Are you intrigued by this occupational path? If yes, learning about the different massage therapist types can help you start a fulfilling career.

Regardless of your acquired credentials, knowing about massage therapy specialties can directly impact your career success.

Read on for more details on how you can become an expert.

Different Types of Massage Therapists

Massage has been in existence since ancient times. It’s been practiced in many different cultures and settings.

As the practice continues to evolve, it translates to numerous techniques and approaches open to practitioners. The field is among the most rewarding career paths, leading to several work settings and specialties.

Specialty Massage Therapists

There are many classes of massage therapists.

These experts focus their studies and strengths on one or two field areas. You can also do the same if you desire to join the industry.

Let’s look at them one by one.

  • Medical Massage Therapy Specialist

You can focus on this area and become a specialist. Medical massage therapy is primarily performed to help heal specific health conditions.

However, it may be targeted to help with stress, relaxation, and pain. As a licensed expert in this area, you can receive physician referrals. This means you are subject to practicing acting in your state.

Sometimes, a medical massage therapist may bill health insurance firms for services. These institutions often pay for complementary and alternative treatments.

  • Sports Massage Therapist

Practitioners in this field are instrumental in helping athletes and other sportspeople recover from injuries.

They can also prevent injuries, enhance performance, and improve flexibility. A sports massage therapist usually manipulates the body’s soft tissues and focuses on specific areas.

They employ numerous modalities, like deep-tissue massage for mobilization and stretching techniques. The idea is to boost function in the muscles and joints.

  • Lymphatic Massage Therapist

This specialist uses some basic motions to stretch the skin and encourage the flow of lymphatic fluid.

Some renowned methods for such practices include Foldi, Up Ledger, Casley-Smithi, and Klose. Lymphatic massage is intended for the treatment of post-surgery or post-traumatic edema.

However, it can also provide symptom relief for patients with other conditions, such as autoimmune disorders. Research also says it has efficacy against fibromyalgia.

The massage focuses on the upper subcutaneous tissue instead of the underlying muscular structure.

  • Hot Stone Massage Therapy Specialist

Therapists specializing in this massage technique place smooth, warm stones to relax the patient and increase therapeutic benefits. The stones are placed at specific points on the client’s body.

Afterward, the therapist will pressure the stones to speed up muscle relaxation. Hot massage therapy is often performed in a spa or wellness clinic.

  • Myofascial Release Massage Therapist

An expert in this field works on the body’s myofascial structure to reduce pain and support wellness. When we say fascia, we mean a network of connective tissue wrapped around the body’s organs and other structures.

It’s believed that this fascia becomes stretched or develops adhesions as people experience considerable pain. In most cases, such pain may be challenging to spot.

  • Acupressure Massage Specialist 

This type of therapist focuses on acupressure massage. It’s a form of bodywork that involves applying pressure to specific spots in the body.

The aim is to affect energy flow and promote wellness. Furthermore, this massage method may be treated in various ways, including using pressure in combination with different massage strokes.

  • Aromatherapy Massage Expert

This is a professional who integrates essential oils into the massage experience. Such therapists blend scented massages and aromatic baths to promote relaxation.

Depending on the type of scents that best fit you, they may invigorate or energize you. In most cases, the therapist will consult you first to learn which type of oil you prefer.

Aromatherapy massage involves the application of diluted essential oils directly to the skin. The therapist will focus on your back, shoulder, and head areas.

While cypress oil is believed to relieve muscle pain, tea trees can be used to boost your immune system.

  • Craniosacral Massage Therapist

Are you looking for a gentle and non-invasive massage experience? Then, becoming an expert in this therapy may be ideal for you. It involves massaging your clients fully clothed with light and still movements.

Most specialists in this area believe that when light touches you, it helps restore the central nervous system. Plus, it improves irregular sleep patterns.

  • Pregnancy Massage Specialist

As the name implies, this type of therapist massages pregnant women.

They aim to help ease unnecessary aches and pains. Other benefits include hormone regulation, reduced swelling, improved nerve pain, reduced back pain, joint pain, and even better sleep.

In pregnancy massage, different positions can be used to accommodate your shape. The practice is considered safe, but you’ll still need to find a certified therapist for pregnancy or parental massage.

Massage Benefits

The perks that accompany massage are so overwhelming.

It can help improve circulation and limited range of motion, enhance postural problems, relieve the pain of stain injuries, and help individuals recover from injuries such as falls and whiplash.

Massage can also help break down scar tissue and eliminate knots, drain lymph fluid accumulated after breast cancer surgery, and circulate the lymph fluid to relieve pain.

Improving skin tone, heightened mental alertness, reduced anxiety and depression, etc., are additional duties of these experts.

Academic Requirement to Become a Massage Therapist

You must pass formal training before becoming a massage therapist.

Most employers prefer candidates to graduate from a recognized massage therapy school or program. After that, they should acquire practical training under a certified therapist.

You’ll also need to pass the certification exams the professional body sets. Finally, you must apply for and obtain a massage therapy license from the appropriate regulatory body.

Once you’ve satisfied all these essentials, you can apply for a job as a massage therapist or venture into private practice.

Average Salary of a Massage Therapist

It’s also crucial to learn about the salary structure of practitioners in this field.

This will help you know whether or not the career path is right for you. Research shows that these therapists’ average hourly pay is around $37.39.

While true, certain factors can influence the amount.

These include geographical location, experience level, educational background, and work settings. Before accepting a job offer, you must weigh these factors critically to make informed decisions.

The different types of massage therapists listed above are according to the various specialties in the field. Before becoming one of these professionals, ensure you opt for areas you’re interested in.

After that, you choose the right school to provide you with the best training to succeed in the industry.