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MassageTherapy

J O U R N A L

®

EQUISSAGE© in America's Original Certification Program

EQUINE SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY

Starting A Career In Massage Therapy

WHY CHOOSE EQUISSAGE

©

In this special section, we outline what prospective students should know before joining this rewarding profession.

Massage is a healing art as well as a science. It is also a profession that is rapidly growing to meet the public's expanding interest in forms of health care that promote well-being and a higher quality of life. Consequently, massage therapy has the attributes of an emerging profession undergoing relatively fastpaced change. Keeping up with a profession that is undergoing such rapid change can be daunting, especially for people just looking to start out in the profession. The MTJ editors have put together this guide to help students navigate their way into this career path. It is a challenging profession, but one that is also personally and professionally rewarding.

· Since 1991, 8,000+ graduates -- from all 50 states and 22 countries! · The only certification program lesson plan approved for accredited college curriculum · Instructor Mary Schreiber has appeared on ABC-TV, in Sports Illustrated, and has been featured in Practical Horseman, Equus and Horse Illustrated. She is the author of the best-seller, The (How To) Manual Of Sports Massage For the Equine Athlete. · Membership in the International Association of Equine Sports Massage Therapists. · Approved for 50 CEU's by NCBTMB For a free brochure call:

1-800-843-0224

EQUISSAGE© · P.O. Box 447, Round Hill, VA 20142

www.equissage.com · Email: [email protected]

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Summer 2005 Your blueprint to massage therapy education.

Swedish Institute prepares students to discover their true calling, find a more rewarding career and live a life fulfilled by helping others. Swedish Institute is one of the top colleges in the country offering programs in Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and Personal Training. 226 West 26th Street New York, NY 10001 212.924.5900 ext. 125 www.swedishinstitute.edu

I'm going to follow my destiny. I'm going to live a life filled with passion and balance. I'm going to work harder than I ever have. I'm going to use massage to help heal us. I'm going Swedish.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The editors would like to thank the Chicago School of Massage Therapy, Chicago, Illinois, for supplying most of the photos shown in this section.

The Basics: Find The Right Training Program

The vast majority of individuals entering the field now complete an educational training program. Prior to 1989, when the massage therapy profession was smaller and there were fewer schools, some people prepared by taking a number of workshops from different independent instructors or studying with a practitioner in an apprenticeship. Now it is important for those who want to work as massage therapists to complete effectively designed training programs that offer a well-rounded curriculum that prepares them for the work environment. Training programs in massage therapy generally require a high school diploma, though postsecondary education is useful. Previous studies in broad subjects such as science (especially anatomy and physiology), psychology, humanities and business are helpful choices. Many schools also require a personal interview. Personal qualities and characteristics, such as excellent communication skills and a capacity for empathy, are important due to the high degree of personal interaction involved in massage therapy. Selectivity at schools varies widely, with the better schools, not surprisingly, being moderately selective. When being selective, schools usually are basing admission on whether an individual has the potential to succeed in studies and as a massage therapist. It is recommended to enroll in a training program that is accredited by a national accreditation agency. The American Massage Therapy Association recommends students look for a school accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) [www.comta.org]. For a program to be accredited, it has to go through a rigorous process of objective inspection by outside experts in massage therapy and education. It also must demonstrate that it meets high standards, and can adequately prepare a student to perform massage therapy. A growing number of states now require graduation from a training program that meets accreditation standards. Those intending to work in a state that has such requirements need to carefully consider this. It can be quite frustrating to invest time and money in training only to find out that the training isn't recognized in a particular state.

We'll teach your hands how to open doors.

Since 1979, the National Holistic Institute has been preparing people for rewarding careers in the field of massage therapy. We were California's first accredited college of massage therapy, and today we're one of the nation's largest and most respected, thanks to our comprehensive curriculum, our staff of expert instructors, and our beautiful San Francisco Bay Area facility dedicated exclusively to massage education. Our curriculum can be completed within a year, and because we provide extensive hands-on training, as well as emphasize science, business and professional skills, our graduates are highly sought after by employers. If you'd like to practice massage therapy at a spa, resort, sports facility or medical office, or even start your own business, the doors will soon be wide open. For more information, call us at 1- 800 -315-3552, or visit nhi.edu.

