massage and bodywork professionals

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I’ve been a student in massage school, an administrator and instructor of a massage school, a state board member serving on the committee that approves massage schools, and a continuing ed provider that visits many schools, and I have seen more than a few things that disturb me.

I’d have to say the worst of these are schools who are so misleading to students; the owners “sell” their school to prospects by promising them they’re going to be making X amount of money the minute they graduate. They promise them job placement and don’t come across, and then blame that on some supposed shortcoming the student has. They use last year’s graduates, who don’t have diddly squat for experience, as this year’s teachers.

One of the worst things a school can do is accept anyone who walks in the door and has the money to pay the tuition. In any state that has regulations that require one to pass an exam in order to be licensed or otherwise credentialed, many schools set students up for failure by taking anyone and everyone. And the states have vicariously compounded the problem; community college programs are sprouting up left and right, and they’re not allowed to turn anyone down in most places. READ MORE....

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Comment by Rajam K Roose on January 15, 2010 at 10:55am
For a few months I taught at a local school here in San Diego. It was a similar situation, they were letting anyone who could pay into the program and many of those kids were obviously not going to make it long as a massage therapist. One fellow was supposed to be taking med's for a mental health issue and would frequently have angry outbursts in his class and the instructor wasn't allowed to send him out of the room!

My students were dismayed in business class when they learned about the business side of massage and in the anatomy, they were shocked that they had to really learn anything about the body. Most of the students were like, "hey, I can rub on people for $80 an hour!" But they were confounded to learn there was more to massage than just rubbing lotion into someone's body. Also, the school would try to get me to teach courses that I had no knowledge in, like pregnancy massage, which I refused to do.

Not only was that an issue, but they didn't have a set program. Whatever classes were going on when the student enrolled is where they started their training. So, in my Swedish class, some students had anatomy and others were just starting at the school. In my school we weren't even able to take Swedish without first completing anatomy/physiology, kinesiology, pathology and a touch and ethics class. And we couldn't take any other modalities without first taking Swedish. I think having a program like that helps to set the stage for the training.

I had so many problems with that program, but stayed long enough to realize that I loved teaching!
Comment by Gloria Coppola on January 13, 2010 at 9:51pm
Thank you Laura and I did post a comment on the site.

I can't wait for the day we can all agree on "standards" for the schools and requirements for instructors!
It will be a great day when we can all work together!

I remember the days when I owned my school and instead of "competition", we all joined forces, found our strengths in our programs and helped each other. We weren't cut throat and fighting each other for a dollar. It saddens me immensely to see how this profession/education has changed in the last 10 years.

I like to know what other programs offer, I prefer to be honest to a student and let them know which program might suit their needs best.

I want to make sure a candidate for a program is ready for the commitment and understands the requirements, ethical standards and professional behavior!

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