There are realistic challenges of a massage career. “Don’t your hands hurt? I’ve always wondered how massage therapists do it!” I’ve been asked that question numerous times, both as a massage therapist and as an Admissions Coordinator here at Oregon School of Massage.


CHALLENGES of a Massage Career

1) Upfront costs of education and licensing to get your business going. There are state regulated requirements in order to get your license. It’s more involved than just handing in your resume. The responsibilities you have as a massage therapist speak volumes of your professionalism and value you add to the field.

2) Physical demands of the body. Improper body posture and poor self-care techniques can lead to burn-out for therapists, sidelining their massage employment. Massage schools should provide proper education and guidance to instill proper techniques and smart body mechanics. This will put less stress to your body and prolong your massage career.

3) Time and effort needed to run your own successful business. Marketing yourself and developing rapport with new clients doesn’t just happen overnight. Much can be addressed in a massage school that provides business training and graduate job opportunity support. Some new massage therapists often have another job, while they build up their client base.

4) Gaining respect as a therapeutic touch healer. While massage therapists are recognized as professional bodyworkers, some aspects can be discouraging. We hear of allegations about inappropriate touch, and can be on the receiving end of jokes. Massage schools are required to provide education in communication skills, ethics and boundaries.  This helps graduates in educating others, helping us all gain the respect we are working towards.

5) Maintaining your license. State licensure requires biannual renewal and continued education order to continue your business as a massage therapist. Finding courses that fit into your schedule and budget can be a challenge for some.

The truth is that yes, sometimes the wear and tear on a therapist’s hands can be tiresome. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t also benefits to being a massage therapist in today’s busy, stress-filled life.
Alisha Eddleman
See the companion piece, 5 Benefits of Massage School.
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