Students of the Month: Christine & Corey

Meet Christine Penner


Christine Penner is a part-time, 12 month student at the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage in Rochester, NY. Christine has always believed in the power of touch and wanted a new career where she could use touch to relieve a person’s stress, anxiety, or pain to help others regain their physical, mental, or emotional health. We saw Christine’s desire to help others daily, and it’s one of the many reasons the staff and faculty of OSTM selected her as our Student of the Month.

Christine can always be found comforting or supporting others, whether it’s staying after a class to work with a peer who is nervous about an upcoming myology exam, sharing parenting advice with classmates, or just her warm smile and contagious laugh to strengthen the bond between her cohort. She received her master’s degree in education but always had a desire for a career that supported her strong belief in the power of touch.

Balancing Life and School

Christine is a mother of four and considers her job as a mom more than a full-time job! Once her children were all school-aged and after a few supportive conversations with her husband, she decided to take the leap and enroll in OSTM’s part-time 12 month program. The 12 month program’s flexible schedule allows her to be there for her children in the morning to see them get on the school bus before her classes begin. Having her classes end at noon gives her time to study and complete the never-ending task of being a mother of four. She can still be as involved with her children’s everyday lives while completing her education and training in Massage Therapy. Christine just completed her first quarter here at OSTM and has completed her 100-level courses in Communications and Business, Law & Ethics, Anatomy & Physiology w/Neurology, Myology, and Pathology with a 3.9 GPA. Christine would like to thank her four children Marin, Michael, Emily, and Mallory and her husband Jon Paul for all the love and support they provide.

Why OSTM?

When we asked Christine why she chose Onondaga over other massage schools, she said the decision was an easy one. She said:

“After touring the Rochester Campus, I knew it was the right school and the right fit for me… It has small intimate class sizes [and] helpful and friendly staff and faculty who are there to help you along the way and make you feel confident and comfortable in your future as a massage therapist.”

Another factor was OSTM’s over 20-year history of graduating quality-trained and educated Licensed Massage Therapists along with a strong alumni network, quality continuing education programs, and a career services department. In just three months, Christine has had the opportunity to meet with several employers at the school’s Meet & Greet sessions with local employers in the Rochester area. When it comes to which specific modality of massage she thinks she will practice after graduation, Christine is keeping her options open. She said:

“When I first chose to go back to school for massage I saw myself working in more of a medical setting, using my skills and training to offer massage as a form of pain management for people with orthopedic issues, arthritis, and other mobility conditions. But, now I am keeping all my options open. One of the most satisfying things about massage is the number of different modalities and flexibility there is in the massage therapy field.”

Choosing a Career After School

The faculty and staff here at OSTM are confident that Christine Penner is sure to be a trailblazer in the field of Massage Therapy no matter where she chooses to take her journey. Whether she is massaging in a chiropractor’s office or a physical therapist’s medical office, performing oncology massage in one of Rochester’s top cancer treatment centers, pairing her education background with massage to assist individuals with autism to regulate their sensory stimulation, or massaging in one of Rochester’s most luxurious spas. She could even help massage combat veterans at the Veterans Outreach Center who are seeking relief dealing with anxiety, depression, or PTSD. No matter where she chooses to go, she is sure to be a benefit to those around her.

Meet Corey Smith


Meet Corey Smith of the 15 month evening program and OSTM Syracuse’s Student of the Month for April 2018! Corey is the definition of a hardworking and persistent individual. Working full-time in retail and being a full-time dad, his ability to make school a priority deserves recognition. He is solution orientated and inspires those around him to think positively and laugh often, especially in the midst of challenges.

Before OSTM

Before OSTM, Corey was working full-time at Kun Fu Tea, a bubble tea shop in the mall, and taking care of his four-year-old daughter.

Why OSTM?

Massage was something that Corey thought about while in his senior year of high school, but wasn’t sure if he should pursue it. After he had his daughter and finally had a reliable form of childcare, he started to seriously think about what he wanted to do as a career. In regards to massage therapy, he said:

“I originally thought of massage as a career choice because I wanted to be in a profession where I truly felt I was helping people, and that I can help them with my hands. I love that there is so much more to massage than what most people first assume. After receiving a tour at OSTM, I thought that such a small campus/community would be the perfect fit. After learning that I could enroll part-time around my work schedule and the ability to spend time with my daughter, I knew that OSTM was the right choice.”

