Myths and facts about being a Massage Therapist
What do you think about when you hear about a career in massage therapy? You probably picture a spa, white robes, soothing music, candles and all that business. And if that appeals to you, great. But there’s a whole different side to the career, one that isn’t about pampering, and is instead about medicine and healing. Let’s go more than skin-deep into this career and look at some truths.
Myth: You’re in the beauty and spa business.
Fact: You’re in the healthcare sector.
Let’s go back to that image of the spa. You might want to put massage therapy down as a beauty and relaxation thing, like getting your hair and nails done, when really, it’s more serious than that. Registered massage therapy is a part of Ontario’s healthcare system. In fact, the profession is regulated by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO), which promotes the highest quality in the practice. Instead of a spa, the majority of massage therapists work in the healthcare system alongside physiotherapists, chiropractors and other practitioners.
Myth: Massages exist to make you feel relaxed.
Fact: Massages exist to help your body heal and become healthier.
The reason it’s so regulated is that it’s a serious medical profession. According to the CMTO, massage therapy consists “primarily of hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body; specifically, the muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints for the purpose of optimizing health.” This is because it’s not really about comfort (though that’s part if it), it’s about health. Massage therapy can enhance your health and improve your physical functions by relieving pain and removing stress. It could help cure problems such as chronic back pain, tension headaches and more, not to mention that it’s a key part of physiotherapy.
Myth: All you need is some hands-on practice to become a Massage Therapist.
Fact: You need to learn science.
Since you’re entering a medical field, becoming a massage therapist means you learn a lot of science. Firstly, you need to know the anatomy of the human body, as well as the bones of the skeleton, and how every part of a person works together. You’ll also study physiology (science of the body) and pathology (science of disease).
Myth: You have to be young to get into the career.
Fact: With the right education and drive, anyone can become a Massage Therapist.
It’s never too late to find your dream. Take the case of Centennial College alumnus Daniel Sommer, who worked in computer science for 13 years, realized it didn’t suit him, and enrolled in our Massage Therapy program. He, too, was surprised at the amount of science in the program and liked how it was directly geared towards getting him a career. Read more about his journey here, and his thoughts on the career now that he has it. Also, consider the story of Omar Lunan. He took our three-year Massage Therapy program and managed to launch his own massage therapy business, Core Care Wellness Centre. These are just a few examples of the students we’ve guided to professional success.
You have two pathways into massage therapy through Centennial College. You can take our three-year Massage Therapy program, or the shorter two-year compressed version of the program. Either one will give you what you need to prepare for the CMTO’s registration examinations, after which, you’ll get the Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) designation. After that, your journey into the world of using your hands to heal can truly begin.
By: Anthony Geremia