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Guide to Evaluating Massage Therapy Schools

Dec 04, 2008

There are a number of schools and colleges that offer programs in massage therapy but it is important for you to know what you want to get from your training when evaluating massage therapy schools. One of the most important considerations is that the school offers a comprehensive curriculum of the courses that will help you develop the skills you need to have a successful career as a massage therapist. Every program should include classes in the following:

Since most of the states in the country require you to obtain a license before being qualified to practice, you should look for massage therapy schools that focus on providing you with the information and skills you will need to take your licensure exam at the end of their program. You will also need to check on the requirements for your state to see if there are any additional requirements you must meet.

You should also realize that there are a great number of different types of massage therapies although your education will usually include a style known as Swedish massage. This is the type of massage normally used to relieve stress and help the individual relax. From that point, you will learn the more advanced techniques for deep tissue, sports, injury, and more. If you have a specific area of interest, such as sports massage, then you should make sure that the school you choose concentrates on that particular type of massage during the program. You may also wait until after you have graduated from the program to start focusing on one particular type of massage which interests you the most.

Keep in mind that choosing amongst the many different massage therapy schools for your education is the most important decision you will make. It is where you will be investing you time and money and it will also be the foundation for your new career.

  • Anatomy – This is the study of the human body including the names of the bones, muscles, and types of tissues.
  • Physiology – Of ten taught in conjunction with anatomy, physiology is the study of the body's organs and their functions and processes.
  • Kinesiology – This is the study of how the body moves and is an important part of understanding how you will use massage to treat the muscles and joints of the body that have been affected by accident or injury.
  • Pathology – Studying pathology will help you develop an understanding of how different diseases affect the body as well as where massage therapy will be an affective treatment and where the patient must turn to other areas of health care in order to get relief.
  • Theory and Hands-On Practice of Massage Therapy – Your education should include a history of massage and how it has developed into the recognizable health care practice that it is today in addition to how to give a massage by using your hands, feet, and even elbows.
  • Nutrition – Food plays a role in healing and it is necessary for you to understand how your patients' diets and lifestyle habits may have influenced their current condition and how they can help to improve it.
  • Ethics – While you may not think ethics is an important part of your training, the majority of massage therapy schools include it in their curriculum. You will need to know how to handle the relationship you have with your clients and the right way to make decisions in their best interests. This is even more important if you are planning on having your own business and must determine how to respond to your patients.
  • Business – Another area of concentration that not every potential massage therapist looks for in a school. However, if you are going to run your own business, you will need to know the specific business applications that apply to massage therapy as well as improving your organizational skills.
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