Corey’s Future Goals

At the current moment, Corey is unsure of the exact path of massage therapy he wants to take in the future. He loves the field because there are so many career options to choose from and he can work with a variety of people. He enjoys exploring the different options and discovering more about the career in general. He hopes to keep learning as the program goes on, and he is eager to see what the future may hold!

Want to Become a Massage Therapist?

Want to learn more about the exciting career opportunities in the field of massage therapy? Want to find a career like Christine or Corey? Check out our two convenient locations in Syracuse and Rochester! If you’re interested in learning more or want to schedule a tour, call our Syracuse Admissions Director at 315-424-1159 or our Rochester Admissions Director at 585-241-0070. We can help you get started on your new journey!

How Massage Therapy Can Help Autism Spectrum Disorders

Studies conducted in recent years have helped us understand autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in greater detail than ever before. In addition to that, we’ve been hearing stories within the past year or so that suggest that massage therapy can help improve behavior in people with ASD. At Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage, helping others lead happier and healthier lives is why we make a special effort to care for our ASD patients!

What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Autism spectrum disorder is the name for a group of different developmental disorders. ASD incorporates a wide range of disorders with different symptoms, skill levels, and levels of disability. In general there are a few characteristics commonly found in people with ASD:

  • Difficulty socializing
  • Language impairment
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Other behavioral difficulty

The ASD spectrum also includes disabilities that used to be individually diagnosed, such as Asperger’s syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder. Each case of ASD is unique, so each person needs to be helped according to their needs.

How Does Massage Help ASD?

Studies regarding massage therapy and autism are still in their infancy, but there have been some small scale and anecdotal studies conducted that suggest positive results for patients with ASD. Deep pressure massage in particular is suspected to help with things like touch aversion that people with ASD commonly experience. One theory for why massage can help people with ASD is that massage increases oxytocin in the blood stream. Oxytocin is responsible for producing a feeling of relaxed wellness, which can help combat some of the stressors that come with ASD.

Autism Awareness Day

Helping people around us is at the core of what we do at OSTM. Autism Awareness Day is coming up in April, so if you’re looking for ways that you can make a difference, here are some resources you can investigate:

Try Massage Therapy

At OSTM, we take pride in helping other people live happier and healthier lives, and that is especially true when we take care of patients with ASD. Do you think massage therapy might be able to help you or someone you know with ASD? Schedule an appointment with our student clinic for an affordable way to try massage therapy!

Why the Average Working Person Needs Massage

Massage therapy is a skilled practice with many different applications. Most people think of massage therapy as a luxurious spa activity, or maybe as a way to help recover from an injury. Massage therapy actually shows the greatest benefits for people who get massages regularly! Here are a few of the main reasons massage therapy can be beneficial to the average person.

Stress Relief

Regardless of the type of work you do, you probably feel stress. America’s number one cause of stress is work, and if your work is repetitive in nature or requires you to sit for long periods of time, it’s easy to develop tension in the soft tissue and muscles in the body. This tension can have a negative impact on the quality of our daily lives, and some knots can be very painful until they are worked on through manual manipulation of the tissue.

Not only can massage assist with physical stress and ailments, it can help relieve emotional stress and as well. Just as our bodies have physical scars from past injuries, our bodies have the same kind of reaction to emotional stress, tension, or trauma. It is in the soft tissue that these memories and scars are held, and massage works directly with releasing endorphins and “feel good” hormones that allow your mood to be affected positively.

Improve Desk Jobs

If you’re sitting at a desk reading this, you can probably feel all the tension in your body already, maybe your upper shoulders and neck, low back or wrists. Working conditions are fairly unavoidable, that is why regular massage therapy and home care from the client is so important to combat the negative effects our jobs can have on us. The demands our jobs hold on us aren’t particularly good for our bodies or psyche anyways, so massage helps alleviate the negative side effects. Taking care of yourself is important!

