So you’re in school to become a massage therapist. Awesome! That’s a great first step, but education is like a fruit filled layer cake, and going through classes to get licensed is just the chocolate on the bottom. I have heard too many students complain about only being taught one Swedish massage routine and a handful of trigger point therapy techniques, while the rest of the time they’re learning about muscles, ethics and contraindications of massage. Guess what? If you’re enrolled in a 500 hour massage program, don’t plan on being a world class massage therapist the second you step out of the classroom—you’ve got a lot of strawberries, bananas and nuts to work through to get there! (Cake analogy gone too far? Maybe.) And remember, knowing muscles and contraindications, and keeping good ethics are going to make you excel at being a massage therapist. It is absolutely necessary for you to have a strong, confident knowledge in these things if you truly want to fall in love with massage therapy and help people have better lives because of it.
Still annoyed about your minimal hand skill education? There are endless continuing education classes that you can take to get better at the kinds of massage modalities you actually like! Now, isn’t that better than spending hours being taught Reiki or Polarity Therapy when all you want to do is Prenatal Massage? Thought so. Continuing education is one of the best things about massage therapy—it’s a great way to add super fun/different layers to your cake! There are an incredible amount of different modalities—you can pick and choose what you like and if you get good at it, it will set you apart from other therapists in your town or city! We’re snowflake-y like that.
Even better—you can make continuing education classes into a vacation. Have you always wanted to go see the ocean? Look for continuing education classes in cities with an ocean view. Love to ski? Find a class being held in Colorado in the winter.
See what I’m getting at? If your school taught you everything, you wouldn’t get to have any fun! Be grateful that your school provided you’re the opportunity to get the education you needed to become licensed, and be ready to take learning into your own hands when you’re done.
Now stop complaining and start making your cake.
By: Jodi Anderson, LMT