The Real Poop
Ooh, yeah. Yeah. Right there. That's the spot.
Oh, you and your filthy minds. Massage has never been more popular in this country than it is today. That is what the stress of a recession will do for you (and an Internet economy—as most of the business world spends half their day hunched over a keyboard). People rely on massage therapists to ease their minds, relax their bodies, and soothe their souls. Therapeutic massage can be administered to clients with injuries or other health conditions, and prenatal massage can be offered to expecting mothers. There are roughly 80 types of different massages, many of which we will not mention here, as this is a family website.
You can achieve a real sense of accomplishment as a massage therapist—what greater feeling than to know you are making others feel better? (Okay, there's at least one better feeling, but again, this is a family website.) There are, of course, some downsides. It can be tough on your hands and feet. You will spend much of your day without having a chance to sit down, and carpal tunnel is a major career hazard but it may be well worth it to while away the hours in a relaxing work environment, relieving your clients' stress and discomfort. We just hope you enjoy Enya.
Being a massage therapist isn't for everybody. Good thing, too, because it would be awfully hard getting service in a restaurant or finding someone to do your taxes if it was. A massage therapist must be genuinely interested in their clients' well-being. You can't just put yourself on auto-pilot, poke and prod someone on your table at random for 45 minutes, and call it a day. You have to connect on an intimate level with each and every person who puts himself in your hands (literally). If you are truly engaged, you will notice when their body responds to you being too aggressive, and you will pick up on problem areas that need more focus.
Of course, if the idea of kneading away at perfect strangers—yes, even the fat, sweaty, ones with B.O.—grosses you out, there are other, similar options. Some people practice Reiki, a Buddhist healing technique that may involve light touching or no touching at all. There are many who believe in the practice; others get up in arms about it being a huge scam. They need to relax. Maybe they could use some Reiki. Alternatively, you could consider being an acupuncturist. Acupuncturists sometimes combine the practice of acupuncture with massage, but not necessarily. If you so desired, you could stick people full of needles all day and be done with it. However, you can't really use this as a way to get out your aggression or work out some frustration. Your client is not there to be turned into a human voodoo doll.
Massage therapists can start up their own business, or they may work for a medical facility, spa, or athletic organization. Where you work may determine the nature of the muscle groups you will be working on. For example, at a spa you may be focusing on working out knots and relieving stress from clients' neck, shoulders, back, and feet. If working for a football team, you may be spending a bulk of your time on calves, thighs, and biceps. If you own your own place, you can massage whatever muscle groups you choose, as long as you keep it legal.
Although you are working during the massages and don't get to enjoy all of the benefits of it yourself, you do get to work in a calm, soothing environment, with relaxing music, peaceful lighting, and pleasant aromas. When you're not massaging that guy with the B.O, anyway.