I am a massage therapist and have worked in this field for the past three years.
As a massage therapist I offer a variety of massage therapies designed to target different problem areas in the body. A common misunderstanding many people have about massage therapists is that the only type of massage we offer are the relaxing kinds, when actually massage therapists are specially trained in many different modalities, all designed to heal the body and restore physical well-being.
On a scale of 1 to 10 I would have to rate my job as a 5. I am completely satisfied as far as the role I play in helping people to feel better; however, it is quite difficult to make a living in this field if you go out on your own. Therefore, I believe that my full enthusiasm would be attained if the market was not so saturated with independent massage therapists competing with one another, and if companies that hired massage therapists would offer better pay and benefits.
Massage therapy is definitely my niche in life. I love making people feel better. I have had people come in who were literally gritting their teeth from pain and walked out of our session with a smile on their face. That is truly a gratifying experience and makes my job special to me. I believe I have found my calling and hope to be able to continue doing what I am doing for a long time to come.
When considering a position in the field of massage therapy it is important to ask yourself why you desire to enter the field. If it stems from a heart to help people, then you can most likely assume you are making the right decision.
When I was a kid my brother and other family members told me I gave great back rubs. Over the years other people have given me the same compliments. So I took those compliments as a sign that I needed to pursue a job in this field. As a result, I started massage therapy school. If I had to go back and do things differently I probably would have chosen to go to nursing school, as my heart is to help people and I believe there would be a wider array of opportunities for me to do so in that field.
The most important thing I have learned outside of school about the working world is that if you do not have the time or resources to build up your own clientele you should not venture out on your own as a massage therapist. In hindsight, I should have worked with a company that offers massages rather than try it on my own right out of the box. It takes a lot of work to develop a successful and loyal following in this field. In a company, you have a better shot at having a consistent workload. As a single person, I do not have the luxury of depending upon my spouse’s income, so whatever career choices I make need to take that fact into consideration.
The strangest thing that has happened to me in my position as a massage therapist has to be…you guessed it…the old guy who got a little too excited during a massage. It was not pretty, but I will leave the details to your imagination.
The reason I get up and go to work each day is because I truly love what I do. I love to help people and sometimes it is not just in a physical sense. There have been many times over the past three years when a person will get on my table completely overwhelmed with various burdens, and as they begin to relax and unwind, they begin to talk. I am a good listener, and many times I have been able to help, or at least point them in the right direction to receive help.
The main challenges I have faced in this business is the money aspect, as well as not having access to company health benefits. As a result, my job can become extremely stressful.
In this field if you do not work, you do not get paid. If you have a successful business then you can make a decent living.
In addition to having a heart for helping people feel better, you need to have a license in order to get a job as a massage therapist.
If I had a friend considering a job in this industry, I would encourage him or her to think long and hard before making a decision. Do you have enough money to live on until you build up your business? Do you have health insurance? These are important things to consider when deciding whether or not you should go into this field.
I would love to be retired in five years.
Considered pursuing a career in the Healthcare field? This interview will take you through the ups and downs you can expect, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more. This is a true career story as told to DiversityJobs and is one of many interviews with physical therapists and nurses, among other careers.