Injury Prevention & Recovery

Massage therapy can be a way to help your body recover and heal more quickly, where appropriate, and also ease pain around the injury.If you are currently under the care of a physician because of an injury, it’s a smart idea to consult with them before receiving massage. Massage aids in the recovery process by bringing new blood to the area, and even work with reducing thickness of newly developing scars. Massage is also used as a preventative measure for injuries in some of the same ways it treats them by bringing new blood flow to the area and increasing flexibility.

Improved Sleep

Its estimated that as many as 1/3 people suffer from at least mild insomnia in the United States. There are a lot of factors that can cause insomnia, and massage therapy can address some of them through a combination of stress relief, muscle relaxation, positive reinforced touch, and healing modalities. Massage can help people stay asleep longer without interruption, and have a more restful sleep. If you are having difficulty sleeping, consider receiving regular massage to help you have more restful sleep.

Onondaga Believes in Massage

At Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage, we believe in what we do! We’ve seen for ourselves the powerful healing of massage, and would love for you to experience it yourself. Book a massage with one of our students today!

Students of the Month: Jenn & Victoria

Meet Jenn Hess

Meet Jennifer Hess, six month student and our Student of the Month of March! Jennifer’s passion for helping people extends beyond her journey toward becoming an LMT. Jennifer is a generous spirit, always lending her talents and resources to provide academic support to her classmates. Having started a career as a Nurse Practitioner, providing comfort and care to her classmates in times of need comes naturally to her. Her commitment to her studies, compassion and willingness to put others before herself earned her our Student of the Month. Upon graduating from OSTM, she hopes to work alongside her husband at Camillus Massage Therapy as a licensed therapist, hoping to incorporate her nursing background into their services.

Why OSTM?

Jenn chose OSTM because her husband and the massage therapists he hires graduated from our school. Each of those massage therapists have different massage styles, and Jenn was impressed with how they were able to make a career out of their passion. Each of the students spoke highly of OSTM, so Jenn decided to check it out. When she toured the school for the first time, she knew it was the right place for her!

What Jenn Loves About Massage

Jenn loves that instructors help her to develop a new skill set, but also help her to develop her own personal style of massage. Her education feels individualized, and at OSTM all of the students are encouraged and empowered to try new things. Jenn loves massage in particular because of the impact she is able to have on other people. Massage doesn’t just improve health, but it can help others in many other ways. She loves helping people have better lives!

Jenn’s Inspiration and Goals

Jenn’s biggest inspiration for pursuing massage therapy is her husband. She saw how passionate he is about helping others, and how much joy he feels when helping clients make progress. At first he started working alone in a small room, but now he has built a small business with soon-to-be four locations and 13 massage therapists. When she graduates from OSTM, Jenn wants to join her husband’s practice at Camillus Massage Therapy, and she plans on using her nursing background to bring a different element to her massage!

Life Without Massage

When asked what her life would be like if she didn’t start at OSTM, she said:

”If I wasn’t attending classes at OSTM, I would probably still be feeling like something was missing. I LOVE being a nurse, but I started to feel like there was more I could be doing to help my patients. I am so excited to be learning different ways to help improve their quality of life and I cannot wait to get started in my new career.”

Meet Victoria Salas

Victoria Salas is a 15-month evening student at Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage’s Rochester campus. Victoria chose OSTM to complete her education and training after learning about its strong reputation in the community and its strong success rate with students passing the NYS licensure exam. Our students have a higher pass rate than the state average, with 98% of them passing on the first attempt!

Victoria works full-time as a teacher in the Rochester City School District working with students teaching English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). Victoria grew up in Puerto Rico and loves being able to utilize her bilingual skills to help students succeed.

Why Massage Therapy?

Victoria first started to consider a career in massage therapy a few years ago as she received a massage at least two times a month from her own massage therapist here in Rochester. OSTM’s evening program fit perfectly with her schedule so she can work full-time and attend classes here four nights a week.

Massage Career Goals

Victoria’s goal is to start her own massage business and offer affordable massage to educators. Victoria is inspired by her colleagues who give of themselves each day and wants to offer massage to help educators relax and avoid the burnout that is so common in education. She wants others in her community to experience the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of massage to reinvigorate them to take on the next day’s challenge and put their best foot forward.

