One of my guilty pleasures has to be a good massage. When I first started working, being sat at a desk would lead to tense muscles and stress, so every month I would research which massage to choose from and indulge myself.
I found massage therapy to be a great choice for me overall health and wellbeing. Sometimes I’d opt for a soothing aromatherapy massage, other times I would grit my teeth through a deep tissue treatment. However, I would always leave feeling relaxed and stress-free.
I’ve always found the after effects of a massage fascinating. According to Kimberly Harding, spa manager at Champneys, ‘massage helps to reduce stress by putting the body into a state of relaxation, which helps to reduce stress levels.’
Not only that, according to Livestrong.com, getting a massage can also improve the range of motions in the joints and enhance circulation.’ These obvious health benefits are probably part of the reason why massage therapy continues to grow in popularity. Across the pond in the US, the Bureau of Labour Statistics predicted that employment in this line work was ‘projected to grow 22% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.’
Beauty therapy in general is one aspect of the beauty industry we noticed continuing to thrive in popularity. The array of treatments satisfies a number of demands from consumers. Whether it’s an indulgent spa weekend, or hydrotherapy to help with arthritis, massage is no different with so many types of massages available for different purposes.
People looking to venture into this line of work may want to focus on more on improving people’s health through massages like trigger point therapy. This is when a tight area within muscle tissues causes pain in other parts of the body. According to Massage Envy, trigger point therapy alleviates the source of the pain ‘through cycles of isolated pressure and release.’
Sports massage is another common form if you have an interest in the human body. In this instance, you would focus ‘on areas of the body that are overused and stressed from repetitive and often aggressive movements.’
This doesn’t mean that luxury spas like Champneys aren’t just limited to gentle, soothing options. ‘Lava Shell massage is a hugely popular massage at the moment. This massage is super relaxing massage involving heat which penetrates deeply into the belly of the muscle while allow for a deeper relaxation effect on the body without needing to use a strong pressure. Shiatsu massage is also a highly popular massage currently trending. This involves being in loose clothing and massaged across shiatsu mats on the floor. During a session, the body would be manipulated, stretched and flexed into many different positions to allow the body to release all tension and stress,’ Harding explained.
The array of treatments to choose from continues to grow with practices from different regions of the world and cultures. According to American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) ‘between July 2015 and July 2016, surveys indicate that roughly 43.8 – 57.6 million adult Americans (19 - 25 percent) had a massage at least once.’
‘Many different elements contribute to making massage therapy effective from the type of massage you choose, the environment you have the massage in, the product range used and the type of therapist doing the treatment,’ Harding said.
Getting into the world of massage therapy won’t just require you to have a good customer facing approach, but it will also require you to keep up with industry trends. Spa Finder predicted that the ‘uber-izing’ of spa and wellness treatments will grow in demand as technology makes it easier for us to already access an array of services.
‘The beauty and wellness industries are not about to be left behind, and app-driven on-demand options are cropping up left and right, offering people access to healthy options wherever, whenever, and however they want,’ they reveal.
It’s clear to see it’s a firm favourite among people but what fuels its popularity?
‘In the world we live in today we are working harder than ever and people now have the type of attitude that they work hard so they should be able to treat themselves. It is also a proven technique to help relax the body and reduce stress,’ Harding said.
As consumers’ attitudes change when it comes to treating themselves and indulging in more self-care it’s apparent that there will be more of a demand for massage therapists. If we look at our American counterparts, AMTA revealed that ‘there are 325,000 to 375,000 massage therapists and massage school students in the United States.’
Even though it may seem easy enough to help someone relax for an hour, there’s more to the job than meets the eye.
‘Being a beauty therapist can be seen as an easy laid-back job but this is certainly far from the truth. When working in a busy spa like Champneys you are on your feet delivering 8 hours’ worth of treatments a day remaining smiley, giving out positive energy and although you could be on your 15th client of the day, it’s important to treat everyone as an individual.’
Join the thousands of massage therapists making a difference.
Safeera is Editor of Whatuni and a journalist from Kingston University. Always the inquisitive, her writing spans across a number of areas such as sustainability, fashion, lifestyle and now education. Her belief that you never stop learning and passionate nature has taken her to New York City as part of her degree and across the airwaves on national radio talking about the issues that matter to her.