Medical-Massage vs Holistic nursing

  1. I am currently an RN working on a med-surg unit, but am interested in going back to school for some type of alternative medicine, such as massage therapy or getting a degree in holistic nursing. I have read many threads about the difficulty in finding full time work as a massage therapist, but was wondering if learning medical-massage is of any more value in the job market. Also does anyone know what type of job prospects I would have if I went back to get a degree in holistic nursing? Please let me know
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Nemhain
    Quote from aquarius11
    I am currently an RN working on a med-surg unit, but am interested in going back to school for some type of alternative medicine, such as massage therapy or getting a degree in holistic nursing. I have read many threads about the difficulty in finding full time work as a massage therapist, but was wondering if learning medical-massage is of any more value in the job market. Also does anyone know what type of job prospects I would have if I went back to get a degree in holistic nursing? Please let me know
    I'm not familiar with degrees in holistic nursing, but you can be certified in holistic nursing just the same as someone is certified in Med/Surg nursing or ER nursing. However, in order to be able to sit for the Holisitic Nursing Certification exam you need to have a BSN and have practiced a complementary/alternative modality (like massage) for a year or two prior to that. Two of my college professors were certified in holistic nursing, but they said there wasn't a specific job a holistic nurse would occupy. They both did the courses for personal enrichment.

    I've been been a massage therapist for many years. Most of the employers of therapists I've known don't give preference to "medical massage" over other forms such as neuromuscular therapy, trigger point or deep tissue. There has been some controversy over the use of the term "medical massge". Some schools are using it to sound a little more "official", when really the training at some of these schools doesn't differ from other schools that teach other forms of massage. I've looked the definition of "medical massage" and there are as many definitions of it as there are stars in the sky. However, if you're seeking to be a nurse in medical facility you may get preference for the "medical massage" designation.
    Last edit by Nemhain on Sep 18, '06
  4. by   aquarius11
    Thanks for the reply! Any advice on what type of massage to study in order to work in a spa setting, or any general advice about getting into massage as a career?
  5. by   happybody
    Hey Aquarius:

    I wanted to field your question--I've worked at spas and at PT and chiropractic clinics, running the gamut of massage therapy. If you want to work in a spa, definitely go to a school that offers Swedish massage, the basic strokes and kneading that all (or most) massage therapists do. You also may want to check out courses in reflexology, herbology, aromatherapy and hydrotherapy. All of these are used in spa work.

    Also, check with your state's regulating body to see what sort of training you need to work as a therapist (i.e. how many hours of training, what sort of exams you may need to take for licensing, etc.) and see if your school fulfills those requirements.

    Also, let me address your question of how much more lucrative "medical massage" is versus relaxation massage: it depends on you, where you work, the clientele you attract and how good you are at marketing yourself. I work part time as a therapist out of my own office and see a decent number of clients each week who've had injuries of one sort or another. However, I always include a sort of "smoothing" at the end of the session (relaxing strokes and gentle stretches) to help the nervous system bounce back from the intensity of the session. So, I utilize both the clinical and the relaxing work in my practice. People seem to like it. Hope that helps.

    Be well,

    happybody
  6. by   indygirl
    I am an Rn and also a medical massage therapist. I live in a very rural area and I do work in a Dr. office but the jobs are few and far between. I feel it will become more useful as time progresses. But some weeks I do as few as a4 massages.

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