N AT I O N A L

HOLISTIC

INSTITUTE

Quick Tip

Be sure to read the catalog for a training program carefully. Feel free to ask a school about its accreditation, along with its philosophy regarding teaching and massage therapy. Many schools offer an open house or a short introductory course, which can be a useful way to find out what the school is like. Prospective students also can visit campuses and call graduates and employers about the schools that interest them. It will help them gauge which school aligns the best with their career goals.

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Moving On: What Happens After School?

Making massage therapy a career requires more than just a graduation certificate. The following are also important to consider, and will help new therapists as they venture out into the field. 1. Know Your Credentials. Credentials are a very important component of professionalism. Reliable and credible credentials help the public and consumers know that individuals offering massage therapy are qualified and competent. After all, people need to trust the person who will be touching them. Knowing a massage therapist meets the standards established for his or her profession should help consumers feel more confident and comfortable. Licensing: As of April 1, 2005, 34 states and the District of Columbia regulate massage therapy. In these states, massage therapists must meet certain standards that the state establishes. Each state law is different and has different requirements, so a massage therapist may be referred to as licensed, state certified or registered. In most cases, only those individuals who have the state designation may

perform massage and/or use a title indicating that person does massage. Certification: As is the case with many other health-care professions, there is a national certification exam for massage therapists. It is administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) [www.ncbtmb.com]. The NCBTMB is a nonprofit, independent organization, and is governed by a board of directors elected by the certificants. It is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is a national independent agency, operated by the National Organization for Competency Assurance based in Washington, D.C., that sets standards for professional certification programs. The fact that the NCBTMB program is accredited by NCCA means that it meets the highest existing standards for testing and gives it great credibility. Individuals who meet standards of education, training and/or experience and pass the national certification examination are entitled to use the designation of NCTMB. National certification

Did You Know?

AMTA also offers a student membership, so it is possible to get a head start on becoming familiar with the massage therapy profession and getting ready to begin a practice. AMTA student membership offers a combination package of benefits and support, with a price designed with the student's needs in mind. For more information, visit [www.amtamassage.org].

care to learn more, earn more, be more?

© Aveda Corp.

© Aveda Corp.

rewarding massage careers start with a phone call.

We guide students to bright futures in thriving businesses of massage & body work. Sustaining our reputation for high, up to 100%, graduation and placement rates in the U.S. and Canada. Creating opportunities the world over-- including priority placement in our network of 6,400 salons and spas, including almost half of those named American's fastest growing. Evening classes available. Nurture your success by calling 800.274.6778, 612.378.7400, or by visiting www.aveda.com right now.

M ASSAGE /D AY THE YEAR

S PA C LASSES S TARTING

THROUGHOUT

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How About Specializing?

As a profession, massage therapy presents opportunities for therapists to specialize their practices. The following are three examples of ways therapists can create their own niche.

protects the consumer, the profession and employers by ensuring that individuals who obtain this credential possess core skills, abilities, knowledge and attributes to practice safely and competently. Education and Training: Students will receive a graduate certificate or diploma from a training program he or she completes.This isn't a credential--it's a diploma. What is important is the extent and quality of the training someone completes to earn his or her certificate or diploma, but this can vary widely among massage schools. Standards for education and training can assist the consumer in knowing whether a training program offers adequate preparation. AMTA recommends a minimum of 500 hours of inclass training in subjects including a specified number of hours in anatomy and physiology, the theory and practice of massage therapy and elective subjects. 3. Join a professional association. It can be very helpful to a therapist's career to belong to a professional association. AMTA membership offers benefits, programs and services that can help

1. Application Massage therapy has a broad number of applications, including relaxation, stress reduction, health promotion, pain management, injury recovery and working with specific maladies. 2. Clientele Some examples of the different types of clients a massage therapist can choose to specialize in are athletes, the elderly, office workers and performers (e.g., dancers). 3. Modality Another area of specialization is modality. Some practitioners focus on a particular modality or technique and base their practice on that. However, the majority of massage therapists use several techniques and modalities in their work, and may place the emphasis of their practice on something other than modality.

IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES

Commitment to Excellence!

Learn Massage in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Arkansas!

STATE LICENSED

PROGRAM

MASSAGE THERAPY SCHOOL

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM · 500 hour curriculum · highly qualified faculty · beautiful modern facility · convenient schedules · $4,000 tuition · payment plans

The Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy (AAIMT) is Ann Arbor, Michigan's only COMTA accredited 800 hour massage therapy school offering class sessions beginning every February & September. AAIMT offers flexible morning & evening class sessions as well as flexible tuition payment options. All graduating AAIMT candidates qualify for up to 38 transfer credits to Sienna Heights University and are qualified to take the National Certification Examination (NCBTMB).

Enroll Today!

180 Jackson Rd, Suite 100 Ann Arbor, MI 48103 ph: 734.677.4430 Email: [email protected] Please visit our website at www.aaimt.edu

718-631-6322

www.qcc.cuny.edu

QUEENSBOROUGH

COMMUNITY COLLEGE · BAYSIDE, NY

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Compare your options! Call or write for a free catalog or visit our website www.wrsm.com 2503 Hiram Davis Place, Fayetteville, AR 72703

(479) 521-2550

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a practice thrive. In addition, membership support of AMTA allows AMTA to promote and build the massage therapy profession. After all, the strength of the profession is the bedrock of a successful massage therapy practice. There also are a number of credible associations that represent individuals who practice a specific bodywork modality. Some examples are: The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia [www.aobta.org] The American Polarity Therapy Association [www.polaritytherapy.org] The Feldenkrais Guild [www.feldenkrais.com] International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy Association [www.ismeta.org] The Rolf Institute [www.rolf.org] The United States Trager Association [www.trager-us.org] 4. Keep learning. Simply gaining experience will help a therapist. Many massage therapists find that their skills improve during the first few years after school because they are integrating what they have learned with hands-on practice in the field. It is also quite common to continue to take classes and workshops-- often in specific and/or advanced techniques--and add to one's portfolio of skills and techniques. It is common to find successful massage therapists with several years' experience who have taken hundreds of hours of additional training. In addition, AMTA, some states and the NCBTMB (national certification) all require continuing education credits to maintain status.

An education for health and life

Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy

Toll Free 1-877-282-CCMT (2268)

visit ccmt.com You owe yourself a visit!

75 Kitts Lane, Newington, CT 06111 1154 Poquonnock Road, Groton, CT 06340 25 Sylvan Rd South, Westport, CT 06880

Where Do Massage Therapists Work?

One of the many benefits of having a career in massage therapy is the variety of venues where they can utilize their skills. Some of the places therapists typically work are: · Private offices · Massage therapy clinics · Doctor offices · Chiropractor offices · Holistic health clinics · Fitness centers · Spas · Nursing homes · Hospitals · Sports medicine facilities · Clients' homes or offices · Shopping malls · Airports

Quick Tip

Legal standards vary across the country. As mentioned above, massage therapists are currently regulated by 34 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a number of localities. Almost all of these regulated states require 500 hours or more of training and/or passing an exam. Some require a minimum of 1,000 hours. It's a good idea for prospective students to find out in advance what the requirements are in the area in which they want to practice.

