Becoming a Male Massage Therapist
When you call a spa to book a massage, the first question you’re almost always asked if you prefer a male or female massage therapist, and it turns out that female therapists are in much higher demand regardless of which gender the client is. But, don’t despair. Men can enroll in a massage therapy school.
In fact, male massage therapists have some advantages over their female coworkers. They often have more strength, which can be helpful with deep tissue massage, and the men who have entered this female-dominated industry are often supremely talented. With this and some other helpful tips in mind, it is possible for a man to become an extremely successful massage therapist.
Overcoming Female Preference
In order to overcome client requests for female therapists, it helps to understand it. Although not based in logic or fact, the following are reasons clients say they prefer to women to perform their massages:
- Feeling Safe – People usually feel less threatened by a woman particularly when they are in a situation where they are taking off their clothes.
- Judgment – Women tend to get massages more often than men. Women also often feel insecure about their bodies and may fear a male massage therapist will judge there physical appearance.
- Sexuality – The sex industry often offers “massage” services. This can cause concern for clients and is a constant battle for legitimate massage therapists.
- Homophobia – So men are uncomfortable being in a vulnerable or intimate situation with another man. Their own fears or homophobia will compel then to seek out a female massage therapist over a male professional.
- Nurturing – Women are often considered to be much better nurturers than men. People dealing with emotional issues such as depression, anxiety or loneliness will tend to choose a massage practitioner they fell will nurture them most.
Become an Expert
One way to truly bust the gender bias against male massage therapists is to become an expert in your field. Many clients want the best treatment they can get, regardless of your gender. Do not simply rely on your basic massage education. Continue taking more classes and consistently improve your techniques. Learn different modalities and continue your education. If one or two modalities appeal to you, concentrate on them. Learn everything you can and become an expert at them.
You can also stress Medical Massage. Alternative healthcare practitioners are aware that decades of research demonstrate the clear physical benefits of relaxation practices. But, doing this may attract fewer clients who are simply looking to feel nurtured and relaxed. Instead, you may find more clients booking with you for therapeutic reasons.
Communicate and Set Boundaries
Another way to overcome the preference for female massage therapists it to be professional and keep your intentions clear. Male massage therapists can eliminate any assumptions and misunderstandings by setting clear boundaries and communicating them to clients. This is very important to dispel ant misconceptions regarding the sexualization of a massage treatment. It is also vital to remember that men are much more often accused of sexual harassment than women. This is why men must be particularly careful when working on clients, especially female clients, so as not to be misinterpreted.
Although the scale of gender preference for massage therapists clearly tips toward women, men can still achieve a successful and rewarding career within this industry. The good news is that the more consumers are educated about massage therapy, the more they support gender neutrality. If you are considering a career as a massage therapist, The Academy of Natural Therapy can help. We successfully train all students, regardless of gender, to become the top in their field.
Let The Academy Of Natural Therapy assist you with every step you need to become the best massage therapist you can be.