Massage Therapy Education

Massage Therapy Education

You want to be a Massage Therapist. You know it… you feel it. You want to help people in pain, or who are stressed. You want to be the one person that your clients count on to help them stay mobile, and moving!

How do you find a school? A Program that will take you to where you need to be? What’s an Accredited Program?

Educational Requirements & How to Find Accredited Programs

Depending on Province, or State, the Educational Requirements can be anywhere from 0 hours of Education to 3300 Hours.

Even if your region requires 0 hours of education, you should still chase after it.

Why? Credibility is crucial! How can you possibly be of assistance to anyone if you don’t know the basics?

So what’s an Accredited Program and how do you find it? Associations!

Massage Therapists Associations are the key ingredient to finding these programs, and you do want to join them.

CANADA:

USA:

 

Why Belong to an Association?

Simply put, with the investment you’ve made into your Education, investing to belong to an Association, is the next, logical step. You are applying, and adhering to a set of standards. This gives clientele a confidence in you and your practice. (Even for those of you in areas with no education needed to practice, I encourage you to become certified, and join an Association).

 

With these memberships there are other benefits as well.

  • Many offer Medical Benefit Packages
  • Ability to bill third party insurance companies
  • MVA claims (Motor Vehicle Accident)
  • Discounted banking (for some)
  • Continuing Education Options
  • And my personal favorite… the ability to get to know others in the industry, and form lasting friendships and contacts.

 

I became a ‘Student Member’ of the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta in 1993, and a Full Member in 1997.

Why am I telling you this?

I want to share with you what I gained in the last 26+ years of being a Member!

I was fortunate enough to have established a couple of great relationships by 1993 with an Elite Group already within the Membership. Once I joined, I became part of the Association Planning Committee. We were the ones that set up Conventions, Speakers, and the PARTIES that would ensue!

After becoming a Full Member, my focus shifted for a few years, into building my Practice, but I was still involved… just a little less. I switched over to ‘Set Up & Tear Down’ after Conventions, as it took less time away from my clients.

I found, in these years, that something was missing. Going to Conventions wasn’t enough anymore. Somehow, I was talked into becoming part of The Executive!

My personal gain in this?

Mentors:

Without these 4 key people, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. They played such a HUGE roll in my development, and technique, that I’m sure save my body from physical burnout early on. These people also were a big part of my Business Development, and the different stages of growth.

The best advice I can give you, right now, is find a Mentor, or Mentors. Someone that will support you, and teach you as you move forward. If you can, start finding these key people as soon as possible!

Professional Alliances:

Too many times I have heard, “There’s a New Therapist in town. You have competition.”

I embrace competition. Competitors can become your greatest ally, and friend.

You now have someone you can exchange massages with, and share ideas with. (The ideas that my ‘massage buddy’ and I discuss, are things like: Education/ Modalities we have or, want to take, pricing & adjustments… and so on).

Someone you can refer others to. You’re busy, on vacation, or ill. You have the ability to tell your clients where they can go during these times. Or, they offer a technique, or modality that you don’t, and you feel that the client would benefit from this treatment.

Referrals for the Masses:

In getting to know others, from different areas, I was able to compile a list of ‘Preferred Therapists’ for my clients when travelling, moving, or their family members.

Clients will trust you, so when you refer them, or a family member, to someone in another city, they will place value in that, so choose wisely!

 

 

 

 

Association Benefits

 

I was fortunate enough to have established a couple of great relationships by 1993 with an Elite Group already within the Membership. Once I joined, I became part of the Association Planning Committee. We were the ones that set up Conventions, Speakers, and the PARTIES that would ensue!

After becoming a Full Member, my focus shifted for a few years, into building my Practice, but I was still involved… just a little less. I switched over to ‘Set Up & Tear Down’ after Conventions, as it took less time away from my clients.

I found, in these years, that something was missing. Going to Conventions wasn’t enough anymore. Somehow, I was talked into becoming part of The Executive!

My personal gain in this?

Mentors:

Without these 4 key people, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. They played such a HUGE roll in my development, and technique, that I’m sure save my body from physical burnout early on. These people also were a big part of my Business Development, and the different stages of growth.

Find a Mentor, or Mentors. Someone that will support you, and teach you as you move forward. If you can, start finding these key people as soon as possible!

History of Chair Massage

History of Chair Massage

Massages in chairs or in merely sitting positions have always had their place among most ancient and traditional massage techniques around the world but the contemporary Chair massage as we know it today and as we occasionally refer to as the On-Site or Seated massage is a trend that began as recently as 1982. The Chair massage was the brainchild of David Palmer, the director of the Amma Institute of Traditional Japanese Massage at that time who is considered to be the ‘father’ of Chair massage. At the time, Massage Therapy was not as highly valued in the health field as it is today. Table Massage was expensive and considered to be a ‘questionable’ profession.