Positive Energy

Victoria’s laughter and positivity is a contagious element that her classmates and instructors witness on a daily basis. Whether it is helping a fellow student get an extra peer study session before a myology midterm, or just being a being a sympathetic ear to let a classmate vent about the stress of life. These are just a few of the reasons why Victoria Salas is Rochester’s March student of the month. We love having her as part of the OSTM family!

Join OSTM Today!

If you’d like to meet Jenn, Victoria, or students like them for a massage, book an appointment with us! If massage therapy is something you want to explore as a career for yourself, reach out to us to schedule a tour of our school!

What Makes Onondaga Truly Unique

The Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage (OSTM) isn’t just a massage school, it’s a family! Making the decision to start a massage therapy program can be intimidating, but at OSTM we do everything we can to help our students to succeed both as students in the classroom and as professionals once they enter the workforce. We’ll look here at a few of the ways we go above and beyond for our family of students.

Focus on Academic Success

Massage therapy education can be a significant investment of time and money, OSTM has supports in place to ensure your success not only in the classroom, but when you take your licensing exam as well. We know that the financial and time investment students put into their education is valuable. When it comes to the New York licensing exam for massage therapy about 68% of students pass on their first attempt, but at OSTM, our students have a 98% pass rate! The success of our students is at the very core of what we do.

Our high pass rate on the licensing exam isn’t by accident. At OSTM, we do everything that we can to help our students feel confident and prepared to sit for the exam. One of the major ways we do this is by designing our course schedules so that students graduate shortly before the exam is administered, that way everything they learned is still fresh on their minds! We also offer supports after you graduate to help students prepare for the licensure exam. Students can attend bi-weekly study groups with peers, a special 1 day workshop where students can take a mock exam, and a third party website that is offered as a study tool to assist retain and prepare for their licensure exam.

Another way we help our students prepare is by offering different tutoring options. Free group tutoring is available for all of our students, and one-on-one tutoring is another option that students can pay for. We also hold our students to a higher academic standard than most other massage programs. Some massage schools and other institutions set their passing grade at 65%, but at OSTM we require our students to maintain a 75% GPA or higher in all classwork. This is due to the state license exam requires a 75% score to pass and gain licensure, so when our students graduate from OSTM, they should feel confident they are prepared to not only take the licensure exam, but pass.

Focus on Career Success

Successfully passing the 1000 hours of coursework and passing the licensing exam is one challenge, but it’s another challenge all together to be successful after graduation! This is why we strive to equip our students to be outstanding massage professionals. One way we do this is by teaching classes on communication in business as well as law and ethics. These courses are beneficial for students to learn the soft skills of interviewing from writing resumes to holding mock interviews with actual massage business owners from the community. Many students choose to pursue a career in massage therapy based on their interest in becoming their own boss and starting their own business. OSTM’s business curriculum prepares students to develop their own Business and Marketing Plan. Students also learn to identify the local and national trends happening in the massage field today to maximize career success!

Another way we improve our students is through our massage clinic. Our students have the opportunity to practice their massage skills on the public in a work space that is similar to what they will use after graduation. This hands-on practice can give our students the confidence they need to perform well right after graduation. Having 100 hours of experience working on the public helps our students become a more comprehensive therapist as they have experience with clients from a variety of different backgrounds, ages, and health histories. This leads to the development of a more well-rounded experienced therapist that employers and massage clients are looking for.

Another example that sets OSTM apart from the rest is our instructors. We don’t have instructors and educators who work full time as a member of our faculty. In fact most of them own practices or businesses of their own in the massage or bodywork field. This leads to students receiving instruction from qualified, knowledgeable, experienced bodywork professionals in the industry. This leads to the instruction being tailored and geared towards the bodywork profession, which allows the students to be more knowledgeable and confident in their practice of massage.

