Job in Profile: Massage Therapist
From Start to Finish...
Before you take your client through for their massage you will first need to discuss any contraindications/medical history they may have that might affect you being able to perform their treatment. If any contraindications do crop up you will have to explain why they won’t be able to receive the treatment and if there is a possible alternative treatment that will suit them instead.
Once you have more information about your client that’s when you can determine the best techniques, or modalities, to use to meet their requirements throughout the treatment. There are many types of modalities that are available, such as Swedish, deep-tissue and sports. Other massage therapists use various moves with their hands, fingers, thumbs, elbows and even feet to knead and manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues in the body to help relieve pain, reduce stress and improve general well-being.
Before you commence the treatment make sure your client is warm enough, the music is suitable and the lighting is comfortable for them. Inhalation bowls and scented candles are also a nice idea to use for a longer massage. Make sure you wash your hands and then apply a suitable warmed lotion or oil to carry out the massage.
Normally the lighting within the treatment room will be soft and accompanied by candles, diffused essential oils and gentle music; all with the purpose of creating a stress free calm environment. However sports massage may have to be carried out under brighter light conditions so that the therapist is able to see clearly any issues and work on more specific areas of concern.
The massage can vary from twenty minutes to two hours depending on the massage taking place. Once the massage is completed it’s always nice to finish with a warm towel on the back or something similar just so the client knows the massage has ended. Always offer your client a glass of water and provide aftercare advice.
Various Different Massages Available
There are so many different types of massage you can learn nowadays including Swedish,Thai, Ayurvedic, Shiatsu...As a therapist therefore you can never get bored of learning new moves and techniques to help vary your massages for years to come and also help relieve tired hands. You can also use different working tools within your massage treatment i.e. Hot Stones, Lava Shells and Pulses to help with the strain on your hands plus also an added benefit for your client’s well being.
These tools are warmed up in a Hot Stone tank or Steam cabby to help keep them at a constant temperature until they are incorporated within the massage while using various techniques with your hands etc.
Hot stones can also be placed on certain parts of the body including the seven main Chakra points and Marma points of the hands and feet.
These additional massage tools add warmth to the overall body and make your client feel a good sense of well being and also help to balance the body’s natural energy levels.
A scalp, hand or foot massage are very common to incorporate within your massage. Always best to ask at the beginning of the treatment if your client would like any of these added to make sure they are happy.
After you have completed the massage, it’s always best to give some aftercare advice. These can include;
- Drinking plenty of water. (This helps alleviate dehydration often common after a massage and also assists in ridding the body of metabolic waste)
- Book them back in for another massage within the next month to help address any issues such as ongoing stress/anxiety or muscular issues
- Recommendation to purchase a particular oil or lotion to help relieve any aches or pains at home.
As you can see the work of a massage therapist can be physically demanding but this is often outweighed by the wonderful environments you can work within, the enjoyment that comes from bringing a sense of wellbeing to others and the fact you’ll always have a career occupation that’s in high demand.