This High School Interview page is for people in high school who are doing research for a paper or for considering a career in massage. I have been getting so many requests I decided to put them up on line.
If you have any other questions you can ask in the form below and I will respond to them and also post them to the website for others to see for reference.
What is the basic job description for massage therapists?There is no typical job description for massage therapists. For the most part you will just have to do massage on people coming into the place where you work. You will be required to do a client intake and health history. You will use your knowledge of anatomy and physiology to apply it to various physical problems. Being a massage therapist you will be mostly isolated in massage rooms with clients all day long so it is important to develop professional relationships with others at your work or in the community. You will have to do chart notes and paperwork if it is a medical clinic. If it is a spa type of environment, you may also be cleaning and answering the phones. You probably will need a flexible schedule and be willing to work evenings and weekends.
Massage therapists work with people to relieve stress, pain and heal injuries. You will be working with people who are unclothed and underneath a sheet which makes them feel more vulnerable. Touching people also has a way of bringing up deep emotional feelings and past repressed emotions and memories. There is always a chance you will be dealing with a person in great emotional distress so a certain level of maturity is required.Even though you will be working for someone you will be responsible for educating clients and getting them to return for more massage as a regular client. You will need a good knowledge of what massage can do and why and good communication skills. You will also need to have good customer service and business skills to help build your practice even though you are working for someone - your success will really depend on you.Most massage therapist also do not get jobs - they start their own business. While there are more jobs becoming available today, they are generally low paying entry level jobs without benefits.
Why did you choose this job?It isn't a job for me- it is a career which is different. I didn't just want another job. Most massage therapists start their own business anyways which is a whole other thing.
I chose to become a massage therapist to pursue my interest in health. Initially I also wanted to help people but I now know that it is not about helping people - it is about learning to take care of myself and stand up to ask for what I need. It is about being able to witness people as they awaken to feeling themselves more. Many others come to massage after having a healing experience with a massage therapist after all other things failed to help someone in chronic pain or disability.
What are the benefits and rewards of your career?
Being a Massage Therapist has allowed me to have a more flexible schedule and work my own hours. I run my own business and am my own boss. I get to work with people in a one on one situation which allows me to provide more personal attention. I have learned more about myself by working with others and seeing how people deal with pain, serious diagnosis's, injuries and emotional distress.
I get to work with people who are in serious pain and having serious health issues. Massage is a way to provide some sense of relief for most people.
What are the negative aspects of the job?I have never had a massage job so I can only tell you what I have heard from others. Many massage therapists who work for others are usually taken advantage of in many ways being made to work long hours for low pay. Many chiropractors hire massage therapists and can charge insurance companies exorbitant rates while paying the massage therapist low wages.
As a business owner some of the difficult things are always working to get and keep clients. Working with insurance companies is also a challenge for me.
What was the most important part of preparing for a career in massage?Getting as much hands on experience giving massage and also receiving as much massage as you can is really the best preparation that you can get. While learning all of the anatomy and physiology can be important, if you don't know how to apply a good massage it won't mean anything.
What advice do you have for someone looking into massage as a career?
Take the time to really think about what you want for yourself. Go and get a few dozen massages and see if you can see yourself doing this for 10 or even 15 years.
Becoming a massage therapist will be one of the most challenging things you can do. It takes having a commitment to always learning about yourself and taking care of yourself. It isn't about helping people as you first might think. There is a very hidden side to this profession that most massage schools do not talk about.
I have been told I have good hands. Should I go to massage school?Having good hands has little to do with being a successful massage therapist. I have had many massages that I thought were the worst ever from successful massage therapists. What makes for successful massage therapist is being able to be consciously aware of yourself and your feelings and not having to act on them. It is about being present for a client to witness their healing process. There is much more to it than just having good hands.
I heard massage therapists make $60 an hour. Is that really so and possible?
While it is true that a the average fee for a massage is $60 an hour, the massage therapist does not actually make that much. Most massage jobs start at $12-$15 an hour. If you work for yourself you can usually make more than that. If you have your own business you have to account for your business expenses like office rent, insurance, phone, computer, website and all of your marketing and advertising to name a few things.
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