People from all walks of life are finding that spending an hour in my hands is the greatest gift they can receive. Tension from work, parenting, daily battles during the tiresome “terrible twos,” difficulties making ends meet, and even trying to keep up with every day life can cause muscles to bunch up. Relieving these bunched-up muscles is my specialty. I’m a massage therapist.
As a massage therapist in the state of Texas, I am required by law to be certified. It took more than 500 classroom training, but I loved every moment of my education and frequently take additional courses to stay up to date with the current trends. I know many of my friends are interested in my career. To gain certification, you must be ready to work hard.
The state of Texas requires all massage therapists to have had 125 hours of training in Swedish Massage, 50 hours of anatomy, 50 hours of clinical practice, 25 hours of physiology, 20 hours of health/hygiene, 15 hours of hydrotherapy, and 15 hours of business and ethics. If I had moved here from another state, proof that I had worked as a massage therapist for two years would have been suitable in lieu of the educational demands.
I also had to pass a written and physical exam that was administered by the state. It covered all aspects of massage therapies and giving a demonstration of my techniques was mandatory for completion. After completion, I was handed a license for one year. Every year, I have to renew my license. To renew, I have to prove I have successfully completed an additional six hours of education each year.
Continuing education is easy. There are many courses held in my area that meet the state guidelines and provide me with beneficial skills. Some of my favorites have been:
- Hot Stone Massage (I learned how to use warm stones during a massage to achieve greater relaxation and massage deeper into the muscles.)
- Massage for Seniors (Great class! I learned all about the best massage techniques for seniors dealing with the aches and pains that come from arthritis and old age.)
- Massage During Pregnancy (This class focused on the best massage techniques for pregnant women. It delved greatly into the use of massage versus painkillers during labor.)
- Pressure Points (All about using certain pressure points to relieve stress and alleviate symptoms that come from certain conditions and illnesses like morning sickness, migraines, and M.S.)
The initial licensing application cost me $106. The examination fee was another $187. Every year, my license costs me $50 to renew. The cost of the continuing education courses is up to me to pay, though because I am self-employed, I can deduct everything as a business expense.
Because I am licensed, I must closely follow the state laws. The laws are there to protect the clientèle. They also help protect myself from frivolous law suits. In Texas, the laws include:
- No massage therapist can use fraudulent advertising practices or make false claims to clients.
- Massage therapists must bill only for services rendered. Any changes made to an invoice must be approved by both parties.
- Children younger than 17 cannot receive massage therapy without written permission from a parent or legal guardian.
- Massage therapists must keep written records of all massage therapy services for a full two years.
- All initial massages must start with a consultation. Once the consultation is complete, the massage therapist must get a signed document stating the type of massage to be used, areas of the body that will be massaged, a statement that breasts will not be massaged without the written permission of the client, a statement that protective draping will be used at all times, and a statement that the massage therapist will immediately end a massage session if the client becomes uncomfortable. This form must be signed by the client and the massage therapist.
- Massage therapists cannot use alcohol or drugs.
- Massage therapists must set reasonable fees.
- Massage therapists must limit the number of times they recommend a client returns for additional massage therapy.
- All information provided by the massage therapist must be accurate.
- If a massage therapist receives a complaint, they must notify all other clients of the pending actions or investigation.
- All massage therapists must post information regarding how a client can register a complaint in a visible area.
This may seem like an unreasonable number of rules, but in reality they are all common sense items that I am happy to follow. The laws seem to cover both myself and my clients, so everyone is well protected.
Would I give up my career? Never. I love making people feel relaxed and ready to face the world.
Browse a list of massage therapy programs in Texas.