Individualized Education & Your Success

OSTM strives to ensure that our classroom environment is tailored to work for all types of learners. Subjects are taught in a way that can be understood by auditory, visual, and hands-on learners alike, so students can experience a 360-degree learning environment. We want our student to learn the information, but more importantly be able to recall and visualize the information when they are out working as licensed massage therapists.

Experience Onondaga

Are you ready to embark on your massage therapy education? An education in massage therapy can help you be your best self! Reach out to us to find out more information about joining the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage family!

Student of the Month: Sean Hogan

There is nothing quite like seeing a student succeed and go above and beyond our expectations. Here at Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage, we make sure that our students are getting the most out of their education and constantly progressing. We are so lucky to have amazing students, and we are proud to have them represent our name.

Sean Hogan

Onondaga student of the month: Sean Hogan

This month we would like to give special attention to one of our very own: Sean Hogan. Sean is a 12 month student at the Rochester campus. When asked why he decided to pursue a career in massage therapy, he told us that he has always had an interest in the structure and the function of the human body for as far back as he can remember. He attributes most of his interest in bodywork and massage to being the son of a chiropractor.

As a child Sean would watch as clients visited his father’s practice and would walk in with a limp, staggered gate, or other injuries and would walk out of the office with a spring in their step and a smile on their face.

Changing His Career

Sometimes your plans don’t always end up the way you think they will. If you’re anything like Sean, you’ll make the best of it.

After completing four years of college and finding himself unsatisfied with his career, he began to consider a new career in Massage Therapy. Sean states, “After looking at several schools and examining their curriculum, it was clear that the curriculum, supports, and staff at OSTM-Rochester were far superior to any other school in the area.” We are beyond thrilled he chose us! What an honor to have Sean be apart of our team.

Why Onondaga?

Sean really did his homework when it came down to which school to attend. When asked what made Onondaga stand out he told us that, “Onondaga gives you the tools and the support to be successful with their free tutoring program for the science courses. They have dedicated staff to advise and academically counsel you, and they have one of the highest licensure rates in the state of NY, which means that they really prepare students to get licensed and begin working as a Licensed Massage Therapist”.

Sean’s Favorite Part (So Far)

Sean genuinely enjoys the work and what he is learning. His favorite classes are his Myology and his Anatomy & Physiology classes. “I really enjoy thinking of the body as a big jigsaw puzzle, once you start learning about the body and how each system in the body supports or relies on another it all starts making sense.”

Sean’s Take on Massage Therapy

Sean can personally testify of the benefits of massage. When Sean was a teen he was involved in an accident resulting in a traumatic brain surgery. Sean credits a significant portion of his recovery to the efforts of bodywork professionals (Massage Therapists, Physical Therapists, and Chiropractors).

This experience was the motivation that Sean needed in order to pursue his passion to become a better massage therapist for his clients.

The Bright Future

We won’t be surprised when Sean makes a successful career for himself. His love for his craft is demonstrated every day on campus. Sean hopes to work in a medical setting once he finishes his studies and start his business in a chiropractic or physical therapist’s office to educate others on the benefits of massage.

Be Like Sean

Sean is determined, motivated, knowledgeable, honest, and supportive of his classmates and faculty. Even when class is over he is one of the first to take the extra time to work with a fellow classmate to explain a concept in a different way, test them on muscle origins before a quiz, or just talk things out with a classmate to reassure them. It’s pretty obvious why Sean was chosen to be our student of the month. We are all inspired by Sean. If you want to meet Sean or other students like him, book an appointment for a student massage.

How to Become a Massage Therapist in New York

woman getting a massage from a massage therapist

Do you find joy and fulfillment in helping others? Do you enjoy working one-on-one with clients? Does the idea of getting a license in what you love in under four years sound inviting? Then life as a massage therapist could be the one for you! Massage therapists help with physical therapy, can reduce stress and tension, can prevent sickness and diseases, and can restore health and well-being.

