Nurse Massage Therapy

  1. Hello! This new forum is for anyone interested in massage, nursing and the combination. I am an RN working mostly ICU, Neo ICU and ER (all prn), a former
    travel nurse and wife and Mom. I am currently taking classes for Medical Massage Therapy. Anyone who is a massage therapist, nurse interested in it, or wanting information to benefit you patients is invited to post.

    There are different types of massage therapy. There is the mostly widely known Swedish massage with oils. The kind I do is with clothes on, no oils and is medially based. It is a combination of trigger point therapy, neuromuscular reeducation, myofascial release, soft tissue mobilization, manual lymph drainage, acupressure, to name a few aspects of it. Add in nutritional support, and a nurse's knowledge and common sense and I can help most people in some way or another. The whole idea is to balance the systems and regions of the body, especially effective with neuromuscularskeletal dysfunctions. I use the GUT Method, which was developed by Elena Goetzel after years of "putting it all together". Very interesting!!! and effective!!
    So.... let's talk!!!

  2. Visit nurseyperson profile page

    About nurseyperson

    Joined: Feb '99; Posts: 98; Likes: 8
    RN, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist


  3. by   OBNURSE81
    Originally posted by nurseyperson:
    Hello! This new forum is for anyone interested in massage, nursing and the combination.

    Hi, I am also a massage therapist as well as a "real nurse." Looks like this forum has been pretty quiet. I know there are large numbers of us that are re-focusing from just nursing to massage therapy and nursing. It would be nice to hook up with others and talk. I am in a small midwestern town, and use mostly swedish type massage. I am taking my massage chair once a week into the hospital and working on employees. They love me and it is helping decrease stress levels! What are others doing?
  4. by   Rileycat

    I was so excited to hear about Medical Massage Therapy! I didn't realize it was an avenue open to nurses; I guess it just never crossed my mind before. I am currently a nursing student in my final semester and I am encountering a lot of people who are really stressed out and wondering if they made the right career choice. Medical Massage Therapy might be an option for these people. I would love to hear more about the field, the education involved, the pay scale, employment opportunities, etc. I guess what I'd really like to know is if Medical Massage Therapy is any less stressful than other areas of nursing. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  5. by   nurseyperson
    First...Tired Nurse...I am also in Kansas!!!..Southwest. Where are you? I agree, there are a lot of us that are looking for something else...a real life. Where you don't have to work Holidays, weekends, told you have to float, etc. I knew i wanted to stay in the field of "health care" or even helping people. With the medical massage, my nursing background definately helped me. I don't do fact the school I went to didn't even teach it, just an overview for boards.
    A few sites that might be helpful.
    NANMT, National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists,
    AMMA American Medical Massage Association
    NCBTMB National Certification Board Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
    AMTA Amercian Massage Therapy Association
    And I have a business card on Netscape.

    Only about half of the states in the US require a massage therapist of have a state license. You have to check with your state about if they require a license and how many hours they require because that varies, too. It is too bad, too. Since the states (mine included..Kansas) does not require a license, there are lots of schools that are not approved by the State Board of Education or the State Board of Regents. So anyone can take as little as 30 hours and SAY they are a massage therapist.
    Make sure if you are looking for a school that it is state approved and approved by the AMTA and/or COMTA. So in the future if the state does start requiring a license that you are "legal". In the states that are not licensed, in addition to going to a State approved school, it is beneficial if you take the National Certification test. Some states allow 3rd party reimbursement such as worker's compensation, auto and liability accident insurance, and some medical insurance, but you have to have a states license and most of the time be nationally certified. You may also be able to work with a doctor or chiropractor and get reimbursed thru them.
    I just started my own practice last week, and have had more business than I thought I would to start out with. I have lots of contacts with the hospital, doctors, chiropractors, have advertised in a couple newspapers.
    Pay scales vary drastically. Because I will take my National Certification soon and will be able to bill third party, I will charge more. The codes that I will charge for are some of the same ones that physical therapy charges...neuromuscular reeducation, soft tissue mobilization, etc. and the charges for those are up to around $100/h.
    But it is illegal to charge insurance one charge and other people lower, so I am not charging that much!!! I also give a cash discount and have a "membership" that lowers the price for individuals. Also doing Manual Lymph Drainage for post mastectomy patients...very helpful and working on CEUs for both nursing and massage therapy. And will problably give classes on infant and labor massage to those departments at my hospital. I also give education on prescription/herbal and OTC drugs to my clients. Mostly about interactions with their Rx drugs, etc. My nursing has certainly helped with that. I sort of bring Eastern and Western medicines together.
    Any other questions, feel free to post here or e-mail me at my work e-mail
    I'm interested also in what others are doing!!!! Let us know. It is exciting to be on the leading edge of this blossoming field!!!

