The Rising Demand for Sports Massage Training

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014-15 (Occupational Outlook Handbook), employment of massage-related occupations, like Sports Massage Therapy, will grow at a rate of 23 percent through 2022.  Sports massage therapy is often called Therapeutic Massage, with the focus moving away from relaxation and towards a more rigorous soft tissue manipulation approach.  In physical therapy offices, and chiropractic setting, instead of the title ‘massage therapist’ the title might be, ‘Soft-tissue Therapist.’  A ‘message’ may be called ‘soft tissue therapy’.  While a 23% employment growth is faster than any other industry segment, the Directors of Healing Hands School has seen an increase in students going to school specifically with a focus in Therapeutic Massage.  Classes have changed to reflect this increase, there are more modalities and hours of training available than ever before.

sports marathon with Brandon “We have definitely seen an increase in the demand for (Therapeutic Massage) Sports Massage Therapists, in recent years”, said Harmony Curtiss, Laguna Hills Branch Manager.  “While our graduates have always been in high demand by area DaySpas, Resorts, and Massage Clinics, they are now being pursued by Physical Therapists, Doctors, Chiropractors, Gyms, and even managers of area Sports! That’s why we offer classes like Sports Injuries and Neuromuscular Therapy, Therapeutic Stretching, Structural Analysis, Structural Integration, Somatics, Trigger Point Therapy and MyoFascial Meridians for Pain Relief – to name a few,” she added.

Traditionally, therapeutic massage therapists simply provided treatments to athletes before competitions to help improve their flexibility and after competitions to alleviate injuries and keep muscles from tightening.  Today, however, they might also work in private health care practices or athletic facilities where every-day clients are familiar with and seek the many benefits of a therapeutic sports massage.  These benefits include increased flexibility and long-range motion, increased blood flow and lymph circulation, a reduction in muscle spasms and pain, a lowering of blood pressure, reduced stress response, improved recovery time from workouts, and faster rehabilitation of injured muscles and joints.

Students interested in pursuing a career in sports massage must have an excellent understanding of Anatomy and Physiology which are essential to providing a safe, restorative massage.   Students will also need physical strength, stamina, effective client communication skills, and knowledge of therapeutic stretching and strength-building exercises.  If working for a sports team, the student must also have the freedom to travel and mental flexibility to adjust to a frequently changing work environment.

Healing Hands offers Advanced Circulatory & Sports massage- which can sometimes feel like a Swedish massage, it also includes invigorating strokes to warm muscles and restorative techniques like trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles).  Rather than giving you a full-body massage, a sports massage therapist generally focuses on a specific problem area, such as a sore lower back or frozen shoulder. sports marathon 1

There are four basic types of sports massage. The Pre-event Sports Massage is given 15 to 45 minutes before an event and is directed toward the parts of the body that will be most involved in the exertion. The therapist provides a short, stimulating massage coupled with a round of therapeutic stretches to help warm and prepare the muscles for action. The Post-event Sports Massage is given within an hour or two of the event and is intended to normalize the body’s tissue and reduce post-event tightening or cramping.  The Restorative Sports Massage is given during training to facilitate harder training with less injury.  The Rehabilitative Sports Massage is provided to athletes with active injuries and is intended to alleviate pain and restore optimal health.

To find out if a career as a Sports Massage Therapist is right for you at our massage therapy school near you, please call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or at (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.

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