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Texas Massage Therapy Training

In Texas, law requires all practicing students to complete a training program that is comprised of at least 500 hours of course work. This law, HB 2644, applies to individuals applying for licensure who were not enrolled in a massage school before September 1, 2007. Before the enacting of HB 2644, the number of required hours was 300.

There are many areas of study covered in a 500 hour training program. In Texas, here are four of the massage types a student enrolled in an accredited massage therapist training program might expect to encounter. First let's mention Swedish massage because it is the most common form of massage practiced in the United States. A student in a Texas school would learn about the history of this massage as well as contraindications, body mechanics, basic strokes and how this technique should be used with different groups. For example the techniques of the massage might be used differently on a pregnant woman than they would on an elderly patient or on a teenager in prime physical condition.

As the names would lead one to assume, sports massage is popular with athletes. Athletic trainers are often trained in this area of massage. Training for sports massage teaches students the role of the muscles is various body movements, movements that are often used by athletes as they perform doing competition. Sports massage offers a great study of kinesiology, which is a big part of massage training programs. Professional basketball players such those playing for the Dallas Mavericks can often be seen on the court before games using many of the stretching techniques that students in massage therapy training learn when studying sports massage.

Deep Massage makes use of more intricate techniques such as trigger points, cross-fiber work and deep effleurage. The training of students in this massage should teach students to concentrate not only on a client's anatomy but also on the unseen energy within the body. In this sense, Deep Massage has a commonality with most Asian massage types. As the name indicates, Deep Massage is also designed to reach layers of muscle below the surface layers. In this area of study, students learn myofascial release techniques.

Clinical massage was specifically designed to treat musculoskeletal ailments. Doctors have realized the benefits of massage for patients with musculoskeletal difficulties, creating a greater demand for this type of massage. In addition to massage techniques, students learn how to analyze injuries and respond with one or more of the techniques learned during training. Outside of specific massages, students focus on kinesiology, pathology, hydrotherapy, anatomy, physiology, health and hygiene and business procedures.

Depending on the training programs offered by schools, students' hours will be spent in a variety of ways. In whatever manner they are used, the additional 200 hours now required for licensure in Texas should translate to better trained and more knowledgeable massage therapists practicing in the large cities of Houston and Dallas and in the small towns of Alto and Cushing.