  6. by   PopTart
    I'm a RN in Texas and I'm pretty sure I want to continue my education and become a nurse massage therapist. I'm looking at the schools in my city and trying to decide on one. Can you tell me what the difference is between a medical massage therapist and a nurse massage therapist and just a massage therapist? I'm sure it's the training and opportunities to work with different kinds of problems. Maybe you could give me some background or refer me to some information on career opportunities in the different areas? My city (Austin) doesn't have a medical massage therapy school, but there is one school that is mostly into swedish massage (300 hours total) and another that goes into deep massage, sports massage, etc. (over 750 hours). I looked at the sites you posted but am still a bit confused. Would I have to attend the approved schools in order to become a medical massage therapist? If so, then I would have to travel to Dallas. Surely there's another way. Any info would help. I want to make an informed decision and I'm trying to do a lot of research online. I'd like to find out the job satisfaction of mt's (hope it's not like nursing) and personal experiences. BTW-what does CMP mean?

    Thank you,

    [This message has been edited by PopTart (edited February 05, 2001).]
  7. by   nurseyperson
    I looked at the AMTA book and one school there in Austin is COMTA approved by (Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation) and AMTA Council of Schools
    Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin have a web site and on their site...

    Please join us for our next FREE Introduction to our Basic
    and Advanced Massage Therapy Training on Friday
    February 16, 2001 from 6:30 - 9:30pm. This evening
    program, hosted by David Lauterstein, TLC Co-Director, will
    give you essential information about our classes. We will
    have faculty demonstrations of Swedish Massage, Deep
    Massage, Zero Balancing and Shiatsu.

    To reserve your place, please
    fill out and e-mail our Info Request Form
    or call
    Lisa Capece at #512/374-9222
    (toll free #800/474-0852 ext. 14)
    From looking at their info, they seem like a good school, but you need to go and see.
    You need at least 500 hours. Sounds like TX only requires 300, but most other states require at least 500, so if you moved to another state, you would have to have their required # of hours. "Would I have to attend the approved schools in order to become a medical massage therapist?" To be legal, yes, you have to go to an approved school to practice any kind of massage therapy.
    My school said it was medical massage. The focus was on the medical aspect.
    Unfortunately, massage therapy isn't as regulated as it needs to be, so anyone could call themselves a medical massage therapist.. ( by the way, we were told the correct term now by the AMTA and NCBTMB is Certified Massage Practitioner, so that is what CMP is. same as massage therapist, and graduated from an approved school, so got a certificate from that school.)
    Difference between MMT, (med msg therpt) MT and nurse MT. Anyone can be MT, and in the states that do not require a license, anyone IS a MT. MMT, as I said, is an MT who states they specialize in the medical aspect, again anyone can say that. You want the education and certification, state license, and national certification to back that up. Because you would be a nurse and a MT, that is a NMT, no special certification, etc. As I said, MT needs regulation
    I would suggest you go to the free day at the MT school there in Austin and ask them TONS of questions. I didn't learn Swedish massage and techniques of that nature, and wish I did, just for the heck of it, because that is what everyone is used to and I would be informed as to that more. I think since you are a nurse, that program sounds like it would be OK, depends on schedule, etc, but it is up to you to decide. Took me a while to find the program I wanted, and had to travel across Kansas every month, stay for almost a week, for 6 months.
    And as for satisfaction...I just started and need more clients (doing pretty good, tho) but no one tells me when to work, where to float to, no one yells at me because the chart is missing or the xray wasn't done, I don't have to work weekends or holidays, don't have to put up with backstabbing get the idea. People that I have worked on are very appreciative of the work that you do...they are relieved to find something to help the pain they have had for years. But I am self-employed, so that is always a hassle. Am I glad I did it? You bet. I found that I can work one on one with the patients as I did in ICU and actually do something that helps them, do lots of teaching, and be on my own.
    hope this helps. Let me know what is going on, and if you have any other questions.

  8. by   PopTart
    You are a godsend!! Thank you for answering every one of my questions. I have a few more...I have read in several places that MT's make ~$50.00/hour. Is that a good estimate? How many massages can a person do in a day? Now that medicare is covering massage therapy do you see an increase in physicians prescribing MT for their patients? And lastly, something personal...I gained about 50 pounds while I was pregnant and working nights 1 1/2 years ago and I haven't lost it yet. Are the students in the classes pretty healthy and normal weight? I wouldn't like being the only fat person in the crowd that no one can find muscles on. I'm wondering if I should devote myself to getting slim before starting classes.

    BTW-I'm getting a treadmill this week. I could walk forever. Wish me luck, and I wish you well in your business.

