27 and have been a massage therapist for seven years....I'm a little burnt out, although it has been a great way to work through school with a family. Money is good, work is physical, and I am on my way to osteopathic school, so I know that I would not be able to do it forever. However, I am not complaining, it has been sooooooo good to me. I think for someone who is not interested in traditional schooling, it is a great idea. I have been working in medical offices for the last few years, and get great feedback from the docs....not to mention that they get massages, so they definitely approve. Hope that helps!
 

GeauxDO

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My wife is finishing up in massage therapy school (10 mos.) but she started working 2 weeks ago. There were plenty of jobs for her to choose from. She works for a chiropractor now. He pays her $10/hr as an office assistant, plus 60% for massages. That comes out to $36 for an hour, and $21 for 30 minutes. She's up to doing about 2 massages a day, and it looks like she's starting to get some regular clients, so it should pick up even more. Eventually, she'll probably open up her own business.
 

wholehealth

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Ha, ha,....just getting a massage from me is enough to lead you to your own happy ending. And trust me, I get asked, but I'm just not that kinda girl... :D
 

zenman

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Posted by VentdependenT: You can quadruple your earnings and clientele by adding in a "happy ending" to your massages. Just a thought.
I guess you have made an error in judgement (and hopefully not too many in your practice) if you are referring to sexual favors as part of massage. Doing so would be the same nonprofessional, unethical conduct as in your practice. Too many massage therapists, usually women, have to put up with pervs who think their massage therapist has any interest, other than professional, in touching their body. I personally have received requests (by people finding my web) as to the professional conduct of massage therapists. One was just a few weeks ago from a friend of a client who had her genitals touched by a massage therapist. I referred them to the proper authorities and they are taking action. Another Japanese fellow who thought he was a shiatsu master even persuaded clients to have sex with him as part of their treatment. Me and several other people chased him out of Houston (after an undercover videotaped operation by the local news station), only to find out that he had later crossed over into Louisiana. After we got through with him the INS sent him back to Japan. He defrauded many people, including physicians, out of their money for shiatsu classes.
 

zenman

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Posted by Cuthbert: I don't think that we are see a lot of 40-50 yr old massage therapists in the future.
My instructor is 60; there is a guy here in Honolulu who is 88 or 89 now and still going. I intend to do the same.

Of course you don't see that right now because it is a relatively new field.
Relatively new? How about over 5,000 years!
 

DocWagner

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The smart student would choose a subspecialty of Massage Therapy like Sport Massage. I was a PT in my "former life", and PT s have abandoned the art of Massage...it is a wide open field now. Soft tissue work has alot of potential. If you look at massage as a way of "soft tissue manipulation", rather than rubbing a muscle, you are bound to have a healing effect.
 

Cuthbert

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Wow! Somebody is taking this pretty seriously [cough (Zenman) cough]. You're right, it is pretty old, but only recently growing (booming really) in popularity (I'm sure you think different). Your teacher and other example must be those exceptions that I referred to. Good for them! (I'm serious on that last comment by the way)
 

Wifty

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My hubby is an MSII at KCOM, but before this, he was a massage therapist. He taught massage and had his own practice after a brief stint working for a PT.
It is a great career with lots of employment options right now....but it is physically taxing in some regards. However, part of what you learn in massage school is how to give a great massage without wearing yourself out.

The money was pretty good (teaching never pays super) but dealing with insurance was a hassle. Money for insurance often comes late so some months you have little income, and some you have alot. This is not a huge problem once you are established, but can be hard in the beginning.

Hubby actually found out about DOs because of getting referrals from them....and decided that was his ideal blend. He get to do alot of hands on and I have to say that he probably had a huge leg up on his classmates because of his massage experience.

Specializing is an option too and sports massage is huge as is injury massage. Hubby did a lot of injury massage (referred to him from docs) which is why he had insurance payments.

Hope that helps a bit!

With smiles,
Wifty
 

zenman

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The money was pretty good (teaching never pays super) but dealing with insurance was a hassle. Money for insurance often comes late so some months you have little income, and some you have alot.
I've never dealt with insurance and probably never will. Too many people are willing to pay cash for alternative modalities. I've given discounts for those who needed it or even free session(s).

Hubby actually found out about DOs because of getting referrals from them....and decided that was his ideal blend. He get to do alot of hands on and I have to say that he probably had a huge leg up on his classmates because of his massage experience.
I agree. At one time physicians were required to take bodywork before other courses in order to learn how to touch a person. When you can make a diagnosis when the person walks in the door, then you can consider yourself to be an expert.
 
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