In an era where mental health is receiving the attention it deserves, many are seeking careers that not only provide personal fulfillment but also contribute positively to the well-being of others.

One such career that frequently outranks several others in job satisfaction is massage therapy. Massage therapy offers a low-stress alternative to the traditional medicine career while giving practitioners the ability to help others.

Tack on the low cost of massage therapy school with the employment opportunities available after graduation, and you’ll see why massage therapy was recently ranked in the top 100 of the US News Best US Jobs Survey.

Here are seven reasons why massage therapy is a good career, not only for your financials but also for your mental health.

1. A Low-Stress Environment

Is there anything more relaxing than a massage? As a massage therapist, you also get to enjoy the relaxing environment built for personal massages, which you can construct all on your own.

Unlike sterile office environments subject to ringing telephones and fluorescent lighting, massage therapy settings are filled with candles, essential oils, and aromas designed to soothe and place patients at ease.

This doesn’t mean therapists aren’t subject to the same burnout that other professionals are vulnerable to. However, between its low-stress environment and ideal work-life balance, a career in massage therapy affords therapists the latitude they need to take on as much client work as they need to, especially if you own your own business.

2. A Great Work-Life Balance

We’ve mentioned work-life balance a lot because massage therapy is one of those rare fields where you can truly make up your own hours. As a business owner or private practitioner, you can schedule massages as you want and offer hours that accommodate your schedule.

While employees of spas or medical facilities will be subject to more stringent hours, your career in massage therapy is still not your typical 9/5. With hours that range all across the day and even onto the weekends, you can often pick and choose a set of hours that works best for your schedule.

Plus, as a therapist, you won’t be tasked with taking your work home with you as most therapists are able to seamlessly separate their work life from their personal life once their hours are through for the week.

3. Emotional Fulfillment Through Helping Others

Massage therapists often report high levels of job satisfaction due to the visible impact they have on their client’s mental and physical well-being. Studies show that careers involved in helping others tend to report the highest levels of satisfaction.

Again, massage therapy delivers instant satisfaction to clients with very little liability or stress compared to traditional medicine fields. The sense of purpose and fulfillment therapists get out of helping others is a crucial component of their own mental health, as many of our students and colleagues report.

4. Continuous Growth and Development

A big driver in job satisfaction is the ability to advance in one’s career. Fortunately, massage therapists have plenty of options for developing their knowledge base, such as studying alternative massage techniques or working in different fields, such as in a hospital, private practice, or a resort.

Even the ability to form a small private practice that a trade school provides is invaluable for keeping young professionals in trade fields motivated for their careers.

5. A Community of Like-Minded People

As a massage therapist, you become part of a community that values empathy, wellness, and holistic health. At NEPA School of Massage, our clinic and classroom experiences foster a supportive environment where you can connect with like-minded individuals, enhancing your own mental health and creating lasting relationships.

6. Improved Physical Fitness

Massage therapy may not be a blue-collar job like hauling freight, but you will certainly build some strength over the course of your career. Fortunately, physical health is a massive driver of mental health, so staying physically active will reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, which are common to most office jobs.

7. The Healing Power of Touch

Massage therapy not only increases serotonin and dopamine in patients but also in practitioners. It may sound strange, but as a massage therapist, you will derive some of the physiological benefits of a massage, even if you are the one giving the massage. While it may be minimal, the power of touch has been proven to boost mental health in people, which is why massage therapy is such an important practice to begin with.

A Career That Cares for You and Others

If you’re looking for a career where you can help others and enjoy a steady work-life balance, then a career in massage therapy is right for you.

Learn more about how to become a massage therapist and start your journey in this fulfilling field at the NEPA School of Massage. Begin a career that harmonizes mind and body wellness by signing up for our next available semester at the NEPA School of Massage.

FAQs: Massage Therapy and Mental Health

How often should one get a massage for mental health benefits?

The frequency of massages for mental health benefits can vary. For general well-being, a monthly massage may be sufficient. However, individuals experiencing high stress or mental health challenges might benefit from more frequent sessions, such as bi-weekly or weekly.

Are there specific massage techniques better suited for certain mental health conditions?

Yes, different massage techniques can be more beneficial for specific mental health conditions. For example, Swedish massage is often relaxing and stress-reducing, while deep tissue massage may help with chronic tension. Consult with a qualified massage therapist to determine the most suitable approach for your specific needs.

Can massage therapy replace traditional mental health treatments?

While massage therapy can be a valuable complementary approach, it’s not a substitute for traditional mental health treatments. It can work synergistically with counseling, medication, and other interventions. Always consult with mental health professionals to create a comprehensive treatment plan.