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!

Professional Alliances in Massage Therapy

Professional Alliances in Massage Therapy

Why are these important to my business? Who do I approach? How to I develop an Alliance?

 

 

 

 

Professional Alliances in Massage Therapy – The Why

 

 

 

 

By building professional alliances, your practice will flourish. Having a network with other Health Care, and Therapy Professionals will increase your market, and theirs.

 

 

 

 

Who

 

 

 

 

Assignment One

 

 

 

 

Your first assignment is to make a list of Health Professionals you already know. Your:

 

 

 

 

  • Chiropractor
  • Physio Therapist
  • Massage Therapist
  • Doctor
  • Dentist (yep… Dentist)
  • Lawyer
  • Chamber of Commerce Members

 

 

 

 

Then add to that list of the same Professionals, and others, within your area of work. (This list will expand as you go).

 

 

 

 

Assignment Two

 

 

 

 

Do a Bio Letter of Introduction. In this letter, you will want to include:

 

 

 

 

  • Where you went to school for Massage Therapy
  • Graduation date
  • Association
  • Specialties Certified in
  • Your goals for client treatment and care
  • How massage can benefit their patients or clients
  • Other professional History

 

 

 

 

Think of it as a Resume, but not a resume. You can add some personal information as to hobbies if you wish, but keep it pertinent to the person you are addressing, or the profession of Massage.

 

 

 

The Approach

 

 

 

 

There are 3 ways to approach others. Face to face, by phone, or by letter/email, or any combination of these.

 

 

 

 

The letter you wrote, can act as a ‘script’ to keep you on track with face to face, or phone approach as a bonus.

 

 

 

 

Because forming an Alliance is so beneficial, you will want to offer them something to get to know you and your work. With your introduction, you can offer them (a limited time) promotion. This isn’t a sale price, it’s a Promotional Offer.

 

 

 

 

Promotional Offers with a Future Alliance

 

 

 

 

  • A gift certificate for a free 30-minute massage
  • 20%-50% Off of Regular Price (I hear you now… but that’s a sale price)!!! Yes, and no. Put on the gift certificate that it’s a Professional Offer Only. Non-Transferable (that means they can’t give it to someone else).
  • Free Gift

 

 

 

 

Why do this? You want to promote yourself, and your talent. You want the Alliance.

 

 

 

 

Barter System

 

 

 

 

This is another approach to forming an Alliance. Especially with other Health Care Professionals.

 

 

 

 

By trading treatments, and services, not only do you get to know their style, and work, they get to know yours. It’s a win for both parties.

 

 

 

 

Referring to Others

 

 

 

 

NEVER be afraid to tell a client that a problem may be out of your scope of practice! Integrity is key here. A client will admire your honesty, and appreciate a referral to someone that can treat the issue.

 

 

 

 

Not long ago, I referred a long-time client to a Sports Massage Specialist. I can do ‘Sports Massage’, but this was a sports-related injury, and I’m NOT a Specialist in this modality. I am confident in my abilities, and I know when a client needs a different approach to an issue, so I refer them out. (The client did come back after the injury issue was resolved, complete with a Thank You, and recommendations from the other Therapist).

 

 

 

 

I have often referred to Chiropractic, or Physio Therapy, to be done instead, or in conjunction with Massage. When referring out, I do explain why. (I use Medical terms, with layman translation). Telling a client of your limitations will be a showing of your integrity, and honesty.

 

 

 

 

A client is more apt to refer a friend to you by saying,

 

 

 

 

“He/She helped ABC problem, but referred me to a Chiropractor for D, because of (yada yada). A very honest person, and a great Therapist!”

 

 

 

 

A quick, easy example of an introductory letter.

 

 

 

 

Your Name

 

 

 

 

Address, City, ST ZIP Code | Telephone | Email

 

 

 

 

Date

 

 

 

 

(Chiropractor/ Massage Therapist/ Physio Therapist)

 

 

 

 

Title

 

 

 

 

Company

 

 

 

 

Address

 

 

 

 

City, ST ZIP Code

 

 

 

 

Dear (Chiropractor/ Massage Therapist/ Physio Therapist):

 

 

 

 

I would like to take the time to introduce myself, as I am new to the area.

 

 

 

 

Professionally, I have 25 years of Massage Therapy experience, with specialties in Motor Vehicle Accidents, and soft tissue injuries.

 

 

 

 

The modalities that I incorporate into my treatments are as follows:

 

 

 

 

  • Relaxation & Deep Tissue Massage
  • Hot Stone Therapy
  • Cupping
  • Myofascial Release
  • Craniosacral
  • Assisted stretch techniques

 

 

 

 

I Graduate from X School of Massage in (year), and belong to (Association).

 

 

 

 

I would like the opportunity to connect with you, and your practice. Please accept this certificate as my way of saying Thank You for your time!

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

ME

 

 

 

 

You don’t have to get fancy with it. Short, and to the point. You can use a template, but keep it simple. Too much clutter takes away from the content. If you have a Logo, do put that in.

 

 

 

 

How do you, or have you formed Alliances? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the Comments Section!!

 

 

 

 

Have a GREAT DAY!!

 

 

 

 

Shaunna

 

 

Massage Therapy Education

Massage Therapy Association Information

As I start this topic, I realize how little I know about the USA Massage Therapy Industry. I did however find some great resources for my US friends to look up for these options.

Massage Therapy Education Hours

To become a Massage Therapist, you will need, in most cases, you will need anywhere from 500 hours to 3000 hours of Post Secondary Education.

In Canada, to become a Registered Massage Therapist, you will need to complete 2200-3300 hours from an Association approved College.

In the US, only 3 states have no requirements, however in order to belong to the American Massage Association, you will need to have a minimum of 500 hours. (If my research on this is wrong, could you PLEASE let me know, and I will correct it)!

Massage Associations

I have included the links for your convenience.

CANADA:

USA:

Massage Associations

Association Benefits

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. An Association gives you credibility. 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 companies
  • MVA claims
  • 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.

If you have any questions, or corr