Massage Therapy Degree
By Ashley Boyce, an allied health world staff writer
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What are my options for massage therapy degrees?Typically when considering a career in massage therapy and exploring the educational requirements for entering this profession, there is little discussion of massage therapy degrees. Most often individuals begin the practice of massage therapy and bodywork with a certificate earned through 500 hours of training consisting of academic study of body systems, massage theory, pathology, business practices, and of course applied massage and bodywork. Certificate programs through massage therapy schools provide the foundation for a successful career performing massage therapy and bodywork, but for those who wish to pursue greater scholastic challenges and increase their knowledge base and scope of practice, more advanced massage therapy degree options are available.
A massage therapy certificate is an acceptable level of education for meeting licensure requirements in most states, and it is also sufficient for national certification through the various massage therapy certification agencies. For this reason more advanced massage therapy degrees are very often pursued by those practitioners who wish to explore broader concepts of physical health and well being, as well as expand their knowledge of business operations for their own independent practice.
Are there advanced massage therapy degrees?Make no mistake; although a certificate will get you started on a fun and personally rewarding massage therapy career, more advanced massage therapy degrees have the potential to take you further. This, of course, means different things to different people. To some this may mean expanding their scope of practice to include a greater variation of modalities; both medically accepted as well as complimentary and alternative. To others this may mean more business and managerial training so as to be able to expand their business to include a greater number of employees and even multiple offices. And still others may seek out opportunities to become educators themselves; providing the next generation of massage therapists and bodywork specialists with the training and inspiration they need to establish their own practices.
Whatever your personal and professional goals may be; whether simple and sustainable, grand and entrepreneurial, or benevolent and inspired, there is a massage therapy degree that is appropriate for you.
Associate’s DegreeIn just two years you could earn an Associate’s degree in a major related to massage therapy and use the additional course knowledge to apply towards a Bachelor’s of Science degree.
Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s degrees related to health and wellness can be earned in two years following the successful completion of a bachelor’s degree program. These massage therapy programs are designed to accommodate the schedule of busy individuals who are already actively working. Master’s degrees for individuals practicing massage therapy will often focus on various aspects of both the business side of operating an independent practice as well as the human side of health and wellness.
Doctorate DegreeA doctorate degree represents the echelon of scholastic achievement. This highly advanced degree in a major related to human health and wellness allows for limitless opportunities to practice much more advanced levels of medicine that incorporates massage therapy and bodywork. A doctorate will also allow you to professor at a university.
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