Have you experienced a skillful massage after a hard workout, or while recovering from an athletic injury? If so, you understand the gifts that sports massage therapists bring to their clients. A well-trained and experienced massage therapist can make all the difference when it comes to healing and rejuvenation after competitions, maintenance workouts, cross-training, wall climbing, and any similar avenues of exertion and strain.
In the Miami, FL, area, The Praxis Institute’s Advanced Therapeutic Sports and Clinical Massage program provides essential training for this exciting career. Here, we explore what it takes to become a sports massage therapist.
What Is Sports Massage?
Sports massage is an advanced massage therapy that helps athletes both prevent and recover from injuries. It helps keep the body in top form, by manipulating strained muscle groups, increasing flexibility, and helping the whole body to relax. Sports massage therapists use a variety of strokes and techniques depending on the needs of the individual client. Based on the therapist’s expertise, sports massage:
- Improves circulation and tissue drainage
- Increases range of motion
- Eases painful areas
- Removes metabolic waste, such as lactic acid
- Reduces swelling, muscle tension
- Breaks down internal scar tissue
- Improves post-workout breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure
- Encourages relaxation
Rest and relaxation are key to optimal athletic performance, as well as recovery. Through the relief of stress, sports massage therapists encourage better competitive outcomes and achievements for their clients. They also help to reduce the chances of sports injuries.
Take These Steps for a Career in Sports Massage
The first step to any career in massage therapy is to enroll in an accredited massage therapy program. The Praxis Institute offers healthcare training diploma programs, including therapeutic sports and clinical massage. To excel in sports massage, you will require a thorough understanding of physiology and anatomy, kinesiology, pathology, and orthopedics. The next steps include:
- Become licensed by taking an exam with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) or the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (MBLEx)
- Gain experience working as a massage therapist through volunteering at sports events and functions
- Shadow sports massage therapists
- Focus on understanding individual sports, especially those in which you want to work
- Practice teamwork with other healthcare providers and trainers, understand their roles, and learn how to work together
- Keep up with research in the field
- Be persistent with networking, applying for jobs, and sharing your resume
Where Do Sports Massage Therapists Work?
Your dream may be to work with a professional sports team or organization. You may want to work with high school athletes or college teams. Whether you want to work with gymnasts, skiers, tennis players, swimmers, mountain climbers, or all the above, the sports massage therapist is held in high regard. And what about weekend warriors, advanced amateurs, and those new to sports? All these groups benefit from the superb skills and knowledge that sports massage therapists bring to their clients. In other words, the sports massage therapist can help clients of all ages and athletes of all types. You can specialize in one sport or gather experience in several settings.
Advantages for Students in the Miami Area
Once accepted at The Praxis Institute, new students start in our diploma programs every week. That means you won’t have to wait to start your training in advanced massage therapy. After 750 clock hours of theory, practice, and clinical training, students perform 115 or more service hours. That gives them real-world experience in the art and science of massage therapy. After graduation, our well-trained students are prepared to pursue the massage therapy certification and licensing required to start successful careers.
The Praxis Institute offers competitive pricing and flexible schedules. Theoretical classes in our advanced massage therapy program are taught online, while laboratory work and practical application classes are taught in person at our two campus locations in Hialeah and Miami, FL. Financial aid is available to eligible students. And our career services department assists students and graduates with networking and job searching. Contact us for more information today.