Everything You Need To Know About Sports Massage
TOUCHdown! Everything You Need to Know About Sports Massage
The world of sports is highly competitive, and as athletes push themselves to the limit, they increasingly suffer aches, pains, strains and injuries. Anyone who’s been through a recognized massage therapy program, will be well positioned to begin a career in sports massage and help athletes, sports enthusiasts, and fitness-lovers heal and recover from such injuries.
What are the benefits of sports massage?
Sports injuries are as common as winners and losers in a sport – that’s a given. Oftentimes, however, the first recourse of the injured is to take the pain-killers and drugs to help them recover. In many cases, the heavy use of drugs, both OTC and prescription-based, can produce long-term side effects.
That’s where the benefits of sports massage come in. If conducted under the supervision and auspices of trained professionals, sports massages help:
- Reduce (maybe even eliminate!) the need for harmful chemical-based medication during the recovery process
- Alleviate stress and muscle tension
- Increase mobility and range of motion after a sport injury
- Shorten down-time time and improves recovery
- Build confidence and heal psychologically
These are just some of the pluses of turning to alternate treatments like massage, when dealing with sports injuries. However, these benefits will only accrue to the injured if they are delivered by practitioners who have undergone a course of study from a recognized massage therapy program. Here is why:
- Patients can then be assured that the course of treatment is legitimate and being delivered by someone who knows what they are doing
- Practitioners will be confident that the movements, exercises and therapies they are prescribing have been vetted by a team, like the Federation of the State Massage Therapy Board, qualified to approve their use
- Sports Centers, Fitness Institutions and other entities, where massage therapists are employed, can be confident that their clients will receive the full benefits of sports massage through efforts of professionally trained and qualified individuals they hire
Massage therapists are adept at manipulating a clients’ soft tissues and their muscles, in a way that helps them to relax. The benefits of sports massage are apparent as these specialized maneuvers are used to treat sports injuries, and to give relief to individuals and sportspeople who are often dealing with long-term, and sometimes chronic, health conditions.
The benefits of receiving such treatments, from someone who has undergone intensive training through an accredited massage therapy program, far outweigh the alternates available – which might include costly surgeries – or are medicine-based that often lead to substance-dependence.
Why enroll in a massage therapy program?
While much has been known for a while now, about what massage can accomplish for the human body and spirit, the true benefits of sports massage are only now being acknowledged. As a result, specialized massage therapy services are being offered by institutions and organizations that previously hadn’t considered doing so.
Because of this change in perspective, enrolling in a recognized massage therapy program now opens many more doors to a qualified sports masseuse, including at:
- SPAs and Health Resorts
- Medical and Healthcare facilities
- Fitness Centers and Sports Clubs
Because of an unprecedented increase in fitness and sports-related accidents and injuries, the benefits of sports massage are now recognized by medical professionals servicing or consulting the above mentioned businesses, centers, and many other similar institutions and organizations. As a result, successful graduates from a renowned massage therapy program will easily find entry level jobs in many of those institutions.
However, if being an “employee” is not what gets you up each morning, then the time spent in completing a massage therapy program will likely open other doors for you. Having cleared the MBLEx exam, approved by the Federation of the State Massage Therapy Board, will mean you can pursue a career as an independent contractor offering your services to multiple organizations that value benefits of sports massage, and are willing to compensate you for your skills and expertise.
Fuel Your Ambition Further
And…it keeps getting better! If you have an entrepreneurial flair in you, then that same independent streak could also see you form your own private practice, wherein you can help your clients recover from sports, fitness and other related injuries.
Through knowledge and skills learned at your massage therapy program, you will have the opportunity to work with a pool of patients whom you choose. For instance, your practice might choose to specialize in specific types of sports injuries, making your firm the “go to” practitioner for sports clubs and fitness organizations in and around your practice.
The benefits of sports massage, and the advantages of having formal qualifications that make you eligible to work in the field, span beyond the employment and financial aspects:
- As a qualified massage therapist, you’ll be making real difference in the lives of your patients – helping them to recover quicker and get on with their lives faster!
- As a graduate from a well-known massage therapy program, you are likely to have the opportunity to meet, and perhaps even treat, leading sports figures, pro athletes and celebrities!
- Since you will be exposed to a lot of knowledge about the human body and its healing power, like Body Mechanics, Anatomy & Physiology, Kinesiology and Holistic approaches to fitness, in your studies, chances are that you will apply all of that knowledge personally, ensuring you live a healthy life free of injuries and stress
Therefore, your decision to make massage therapy your career of choice opens a world of opportunities that few other lines of study can offer.
Becoming a licensed massage therapist
There is no short-cut to becoming a licensed massage therapist – You must start your career by enrolling at a recognized and accredited massage therapy program, such as the one offered by the College of Wilmington.
Admission requirements include:
- Being 18+ years of age
- Possession of a High School Diploma; OR
- Having a General Equivalency Diploma
The road to becoming a registered massage therapist, so you can offer clients and patients the benefits of sports massage, include:
- Receiving over 740 hours of massage therapy instruction, knowledge about the human body, massage techniques and clinical and business practices
- Hands-on training conducted by qualified instructors at your massage therapy program
- Sitting for, and passing, the MBLEx exam accredited by the N.C. Board of Massage Therapy & Bodywork
Once students have completed these steps, it is customary for many new graduates to assume entry-level jobs at Spas, Fitness Centers, chiropractic offices and Health Clinics.