Massage therapists typically do the following:
Massage therapists use touch to treat clients' injuries and to promote the clients' general wellness. They use their hands, fingers, forearms, elbows, and sometimes feet to knead muscles and soft tissues of the body.
Massage therapists may use lotions and oils, and massage tables or chairs, when treating a client. A massage can be as short as 5 - 10 minutes or could last more than an hour.
Therapists talk with clients about what they hope to achieve through massage. Massage therapists may suggest personalized treatment plans for their clients, including information about additional relaxation techniques to practice between sessions.
Massage therapists can specialize in many different types of massage or modalities. Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, and sports massage are just a few of the many modalities of massage therapy. Most massage therapists specialize in several modalities, which require different techniques.
The type of massage given typically depends on the client's needs and physical condition. For example, therapists may use a special technique for elderly clients that they would not use for athletes. Some forms of massage are given solely to one type of client; for example, prenatal massage is given only to pregnant women.
Massage therapists who are self-employed may need to do business-related tasks such as marketing, booking appointments, and maintaining financial records. They may also have to buy supplies and do laundry.