Licensing Requirements

The road to becoming a massage therapist can vary by state. If you want to work in New York in a job that requires you to treat clients with massage therapy techniques, you will need a New York massage therapy license. Here are the requirements to be a licensed massage therapist in NY

  • Must be of good moral character determined by the the department
  • Must be 18 years old or older
  • Must be a citizen or an “alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence” in the United States
  • Must complete education requirements
  • Must complete experience requirements
  • Must complete a course in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) within the three years of obtaining your license
  • Must pass the New York State Massage Therapy Examination
  • Must pay the fee of $150 to the department of admissions
  • If applicable, you must submit evidence of English proficiency

Education Requirements

Gaining an education in massage therapy techniques is very rewarding and even better, does not take as long as a general degree in education, such as four years. You could be well on your way before you know it! The requirements in education are:

  • Must be a high school graduate or graduate from a school or institute of massage therapy that includes a program registered by the state of New York Education Department
  • Complete no less than 1000 hours in specific courses according to your department. You can complete the program in as little as one year!

Person getting a massage

Coursework

You probably wouldn’t guess it, but a massage therapist must be well versed in many subjects in order to provide massage services. What’s so amazing about Those subjects include:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Neurology
  • Myology or kinesiology
  • Pathology
  • Hygiene
  • First aid
  • CPR
  • Infection control procedures
  • The chemical ingredients of products that are used and their effects
  • The theory, technique and practice of massage/bodywork therapy

Onondaga’s Education Resources

Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage offers resources to support student success with completing the required 1000 hours. Resources such as:

  • Free tutoring program four days a week
  • Academic advisement
  • Career assistance
  • Alumni Resources

Follow Your Passion

It may look intimidating or overwhelming getting your massage therapy license. But always remember that hard work does pay off. Being a massage therapist can be a very fulfilling job and one that you are proud of. Many people are living that truth! The massage therapy industry is growing creating many different and great places to work! If you need help, contact one of our admissions representatives. They’ve helped thousands of individuals like you follow their dream. Begin your journey by applying to our program! Don’t miss our Open House on Saturday, April 14th from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Start your dream today.

Onondaga Orientation

group of friends taking a picture together laughing and smiling
Pursuing your education can be intimidating and it can also be confusing trying to figure what field you want to go into. Why not go to school to pursue something that you love? Helping people. Becoming a licensed massage therapist gives you the opportunity to help people everyday. Massage school differs from traditional school in a variety of ways. Everything is hands-on. Literally. The community is like no other. Your fellow colleagues and instructors are with you every step of the way. At Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage we make that a priority. It all starts with orientation.

Orientation at Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage

Orientation gives students an introduction to the specialized curriculum here at OSTM. A simple review of the student handbook becomes an interactive scavenger hunt around campus. A review of the importance of self-care for massage therapists turns into a stretching and range of motion activity. These are just two examples of the dynamic 360 degree educational experience students can expect from their time at OSTM.

Curriculum

At OSTM you can learn the skills and knowledge you will want to become a successful massage therapist. Our curriculum includes instructions in:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Eastern Massage
  • Myology
  • Pathology
  • Neurology
  • Swedish Massage
  • Sports Massage
  • Treatment Techniques
  • Chair Massage
  • Pregnancy Massage
  • Energy Techniques
  • Directed Study
  • Hygiene
  • New York State Law & Ethics
  • Business
  • Communications
  • CPR & First Aid
  • Abuse Awareness

Potential Careers

After graduating from OSTM, there are a variety of potential careers for you to explore. Here are some places you can work.

  • Cruise ships
  • Hotel poolside masseuse
  • Resorts
  • Health and wellness centers
  • Spas
  • Self-employed private practice

Start Your Journey

On December 29th, 2017, 28 new students took their first steps to becoming Massage Therapists at the at the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage Rochester campus. Those new students came from every walk of life, varied educational experiences, and different career and work experiences. What they all had in common was the desire to help others and start a new career in a field they’re passionate about. You could be the next future massage therapist to step through our doors.

The enrollment process for our next program has begun with classes starting June 29th. If you have ever considered becoming a massage therapist, take the first step today by contacting one of our Admissions Directors at either our Rochester, NY or Syracuse, NY campuses. Start your journey today.

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Where to Spot Sports Massage Therapists

Massage has become so integral to the professional sport scene that the massage therapists tend to blend into the background! Throughout the year you can see sports massage therapists, so here are a few of the places you’ll likely spot them!

