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Massage therapists work with patients who have pain, anxiety, stress, muscle tension or other physical restrictions resulting from injury, disease or other causes. Their role includes evaluation and therapeutic massage intervention designed to reduce pain, anxiety, stress or muscle tension for each patient or client.
Employment of massage therapists in a health care environment is variable but is expected to grow as the use of integrative medicine advances. The demand for massage therapists should also continue to rise as a result of growth in the number of people with disabilities or limited function.
Advances in medical research related to the use of massage therapy in medical settings has also spurred a greater need for massage therapists who are proficient at working in a complex, ever-changing health care environment. Widespread interest in health promotion should also increase demand for massage therapy services.
Income levels for massage therapists vary based on region of the country, experience and type of practice. The average pay rate for massage therapists in a medical setting ranges from $20 to $30 an hour.