Body therapy, which is also known as massage therapy, is a widely used technique for relaxation, healing and rejuvenating the human body. Most Body therapists use a wide range of techniques like pressure, massage and acupuncture as well as herbs and unorthodox medications for their work. Body therapists usually work with people who are in chronic or acute pain due to strained or overworked muscles. Body therapists can do their work anywhere – in clinics and spas they rent a room to conduct their business. They may sometimes choose to work from home, restricting home visits to the elderly and the disabled.
Nowadays we find body therapists employed even in hospitals. This is an excellent choice of career for people who enjoy using natural methods of healing and relaxation. Their work helps towards the calming of both mind and body of the patient. One of the biggest advantages of this profession is that it can be done anywhere and it gives rise to many travel opportunities as well.
Body Therapist Job Responsibilities
A body therapist works in a seemingly intimate setting in their work. They must therefore be very comfortable with close contact with customers if they want to be successful as body therapists. A thorough understanding of the human body and anatomy is also required.
The attitude and personality of a body therapist is very important if he or she wants to be successful in their chosen field of profession. The therapist needs to know how to make patients feel at ease as many of them are intimidated or uncomfortable due to the removal of clothing and the wearing of just a robe or a towel. During the therapy, the patients may also experience pain or discomfort due to the nature of their injury and due to the pressure exerted during therapy. The body therapists must be sensitive and make their patients as comfortable as possible. This normally means that a therapist will need to have a calm and patient personality and who has a friendly at the same time professional comportment.
A body therapist must induce confidence and trust in their patients by showing themselves as confident professionals. The therapist must also stop the procedure if the patient indicates that he or she does not want to continue or wants to take a break.
A body therapist must be comfortable working with all kinds of patients, irrespective of age, color, sex or size. They must be at ease working with patients who may be obese or elderly. They will also need to work with various body types even if the experience is not pleasant at first.
Physical work is a part of a body therapist’s career and he or she should be ready for this. They also need to be physically fit and active so as not cause themselves cramps or joint problems after heavy massage sessions.
Body Therapist Training and Education Requirements
Body therapists need a formal training program at a massage therapy school. Such programs are of the duration of 8 to 12 months. Classes include those of anatomy, kinesiology, massage, ethics and legal basics arising from issues to the context, therapy techniques and specific techniques.
The classes usually include lots of hands-on experience and practice. At the end of the course, the students need to take a national or state level certificate exam to earn their license which they can put to good use when they want to join a spa or clinic. Most states in the US require that the therapists renew their licenses by re-taking the exam. This is to ensure that they are up to date with all the latest developments and practices in the area of body therapy.
Candidates hoping for a job of a body therapist will need to hold a license from the state where they intend to work. Ideally, a candidate should be highly skilled and experienced in chosen category of body therapy.
Body Therapist Salary and Wages
Body therapists are widely sort out today due to the new understanding of the benefits of therapy and massage. Therefore the profession is expected to grow at a rate more than average. The average rate per hour paid to a body therapist is usually $15.35. However, a significant portion of a body therapist’s income is through personal tips. Salary of a body therapist is also affected by the location of the service. Other professions related to body therapy are physical therapy, chiropractor and herbalist.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Body Therapist Certifications
The body therapy aspirants are advised to write the national level or the state level body therapy certification examination.
Body Therapist Professional Associations
Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals is a well-organized and active association for body therapists. This association protects and educates the body therapist and offers resources to develop the career further.