A significant amount of news coverage has been given to "Generation Y," or "The Millennial Generation" - most often considered to be individuals born between 1980 and 1994. Growing up in the 21st century entails greater privilege and greater hardship than previous generations have faced. One thing's for sure - members of this generation are needed to fill critical healthcare job gaps, one of which just might be massage therapy.
Massage therapy is recognized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as a growing career, and one with benefits beyond the immediately obvious. The massage therapy education trains students to have a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy and physiology, which is essential for effective massage treatment. The scientific background of the massage therapy certification program allows students of massage to understand how different body parts and systems work together - and how, if one system is out of whack, a massage client can feel ill or out-of-sorts all over.
Schools such as the Certified Careers Institute, with campus locations in Clearfield and Salt Lake City, Utah, offer massage therapy education that prepares students to sit for a massage therapy certification. This education is popular with the younger generation, because it leads to a career with worker-defined office conditions. Young workers can choose what type of massage therapy they will specialize in, decorate their offices however they choose, and determine what kinds of massage oils, wraps, and techniques they will use on their clients. This generation of young adults, who grew up with technology, views "cool" careers like massage therapy in a positive light.
It's a good thing, too. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that as Gen Y's parents - the Baby Boomer generation - age, there will be an increased need for professional massage therapists to administer their services as supplementary medical therapies. Generations X and Y enjoy massage therapy at work or after-hours. Today's jobs can demand long hours, and some people must work two jobs to be able to meet their bills; so, massage therapy is a helpful accessory to a demanding career. It can also become a great career for a Gen Y student. This generation, more so than older counterparts, places emphasis on work-life balance, and many enjoy more flexible working arrangements, including flex time and telecommuting. Some massage therapists can set their own hours and delineate their own working conditions, making massage therapy certification an appealing career choice for the under-30 set.
This kind of treatment can also be beneficial to individuals who suffer from depression, isolation, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (side effects, after all, of our highly interactive -but ultimately, human-contact deprived - wired society). Many people eschew drug therapies for mental health issues - after all, modern antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs have gotten negative press because of certain deleterious side effects. Massage therapy enables total body relaxation, which can effectively boost a person's mood. In fact, certified massage therapists themselves can benefit from the health-conscious outlook their career field demands. Individuals who sell health services can market their services more credibly if they are actually healthy individuals, themselves - meaning, for example, that they eat a healthy diet, follow an exercise regimen, and refrain from using drugs or alcohol.
Millennials' Boomer parents can benefit from massage therapy. Adult-onset (Type II) diabetes and heart disease are two major killers of older Americans - and the Boomer generation is aging and quickly closing in on their retirement years. The massage therapy education, such as that provided by the Certified Careers Institute's Clearfield and Salt Lake City, Utah schools, teaches students massage techniques that can be beneficial in treating conditions affecting older adults: diabetes, arthritis, gout, and even cancer. Boomers, too, face career stress - after all, their generation was strongly affected by corporate mergers and downsizing. Massage therapy can help them shed the health-negative stresses of the modern workplace.
Finally - and perhaps most importantly - massage therapy education and certification addresses some of the commonest woes of 21st century higher learning and job market conditions. College tuition has soared over the past decade, necessitating that some Millennials take out substantial private loans to pay for their educations, and that others forgo college altogether. And, the modern job market is a volatile entity, with technological advances, outsourcing, and downsizing threatening every industry from computer sciences to journalism. Students today must make difficult choices when deciding upon careers - and, many of those choices come with sacrifices.
The massage therapy education, by contrast, is a relatively simple process - programs like Certified Careers Institute's can take just weeks - and has fewer course requirements than a traditional four-year degree does. Therefore, acquiring a massage therapy certification is cheaper than getting a college degree. And, this particular career is expected to grow as it is increasingly recognized in the allied health field - making it a smart choice for people who want job security.
It's no wonder, with all of these positives - cool job description, health-positive benefits, job stability, and a low-cost education - that Generation Y is turning massage therapy into a career of the future.