Clinical Massage Therapist

Relieve muscle injuries through massage.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$18,000 – $69,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Clinical Massage Therapists do?

Massage Therapists use their hands to manipulate muscles in a way that encourages relaxation and healing. Clinical Massage Therapists, though, are mostly concerned with the healing component. A Clinical Massage Therapist’s specially trained touch helps injured patients during the rehabilitation process.

If you’re a Clinical Massage Therapist, your clients have typically been diagnosed with one of two problems: Some need help treating muscle injuries, while others suffer from soft tissue pain. Either way, the condition involves injury to muscles, tendons, joints, or ligaments.

Often, a Physician sends a patient to you with a particular treatment plan in mind, though you and your client will still want to sit down for an interview before starting the appointment. The two of you discuss where the injury is, what it feels like, and how it happened. Additionally, it’s wise to discuss past injuries. This information helps you determine the most effective form of treatment.

The course of treatment you decide on changes from case to case, though some components will be used frequently. These include a test of the patient’s range of motion, assisted stretching, and traditional massage approaches: effleurage (soothing, light strokes), petrissage (slow, kneading movements), and tapotement (gentle, quick tapping and slapping movements).

Hospitals, Doctor ’s offices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and physical rehabilitation clinics—you have the option of working in many settings. However, it’s unlikely that you work in a spa surrounded by mood lighting, incense, and soft music. You’ve been trained to treat specific conditions rather than focusing on relaxation massage.

Should I be a Clinical Massage Therapist?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to Become a
    Clinical Massage Therapist

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