Students: Throw yourself into massage!

male student

This post is part of the massage blog contest, check out the details and contribute here.

“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison

To the current students or those who have recently finished school, congratulations on your decision to enter the world of massage, and welcome.  If you are already involved in massage, this post is for you also.

I have a request of you. Don’t just walk in. Throw yourself in. Take a deep breath, get a running start and jump in with all your might. Be curious. Keep learning.  Ask a lot of questions. Contribute to our community. Try things and make mistakes and then do them better. Find a mentor then become one. Somebody inspired you, right? So go inspire somebody who needs it.

Continued learning is exciting because you will be able to help people who are in pain and don’t know that relief is available. They simply believe they are stuck with their pain because nobody else has been able to help them so far. Our society has misunderstandings and myths about what massage is. Learn to be a professional and conquer those things. Educate the community around you so it is clear what you do. Show that massage is not a luxury for pampering, but it is a wonderful part of self-care.

There are many people in our lives who are lacking in touch. Provide it in a manner that is safe to both you and them. Touch can provide comfort and connection without words, reminding people that they are not alone. In our electronic age with less personal interaction, touch has decreased but the need is still there.

Give those who need it a place to go where they will be accepted and not judged.  Learn to treat people with kindness.  It is long remembered and will do remarkable things for your career, income, and reputation.  Help people to deal with their body issues, and show that as a massage therapist their appearance doesn’t matter, but they matter as a person.

The massage community is good but not perfect. What do you see that needs improvement? Make suggestions and get involved to make it better. Make some local massage friends. Reports indicate about 80% of the population has never had a massage, so there are enough clients if you work together to go attract them and help them.

Make a difference.  Decide to be great and work to achieve it.  It will not always be easy – but it will be worth it. If you do these things, you will grow and change.  You will not be the same person in two or three or five years. Here’s a great quote on the process of change:

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.  The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.  To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction”      – Cynthia Occelli

Just a year ago I would not have imagined writing this (or that anybody would bother reading it).  Are you ready for some change?  Baby birds are safe in their shell in the nest, but they are missing out on flying and soaring and wonders.  I hope you have a blast!

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/
  • Benjamin McDonald

    I love the image of getting a running start and jumping into massage.

    • Thanks – the way I see it is if nobody else has thrown you in, do it yourself. Just be careful throwing yourself on the table

  • This a such a great message, not only to new massage therapy graduates, but to anyone. Luckily I am one of the 20% that understands the value of massage. Keep on truckin’

    • Thanks Renee, I’m glad you are benefiting from massage. It sounds like you found somebody who has thrown themselves in!

  • Suzana

    Brilliant post Barry! I hope I can inspire with my blog posts like you have with this one! x

    • Wow, thanks! Growth can be hard and messy and a lot of things change. I’ve needed some inspiration at times myself – but when I look back I can see how much I have grown and changed. Go and inspire Suzana :)

  • Jessica Jacques

    Super motivating! This should be read to all graduating classes of new massage therapists!

    • Thanks Jessica! Feel free to share this with any schools or new therapists. I don’t think I can read it in person to all of them, so you may have to take some for me :)

  • Jessica Weagle

    Good job Barry. every new MT should get out there and find some peeps to hang with

    • Thanks Jessica – not just new ones but all of us. That’s something I’ll be working on this year myself