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Massage Therapy Program Accepting Students for Fall

Massage Therapy PhotoOlney Central College’s Massage Therapy Program is making it easier for students to earn their certificates this fall with evening courses.

“This is the perfect opportunity for students,” said instructor Deb Burnett. “They don’t have to give up a full-time job to take classes and they can continue earning while they train for a new career.”

Massage therapy is one of the fastest-growing health care professions in the United States and is expected to grow 23 percent by 2022. With its documented health benefits, more people are turning to massage therapy to reduce pain, stress and tension; improve circulation; decrease blood pressure and lower their heart rates.

“It is being recognized more and more each day as a beneficial therapy,” said Burnett, who has seen an increase in her own practice. “More and more medical doctors and patients are realizing the benefits of medical massage not just as an alternative medical treatment, but a necessary treatment.”

Burnett completed OCC’s Massage Therapy Program in 2006 and joined Simple Rewards Day Spa in Newton the following year. She also continues to work as an independent therapist from her home in Olney.

“It is very rewarding to see someone come in and to know when they leave that you have helped to increase their mobility and to relieve their pain,” she added.

Burnett said a number of career opportunities exist for massage therapists. They can work in hospitals, chiropractors’ offices, health care facilities and spas as well as with sports teams and private corporations. Massage therapists also can choose to start their own business.

 “There is a lot of flexibility and you can go virtually anywhere,” she said. “It is something you can do full- or part-time. You also have the option to keep working while you grow your practice, which is what I did.”

OCC’s Massage Therapy Program prepares students to work in the wellness area of professional massage therapy and students can earn their certificates in two years. Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Exam in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

For more information or to register, contact program Advisor Libby McVicker at 618-395-7777. Fall classes start Aug. 21.

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