Mr. Palmer’s entrepreneurial intuition and insightfulness led him to adopt a few existing old-time techniques and to renovate others to develop a modern massage technique which could be performed anywhere as it required only brief periods of time, no need for the removal of clothing and quite reasonably priced. Consequently, his Chair massages became convenient, affordable, and non-threatening.

The first clients to enjoy the newly developed Chair massages were the employees and customers of the Apple Computers outlets, where David Palmer and his graduates set up their makeshift workstations in 1984. That venture lasted only about twelve months and the demand at the time was not huge, but they did give up to 350 Chair massages each week, and it proved to be a step in the right direction and an excellent beginning. By 1986 a specially designed and structured chair to better accommodate Chair massages went into production and today, there are well over 100,000 such chairs in use within the United States as well as in many other nations around the world.

David Palmer realized that Chair massage will be truly successful only with further development of this particular niche, and he opened continuing education seminars for training graduates of other massage schools. During the twelve months of 1986, he taught 24 Chair massage seminars at 24 different locations in the United States as well as in Sweden and Norway. The concept of the Chair massage was embraced with open arms when presented to the American Massage Therapy Association, and as a consequence, by 1990, just about every massage school in the nation was teaching it.

The Chair massage is not officially categorized as a therapy or a treatment but rather as a minimal relaxation technique. Whether that was a deliberate marketing ploy and clever salesmanship or not, it worked to attract people who would otherwise shy away from other kinds of massage therapies and treatments. For the most part, those who took the first step and braved the process of the Chair massage would have become more open-minded about progressing and graduating into the “true” massage therapies.

Nowadays, chair massages are readily available in shopping malls, airport terminals, independent shops, franchises, hotel lounges, hospitals, gyms, spas, bus depots, train stations, supermarkets, community centers, eateries (particularly the new-age cafés), convention centers, beauty salons, barbershops, medical and dental offices, university campuses, corporate workplaces and even at street corners, public parks and city square throughout the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom. The Chair massage is estimated to be the fastest-growing and most popular form of skilled touch, as professional massages are performed on the otherwise touch-deprived masses. It is David Palmer’s greatest dream to see young children performing shoulder rubs among family members and friends as part of their regular daily routine; and expressed in his own words, “When we reach that point I will know that we have arrived at our goal of a world where touch is recognized as essential to the development and maintenance of healthy human beings.”

THE HOT STONE MASSAGE

THE HOT STONE MASSAGE

Hot Stone Massage is a therapeutic massage technique in which the massage therapist holds a heated stone and applies various massage strokes.

Because they tend to absorb heat and retain it for extended periods, the stones which are used are smooth, basalt rocks of various sizes and shapes. These stones then are heated in water to 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Native Americans are also known to have used hot stones for medicinal purposes, but those are heated by direct fire. This technique of fire-heated stones was restored by Mary Nelson, a native of Tucson, Arizona, and she trademarked it as LaStone Therapy.

Primarily due to the effects of the heat from the stones, the Hot Stone massage is profoundly calming and delightfully relaxing as it rapidly releases the tension out of every soft tissue, be it muscle, tendon or ligament, which is included in this treatment while gentle and comforting peace washes over the client almost immediately. The hot stones are used throughout the entire session to massage, to stroke, to press, to manipulate, and to knead the client’s soft tissues. On occasion, heated stones are laid out at strategic spots along the spine, as well as in the palms of the client’s hands, and between the toes. This maneuver promotes the optimal flow of energy throughout the entire body. As soon as the stones cool down, the massage therapist will replace them with newly heated ones, but areas that are inflamed, injured or swollen, will often be treated with cold stones instead of the hot ones.

For clients to get the most out of the Hot Stone Massage Therapy, clients are encouraged to:

· Indicate any discomfort such as those which might be created by stones which are too hot, by the massage therapist applying pressure with too much force, by the background music which may be too loud, by the room temperature which could be too hot or too cold and so on.

Refrain from consuming a heavy meal, and abstain from ingesting any amount of alcohol shortly before the session.

Arrive in plenty of time to check-in and to relax before the treatment.

Take a sauna, a steam bath, or a hot tub before the session as it will relax and soften the muscles for better results from the entire treatment. If the hot tub was treated with chlorine, the clients are asked to take hot showers to rinse off the chemical.

Remove all their clothing and be assured that they will remain completely covered with a towel. This will give the massage therapist better access and direct contact with the skin.

Take slow, deep breaths throughout the session as it helps to relax the body and release more toxins.

To banish irrelevant thoughts from racing through their heads by concentrating on the feel of the therapist’s movements over their bare skins.

Get off the massage table after the session very slowly as dizziness may set in otherwise.

Absorb the full results of the massage treatment by allowing some quiet time in a peaceful place.

Drink extra water after the massage to flush out and wash away the toxins released during the treatment.

The Hot Stone massage is beneficial in many ways as it promotes deep muscle and soft tissue relaxation, eases stress, releases toxins, alleviates pain, improves circulation, and calms the mind. Quite appropriately, therefore, there is an impressive list of ailments which are treated with Hot Stone massages, and they are: