Challenges Faced By Massage Therapists

Although a massage therapy job might sound perfect with no issues to speak of, there are some challenges that you should keep in mind before you embark on becoming a massage therapist and looking for a resort job. There are some physical challenges that you should be aware of as well as how you tend to operate within the confines of a resort or hotel structure.

What is Expected of a Massage Therapist

Resorts tend to employ a team of massage therapists who work shifts and who usually specialize in a certain type of treatment.

This means that you will generally only be required to do a certain number of massages and then be able to take a break, however your decisions are very limited and you basically have to conform to the hotel and resort management decisions.

You will not get the opportunity to experiment and introduce new methods and treatment options without going through management, and this can be too stifling for many massage therapists. The inclination and focus of most massage therapy training programs is towards opening your own practice, so working for a resort will only suit you if you don’t mind being one of the employees instead of the boss.

Resorts are usually ideal for those who are massage therapy students looking for part time work or seasonal employment in order to gain experience and see the world, or on the other end of the scale, it is the perfect job for older, more mature massage therapists who have just studied massage therapy to follow a second career where the relaxing, vacation atmosphere is what they are after.

Did You Know? This industry in the resort and hotel sphere is becoming more and more open to employing male massage therapists.

Job Challenges

Although anyone can become a massage therapist, there are certain physical limitations and challenges that are posed. Upper body strength is usually required if you hope to be a good massage therapist, although this is more in the form of stamina, rather than muscle strength, as you are taught how to use pressure in the correct places.

You will also need to be comfortable with standing for long periods of time. This can put strain on the back and legs, ankles and knees, so you must make sure that you can handle this. Avoiding burnout is very important. Additionally, because you are using your hands so much and especially your wrists and thumbs, you are at risk to get carpal tunnel syndrome. However, there is more emphasis on teaching correct body mechanics in the courses to avoid these injuries. According to an experienced massage therapist, “You should not just use your wrists and hands to do massage, but the force of your entire body.”

Massage therapists working at a resort will also not get paid a lot of money, and definitely nowhere near what you could get by opening your own practice. So why do it? Well, most people do it for the experience, the way of life, and the travel opportunities, as well as for the love of it. As one professional massage therapist says, “If you are thinking about how much money you will make as a massage therapist then this is not the career for you. If you are doing it for the love of it, from your heart, then you will have a great career. You must have a need to help people.”

Quick Summary:

  • Physical ailments and injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be prevented by learning and using proper technique.
  • Massage therapy will not make you rich, but should be done to help others.
  • Working at a resort means that you will need to work as part of a massage therapy team, instead of on your own.


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