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There are more than 12,000 spas across the country, according to the International Spa Association.

Relax - You've Got a Massage Therapy Career Ahead of You in Florida

There are more than 12,000 spas across the country, according to the International Spa Association. The American spa industry generates more than $11 billion in revenue per year. And the most popular spa treatment? Massage therapy.

In fact, a full 88 percent of spa vacationers get massages. And nearly half of spa clientele (47%) have household incomes of at least $100,000. The average price for a massage in 2004 was around $76, and that's generally for a one-hour appointment.

What does that tell you about a career in massage therapy? For one, there's potential to earn a significant income in this growing industry.

The Future of Massage Therapy
A 2004 study commissioned by Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) showed that massage therapy as a form of alternative medicine continues gaining popularity. Two out of five adults have visited a massage therapist, and 12 percent received at least one massage in 2004. Massage therapy now rivals chiropractic and physical therapy services in popularity -- impressive when you consider that massage therapy is generally not covered by health insurance, while the others often are.

Forms of alternative medicine like massage therapy and aromatherapy help to ease the side effects of chemotherapy. Massage therapy also helps with asthma, gastrointestinal problems, and even premenstrual syndrome. Massage eases depression, and kids with diabetes are shown to have more normal blood sugar levels following a massage.

As the medical community continues to embrace massage therapy as a viable form of treatment for many conditions, the profession will continue to add jobs. That's why the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that this profession will grow faster than average through 2014. Many states require formal massage therapy training and a national certification through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Your studies will include anatomy, physiology, the study of organs and tissues, kinesiology, business, ethics, and of course, massage therapy techniques. The BLS says the median hourly earnings of massage therapists, including gratuities, were $15.36 in 2004. But many in the profession are self-employed, meaning that the sky's the limit.

Massage Therapy Training in Florida
Two of the top ten resort spas in America, according to Travelers Advantage, are in Florida. With 1,100 miles of beaches, 900 golf courses (more than any other destination in the world), and a mild year-round climate, it's no mystery that Florida is one of the best places in the world to enjoy a spa vacation. So when you're planning a career in massage therapy, it makes sense to get started in Florida.

Sources
Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Massage Therapists"
Medical News Today, "Massage Therapy: A profession on the rise"
USA Today, "Massage, Wraps, Meals - All Included" by Kitty Bean Yancey
VisitFlorida.com
WebMD, "Magic Fingers" by Jeanie Lerche Davis

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