Massage therapists manipulate muscles of the body to treat clients. This provides relaxation and improves health and well-being.
There are several different massage techniques, including:
- Swedish massage
- Sports massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Trigger point massage
- Shiatsu massage
Massage therapists often specialize in one or more techniques. They may also specialize by the type of client. For example, they may work with infants, pregnant women, athletes, even animals.
Massage therapists talk to their clients to find out their medical history and symptoms. They find out if the client has any painful or tense areas on the body. They check patients' mobility and stiffness in certain areas.
Therapists use their hands, elbows, and sometimes feet to knead muscles. They apply lotions or oils before massaging the body. They may also apply heat to an area that is very tense or sore. They give clients information about what to do after a massage to promote healing or relaxation. They also keep treatment records.
Massage therapists may work with doctors, chiropractors, or physical therapists. Depending on the size of practice they work in, they may have clerical duties, including:
- Making appointments
- Greeting clients
- Billing customers and insurance companies
They may also wash linens and clean and disinfect equipment and work areas. Some massage therapists travel to their clients and use portable massage tables.