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What Should A Program Cover? Entering The Profession: Career Opportunities

Massage therapists may work as self-employed practitioners in private or group offices, as salaried or commissioned employees, or as independent contractors. Earnings vary widely, depending on variables such as the area of the country, type of practice, skills and experience.Those who work for an hourly wage generally earn the least. Independent contractors commonly split their fees on a percentage basis. Usually, the percentage split is based on what services are provided for the massage therapist, such as working space, making appointments, and providing supplies and equipment.Therapists with their own facilities usually earn the most and have the most responsibility, including building and maintaining a sufficient clientele. A massage therapist in a major metropolitan area may charge $60 to $100 an hour, and $50 to $75 elsewhere. Those working for an hourly wage may earn less, but do not have overhead expenses. Because of the physical and emotional demands of doing massage therapy, massage therapists usually provide masTraining programs may emphasize certain styles of massage, so it is useful to find out if a school teaches a style you feel comfortable with. Schools often offer both full and part time programs. Generally, programs should cover the following: Anatomy Physiology · Kinesiology · Theory & Practice Of Massage Therapy · Hands-on Practice (under faculty supervision) · Ethics · Business Practices

· ·

Many schools now offer supervised student clinics, which are opened to the public. It gives students the opportunity to work with a variety of people.

AKS MASSAGE SCHOOL

Great Hands Aren't Born. They're Made.

4 6 2 H E R N D O N PA R K W A Y , S U I T E 2 0 8 Herndon, VA 20170 703-464-0333

http://www.AKSmassageschool.com

OUTSIDE OF AREA PLEASE CALL 1-877-306-3422

We Should Know, We've Been Making Them For Over 25 Years

Massage Therapy Certification and Continuing Education Programs 1000 hour Esthetics Program

Visit us at: www.AtlantaSchoolofMassage.com And learn more about our Keys to Success Method

650-H OUR P ROGRAM IN T HERAPEUTIC M ASSAGE AND BO D Y W O R K

Classes begin June, September, January

CONTINUING ED U C A T I O N SC H E D U L E CH E C K O U R W E B S I T E ~ EV E N T CA L E N D A R

AKS MASSAGE SCHOOL CLINIC Available by appointment 703-464-9352 AKS MASSAGE SCHOOL IS ACCREDITED BY ACCSCT AND HOLDS A CERTIFICATE TO OPERATE IN VIRGINIA

Two Great Schools Under One Roof

Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics a division of Atlanta School of Massage

888 276-6277

2 Dunwoody Park Atlanta, GA 30338 Toll Free: 888 ASM Massage

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sage less than 40 hours a week. Each individual's capacity will vary, of course. Massage therapy does not have the typical career ladder, in that advancements are not achieved through promotions and progressively taking on higher levels of responsibility. Instead, one may increase his or her ability and effectiveness, along with clientele and fees, over time. It takes much time, commonly six months to a year, effort, and persistence to build a practice. Business and entrepreneurial skills also are factors in practice building. Besides raising fees or getting raises, income can be increased by higher productivity; however, this is limited by the relatively intensive one-on-one nature of massage therapy. Did You Know? A relatively large percentage of therapists practice part-time, i.e., generally considered as less than 10 hours a week of actual massage. An AMTA survey of its members show that most massage therapists consider 17 hours of massage to be full-time work.

12 Hints For Choosing The Right Massage Training Program

1. Learn about the profession of massage therapy, e.g., different methods of therapy and the particular requirements to practice in your state. 2. Collect information about several programs--attend an open house or orientation, interview former students, read catalogs, audit a class, or call the Better Business Bureau and/or vocational school office in your state. 3. Consider your career intentions--some programs focus on relaxation massage applications, while others target remedial or medical ones. 4. Review the curriculum to make sure that the style(s) of massage taught matches what you want to learn. 5. Check for the school's accreditation, e.g., COMTA. 6. Be aware of time requirements for a particular program. Make sure your other obligations will allow enough time to study and practice outside of class. 7. Examine the credentials and experience of the faculty. 8. Find out whether the educational philosophy of the program and the faculty agree with your own views about health, healing and the purpose and use of massage therapy. 9. Receive massage therapy sessions from the faculty, graduates and/or student clinic. 10. Request information about student services--postgraduate job placement, tutoring, continuing education, financial aid, etc. 11. Consider tuition, fees, any other costs, the availability of financial aid and the quality of the program. Remember to budget in additional funds for a massage table, books and supplies. 12. Determine which program most closely matches your career intentions, personality, schedule and budget.

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