The Olympics

The Winter Olympics are taking place again in 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea, and the sports massage therapists will be out in full force! Even before the Olympics take place, massage therapists have been volunteering year round at Olympic training centers around the country. This gives them a chance to hone their sports massage skills, expand their resume, and potentially perform massage for the top athletes in the United States!

The first official sports massage team for the United States was organized in 1984 for the Los Angeles Olympic Games. It was a new and tenuous time for massage therapy in professional sports because there was still a great deal of misunderstanding about how massage therapy could help professional athletes. Fast forward to modern day sports and it’s rare to find professional sports that don’t have massage therapists assisting the athletes!

The Superbowl

Sports massage and the National Football League (NFL) have become inseparably connected in recent years. NFL players have to fight tooth and nail to earn the spots they have on their respective teams, but their fight isn’t over then. If a pro player is injured, they have a substitute that covers for them while they recover. If that substitute turns out to be a better player than the injured player, they will suddenly be out of a career as a professional football player.

Sports massage is heavily used in the NFL to help players keep their edge. It’s used to help prevent injury as well as to help heal injuries faster. It’s even commonplace for NFL athletes to hire on personal massage therapists in addition to the NFL staff that already provides service. It’s considered an important investment in their NFL careers!

Other Professional Performers

The benefit of sports massage has become well known at this point, so the application of massage has also spread quite far. In addition to the NFL, most other national sports leagues utilize sports massage to enhance the health and performance of their athletes. Whether it’s cyclists at the Tour de France or soccer players at the World Cup, massage therapists have a place!

Not only have massage therapists taken over the sporting world, but their presence is expanding into other fields. Professional dancers are using massage therapists more and more to improve their health and the quality of their performances!

Where Would You Like to Be?

Where would you most enjoy working as a sports massage therapist? We can help you begin your professional massage therapy journey at Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage. Contact us to learn more about the enrollment process today!

What is Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage is usually what people in the western world are referring to when they say they got a massage. The focus of Swedish massage is on anatomy and physiology, as opposed to Asian massage techniques that focus on lines of energy that flow through the body. A Swedish physiologist, Per Henrik Ling, is credited for developing a system of medical gymnastics that later evolved into what we know today as Swedish massage.

What Is the Difference Between Swedish and Other Types of Massage?

Each type of massage has a fundamentally different ideology that influences how the massage is performed. These differences are large enough that some people can have different results depending on which type they get.

Swedish massage has an emphasis on physiology with a specialization in releasing knots, tension, and pain through a variety of different techniques. Some of these techniques include:

  • Kneading
  • Friction
  • Effleurage
  • Stretching
  • Tapping
  • and more

The massage therapist can also adjust the intensity of the massage from gentle to grueling at the request of the client. Swedish massage also allows the client to focus on massaging particular parts of the body that need more relief.

While there is a wide variety of massage techniques that licensed therapists can use, Swedish massage is one of the most popular. Other techniques may utilize stretching, pulling, or manipulating the muscles rather than rubbing or massaging them. Massage therapists can even restrict blood flow to some parts of the body to release pressure, then allow the blood to rush back into the body part.

Which Type of Massage Is Right for Me?

The short answer is that it depends! You need to be sure to pick a massage that is right for your body and what your body needs. There’s massage modalities that are excellent for increasing flexibility and circulation, while Swedish massages take special care to alleviate specific pain points in the body.

Another thing to consider is your personal comfort level with things like massage oils and nudity. In a Swedish massage, the client is usually nude and covered in a massage sheet or towel. Clients can also choose to keep their underwear on if they are nervous during their first few visits. The massage therapist only reveals the part of the client they are working on, and these massages are performed in private. Modesty is always preserved for the client. The nudity is required in order to use the massage oils that traditionally come with a Swedish massage.

If you are uncomfortable with the nudity involved in a typical Swedish massage, or your skin could react negatively to the massage oils, consider trying a different type of massage. Some massages are performed while the client is fully clothed and does not use any massage oils. There are some massages that are often performed in rooms with space for multiple people to be massaged at the same time. Just talk to your therapist to learn more about the massage that will be most beneficial and comfortable for you.

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