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Most people associate the word “massage” with relaxation or spending time in the spa. This is not surprising with the proliferation of spas these days.
It is important to note, though, that massage is not only meant to help people destress. They can also be therapeutic, providing relief for people with injury or chronic pain.
So, if you want to be a therapist, please know that there are several career paths available for you. Below are some of the massage courses available in Ireland and the careers you can pursue with each course.
In a holistic massage course, the focus is to train students to provide relaxation massages to people. Here, you are going to learn about massage techniques for all the different parts of the body, from head to toe.
What can you do after finishing a holistic massage course? You can work as a massage therapist in fitness clubs and spas. You can also become a freelance therapist and offer your services directly to clients. Another option is to set up your own spa or massage service.
Currently, there is a plethora of opportunities available for holistic massage therapists. It is a career path worth pursuing, especially since the spa industry is continuously booming. In 2015 alone, the earnings of spas around the world was around $99 billion. Experts project that this industry is going to perform even better in the coming years, with an estimated annual growth rate of almost 6% from 2017 to 2021.
A Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) course is best classified as a course for the treatment of pain, injury and dysfunction. Unlike a holistic massage course, this programme of study is not about relaxing massages but rather therapeutic ones.
In a Neuromuscular Therapy course, students are taught how to treat pain or injury involving the soft tissues and muscles. The focus is on eliminating the underlying cause of the problem. This means learning not just about massage techniques but also how the body works, specifically the central nervous and musculoskeletal systems, amongst others.
Finishing a Neuromuscular Therapy course qualifies you to provide therapeutic interventions to those with soft tissue or muscular injuries or chronic pain. You can work in a multi-disciplinary clinic along with chiropractors, osteopaths, etc. You can also start your own private practice.
Demand for neuromuscular therapists is expected to grow in the coming years. One reason for this is the increasing number of people with chronic pain. Reports show that around 10% of the global population get diagnosed yearly. Furthermore, more and more chronic pain sufferers are looking outside of conventional medical protocols or solutions for ways to manage or treat their pain.
This type of course is meant to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to treat and prevent sports-related injuries. This includes learning non-invasive techniques to rid the body of muscular tension and speed up muscle recovery after practices and games. On top of treating and preventing injuries, these massages are also meant to help athletes improve their mobility.
Nowadays, it is possible to find massage courses in Ireland which offers both sports massage therapy and neuromuscular therapy qualifications. A good example here is the National Training Centre’s (NTC) Neuromuscular Therapy course. When you finish this program of study, you can work with sporting teams and provide orthopaedic sports massage or you can establish private practice and offer services to patients with soft tissue and muscular pain, injury and dysfunction.
After finishing a sports massage therapy course or a multidisciplinary programme of study like NTC’s Neuromuscular Therapy course, you can pursue advanced studies to grow your skills and expand your qualifications.
Ultimately, the type of physical therapy or massage course you should take depends on what career you want to pursue. So, make sure you know the kind of work you would like to do as a therapist first.
For the best physical therapy and massage courses in Ireland, enrol at the National Training Centre! We are the country’s leading training provider of holistic massage therapy and neuromuscular therapy courses. Call us today at 01 882 7777!