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How to Become a Masseuse

The healing art of massage has been making a difference in the lives of patients and practitioners for thousands of years. If you find a career in health and healing personally appealing, check out this guide to learn how to become a masseuse and secure the career of a lifetime.

Learn more about massage.
The best place to begin your masseuse career is at masseuse schools. But before you choose a school, you need to figure out which massage techniques and traditions best match your personal beliefs about health and healing. Some masseuse schools emphasize Western massage, others focus on Eastern massage, and a few incorporate both traditions into their programs. Try out different types of massage and bodywork now so you can make an informed decision on the types of massage you'd like to utilize when you become a masseuse. Then, use that information to help you choose the best masseuse school for you.

Go to masseuse school.
You should also make sure the masseuse school you choose is one of several hundred that have been approved by your state licensing board or accredited by a national agency like the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. Your masseuse education program should encompass anywhere from 570 to 1,000 training hours, covering the science behind a variety of massage techniques as well as the business side of massage, including management, ethics, and massage laws. Clinical training is a key component of your masseuse education program, enabling you to provide massage therapy under the supervision of a professional masseuse.

Get licensed and certified.
To earn a masseuse license in your state, you will likely be required to pass a certification exam offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork or the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. In order to maintain your masseuse license and national certification, you may need to complete continuing education units annually, biennially, or every four years. States that mandate continuing masseuse education typically require that you complete anywhere from six hours annually to 32 hours biennially.

Take stock of your career options.
Once you become a masseuse, it's up to you to determine the therapeutic setting that suits you best. Some of the many masseuse career options include working in a corporate setting, on a cruise ship, and in a hospital. You might even decide to open your own massage business. If you do choose to pursue a solo masseuse career, it's a good idea to start out working for someone else for a few years. That way, you'll get some professional experience and credibility under your belt, and possibly even a loyal client base.

Maintain career connections.
You might feel like you've moved on to bigger and better things now that you've become a masseuse, but don't neglect the contacts you made at masseuse school. Your instructors can continue to serve as a resource in your masseuse career. And you never know when you'll need some new connections to help you get even further in the biz'.

You can't launch a satisfying masseuse career on a whim. Take these steps to become a masseuse, and you can touch the lives of everyone you meet.