Massage Therapy is the practice of using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. It is performed for a variety of reasons, including treating painful ailments, decompressing tired and overworked muscles, reducing stress, rehabilitating sports injuries, and promoting general health. Education programs are typically found in private or public postsecondary institutions and can require 500 hours of study or more to complete. A high school diploma or equivalent degree is usually required for admission. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of massage therapists is expected to increase by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018.