    So, could I call myself a NMMT? Nurse-Medical-Massage-Therapist

    Thanks again,

    [This message has been edited by PopTart (edited February 06, 2001).]
  9. by   nurseyperson're welcome. Charges vary, depending on the kind of massage and the location. $50.00 is an average. If you can bill insurance (be Nationally Certified in the states that don't require a license, not sure if you need Ntl Cert. if you are state licensed and go to an approved school) the codes that you would use are the same as some chiropractors and physical therapists use, such as neuromuscular reeducation, soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, hot/cold packs, therapeutic activity/exercise, etc. and the prices for them are anywhere from $18.00 to almost 25.00 per 15 minutes, which comes out to almost 90 to $100.00/h. Also you can charge for the assessment/evaluation, which is more. Unfortunately, in Kansas, we are behind. No license, and insurance and medicare do NOT pay here. Actually, I wam working on getting insurance to pay...I have referrals from Docs to do pts in the hospital and working on getting privileges and then being paid thru the hospital, which some insurances will do. Not Medicare here in KS, tho. You would have to check with each insurance, etc. to see if they would pay. Auto accident and work comp often will pay, tho.
    Don't worry about being overweight!!!! My class was small and not typical. You need all kinds of people to work on. Even if you are a little heavy, classmates would love it because they would have to work a little harder to find things!!!!! And in the real world, you work on all kinds and sizes and need the experience.
    Good luck. By the way, I have also thought about calling myself a NMMP. I always have to spell out all the initials in my advertising, anyway, or else no one knows what they are!!!!
    Let me know how things go.
    Connie nurseyperson
  10. by   mud
    hi there from Canada!! I am an Rn who always had an interest in holistic health. A few yrs after graduating nursing, an old prof. of mine, who remembered this about me, gave me a call. My previous college had developed a program called Holistic Health Practices. I completed this program. Along with tons of theory, I aquired all three levels of therapeutic touch therapy, and also my cert. for aromatherapy massage. I can't tell you how much I loved doing this. I really did. Somehow, things changed. I returned to hospital nursing, first psych, then surg., and now the OR. Reading these postings had made me remember how much I really enjoyed this, I think I will pull out my oils again!!! Thanks again...mud
  11. by   OBNURSE81
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by nurseyperson:
    .Tired Nurse...I am also in Kansas!!!..Southwest. Where are you?

    Nice to see there are somemore posts here. I am in South Central Ks. Geeze I need to remember to check this thread more often. I am not aware of a school that is close to me where I can get a medical massage certificate. Did you get that alone and are now able to sit for National Boards? NCTMB? I didn't know you could just break out and test for just that type of massage therapy. Let me know where you went to school and if it was in Ks.( I would appreciate it.) I do have my own business, practice swedish and will get my 40 hour reflexology certificate in June. I don't practice what I don't have a certificate in. I have focused my practice mostly on stress reduction. A lot of my clients are in the medical or some other professional type fields. I am also the editor for our State Organization-Kansas Association of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. We are small but growing! It is so nice to use my nursing knowledge while doing something that I really like! Care for the caretakers at last!
  12. by   nurseyperson
    Went to school in Eastern Kansas, Fredonia, to be exact. Name of the school is the Fall River School of Massage Therapy. Actually, we went to classes most of the time in Topeka. I went 4 to 5 days in a row, ("Intensives" about 12 hours a day) once a month for 6 months. 500 to 750 hours. And lots of homework. But nice to be able to get it all done once a month. All the other schools I looked at were Tues/ Thurs, etc.
    They have a web site....
    It was an all encompasing curriculum, but focused on the medical massage aspect and it is approved by the Kansas State Board of Regents and the AMTA
    So, I am getting ready to take the National Certification by NCBTMB on April 14. Wish me Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Have to graduate from an approved school to take the Ntl Cert, which I am sure you know. I will also take the exam for AMMA American Medical Massage Assn sometime in the future. They told me that passing the test doesn't
    mean too much Nationally until next year, then they will get approval to be a National Certified ..........? Something.
    I didn't know there was a KATMB. Send me some info. e-mail
    And when you finally get in touch with the girls at Fall River School of Massage Therapy, tell them hi for me!!! I am the only nurse and MT out here in Western Kansas. Tell them I get a commission!!!! They will love it. They are a riot. Sometimes hard to get a hold of when they aren't working on someone.
    Keep in touch

  13. by   OBNURSE81
    Thanks for the reply! I will be "in touch". How nice it is to have somewhere to get feedback for this type of cutting edge technology! Too bad the medical professionals out there are just now realizing how important touch therapy is. (Somthing by the way, we nurses have always known.) I think the reason they are paying attention to us massage therapists at all is because they are losing dollars and patients are telling them that they are getting good results. Here's to more massage and LESS stress!

    [This message has been edited by Tired Nurse (edited March 26, 2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Tired Nurse (edited March 26, 2001).]
  14. by   healingtouchRN
    I am looking into going back to school for LMT. I found a program locally. Am trying to fit it in with working & my private practice & teaching. When does one sleep? :chuckle

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