Holistic Health

Massage Therapy as a career
Thursday, July 28, 2011
By Donna Kraft- Smith, LMT: Massage Therapy has been a traditional form of health care used throughout time in virtually every culture. Massage and related bodywork are regarded as one of the most natural and beneficial methods of healing the body, creating more vibrant health for the receiver. The ever-growing popularity of complementary health care has created the perfect opportunity for those entering into the massage therapy field to have both an emotionally fulfilling and financially rewarding career.

Many of the therapeutic effects of massage recognized by personal and clinical experience over the years are now supported by scientific research. Massage is commonly known to enhance relaxation, improve circulation and relieve minor muscle tension. New applications for therapeutic massage are surfacing in areas related to mental and emotional well- being; infant, elder and special needs care; and injury recovery.

More people are now considering therapeutic massage as part of their healthcare regime. Many are knowledgeable that massage can be useful in situations of stress and recent injuries. Most people aren't fully aware that bodywork can also be useful in these following situations as well: infant bonding, pregnancy & labor care, geriatric care, relieving postural imbalances, aiding immune function, even easing the tension and improving the health in our animal friends ( equine, canine & feline). It can be a wonderful and interesting career learning to help support a person on their healing journey!

Therapeutic massage is an ideal therapy to help the participant deal better with:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Strenuous physical exertion
  • Many chronic pain syndromes
  • Pregnancy, labor, premature and other types of developmentally challenged babies
  • Healing from strains (torn muscle tissue), sprains (torn ligaments), and in many cases nerve entrapment (if compressed from muscle or other connective tissue)
  • Arthritis and many other joint dysfunctions
  • Poor circulation
  • Many age related conditions (Dementia, Parkinson's etc.)
  • Recovery after many types of surgeries
  • Improves immune system functioning (Chronic Fatigue syndrome, Cancer, etc.)
  • Hospice care
  • Learning to accept safe touch after trauma
Massage is a natural means to promote healthy body functioning and enhance the body's own restorative powers. Hospitals are beginning to employ massage therapists as part of staff. Many insurance companies now recognize the benefits of including massage as a viable therapy as a growing number of people have found it to be an effective therapy on its own or as a complement to other healthcare services (Osteopathic, Chiropractic, Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, Acupunctures, etc.).

Car Accident and Workers Compensation Insurance will usually pay for a number of treatments of massage therapy performed by a massage therapist, with a doctor's prescription and guidance for an actual need. The potential participant will have been injured in some way and the massage therapy is part of restorative treatment.

Private insurances : Some progressive companies are beginning to include this as part of their plans, and one should inquire.
*Many workplaces provide employee “Flex Accounts” that will cover massage therapy performed by a massage therapist with a doctor's prescription for an actual need. I am referring to employee tax-free accounts made at the beginning of each year where the employee sets aside an amount of their own money for certain medical expenses, such as Chiropractic, eye care, and often massage therapy.

Massage not only feels good but is actually very good for you! Many health care professionals and their patients are becoming aware of this fact everyday. From infancy to old age, Therapeutic Massage has been found to enhance general health and well- being! When you put yourself in the hands of a licensed Maine massage therapist, you are with someone who has taken the time to study the effects of healing touch on the body, mind and spirit. For those who are called to be practitioners, it can be a rewarding and interesting career, learning to help support a persons health through healing touch!

Educational Requirements for Maine State Licensure:
According to Title 32, section 14306-D of the State of Maine a person may not claim to be a massage therapist unless licensed in accordance with this chapter. Currently, Maine's educational requirements needed to apply for licensure are to demonstrate completion of a course of training consisting of 500 hours or more approved by the state; or pass the National Examination of the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage Bodywork ( NCBTMB); or the examination by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (MBLEx).

For a Maine Massage Therapist their 500 hours( or more) of education must include 125 hours of Anatomy & Physiology ( how the body works); 200 hours ( or more) of hands- on technique; 45 hours or more of Pathology ( the study of disease and the benefits or contraindications of massage); and 50 hours ( or more) of Ethical Business Strategies.

For more information on the requirements of becoming a Maine Massage Therapist contact:
Dept. of Professional and Financial Regulation, Office of Licensing and Registration,
35 State House Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333-0035. PHONE: (207.624.8613)
WEBSITE: www.maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/massage

Donna Kraft- Smith is a Maine licensed massage therapist for over 25 years, practicing in both Bangor & Dexter, ME. She owns and instructs at the " Therapeutic Bodywork Learning Center ", a professional massage therapy training program in Bangor. For more info : www.MaineMassageSchool.com or call 947-7087.

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