MY FIRST MASSAGE TABLE

11.01.web.staffheadshot.davidBy David Lauterstein, LMT, MTI, Certified Zero Balancing Teacher, Co-founder of Lauterstein-Conway Massage School

In my early years I was mostly studying and playing music. But as I moved into my late 20’s I started to realize I didn’t want to do music for a living. I got into therapy and the therapist recommended receiving massage as a way to get to know myself better in body, mind and spirit. That really opened my eyes.

After a few years of receiving massages and appreciating so many benefits – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – I decided I might try doing it myself. At that time I was in Chicago and, unbelievably, there was no school! So I approached each massage therapist I had seen as a client and tried to convince them to teach me what they knew!

First, of course, I needed a massage table. So I looked in the paper to see if there were any for sale and I asked around. Finally – I can’t remember exactly how – I found out about a used one for sale. So one winter day in Chicago, I hiked up four floors in a north-side apartment building to see this massage table.

It was topped with forest green vinyl and had a design I’d never seen. Thin oak legs and struts supported the table surface. The struts were like Tinker Toys and were held in place by thick pins. I was skeptical but the owner showed me actually how this was a very effective, clever way to stabilize the table. It didn’t have a “face cradle”, just a rectangular hole cut through the table toward one end in which one could rest their head when lying facedown. Well, peculiar, but ok!

I decided the time was right. I gave the owner $80 and walked out with the massage table. To this day I remember the feeling of walking down those four flights of stairs with my new table. I was like a guitarist with his first guitar in its case. Like a painter with his new palette. Like a cowboy with his first saddle.

I was filled with the feeling that here was my instrument. Here was the tool with which I could explore all this fascinating territory that lay ahead – vistas of anatomy and physiology, frontiers of healing. With this table, I could perhaps help through touch make a new kind of positive difference in the world for me and for the people I might see.
But all I really knew at the time was the feeling of excitement that was coursing through me. I was going to study massage, become a therapist. Here was my tool, really the only main tool I needed – in addition to my own hands, heart, and mind.

And now, 37 years later, I remember that moment and I can still really not find the words to capture fully how grateful I am that I began that fateful day a work and a journey that has resulted in a life that I only dreamed of then, walking down those many flights of stairs and out into the winter day in Chicago with my new massage table.

What is muscle-specific deep tissue work of the arms and legs?

by Brian Utting

The phrase ‘deep tissue work’ is used in so many contexts that it’s hard to know what it means anymore. To some practitioners, ‘deep tissue’ simply means deep pressure. To others, it has more fascial, myofascial, or structural connotations. Muscle-specific deep tissue work still works with the fascia, and uses deep pressure when appropriate, but is more focused and precise. Like structural work, it has a strategy, but it gets there by releasing the individual muscles as well as the fascia.

In the case of the legs, we will still contact the fascial wrapping around the legs (as well as the iliotibial tract and the large muscles of the legs), but in addition we will focus on the smaller intrinsic muscles of the feet, the joints of the feet, and important and often-missed muscles like the deep calf flexors and the popliteus.

The deep calf flexors (tibialis posterior, flexor hallucis longus, flexor digitorum longus) are plantarflexors and invertors of the foot, but their most important function may be maintaining the arch and stabilizing the foot on uneven terrain. They are often passed over in a typical deep tissue session, but are critical to maintaining balance not only in the foot, but also between the tibialis anterior, peroneus longus, and the gastrocnemius and soleus. Blunt, deep-pressure strokes and broad fascial strokes generally don’t get to the deep calf flexors, and are sometimes even dangerous. One needs to sift through the more superficial structures and use clean, precise strokes to release these muscles, since they are surrounded by nerves, blood vessels, and lymph beds. Runners especially appreciate this work, since they use these muscles so intensively, but rarely get them released, either from stretching or from bodywork. Based on my experience, the work improves performance and prevents and/or speeds recovery from injuries.

Muscle-specific deep tissue work for the shoulder not only addresses the relationship (both fascial and muscular) between all the muscles that support and suspend the shoulder, but gets to the smaller stress points on the scapula and the surfaces and ruts of the rib cage that are often passed over. It’s liberating and feels great when everything is released and working in harmony.

The arms and hands respond extremely well to muscle-specific deep tissue work; there are many muscles living alongside each other that rarely (if ever) get stretched and separated from each other. In addition, there are 30 bones and numerous joints that benefit from having motion introduced into them once the fascial and muscular structures (both superficial and deep) are unglued. There are also many bony surfaces in the hands and fingers that need to be cleaned up from time to time, just as we periodically go to the dentist to get our teeth cleaned. For massage therapists, this is especially valuable, since our hands and arms are our primary instruments. Practitioners not only learn a number of useful techniques in this section of the class, but also receive some valuable self-care.


To learn more, register for the Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue workshops with Brian Utting on October 11 & 12. CLICK HERE to register for the Legs & Hips workshop. CLICK HERE to register for the Shoulder Girdle, Arms, & Hands workshop. Register for both workshops at a discounted price!

Abdominal Massage

by Hannah Ford

A riddle for you: what do a sub sandwich, a novel, and a massage have in common?

They’re all deeply unsatisfying if you leave out the middle.

Your massage education included the basics of abdominal massage, but have you found yourself skipping that part of your sessions with clients? There are many reasons for this drift away from the belly – maybe some clients are uncomfortable with their own abdomens, or you are often in a time crunch with short session times, or you feel less than confident with draping methods – but no matter the reasons you’ve let it slip away, I’m here to say you need to bring back the belly work!

Breath resides in the belly. Emotions linger here. Organs sustain us from within the abdomen. And the stress of modern life, combined with a culture that values abs of steel over soft, open bellies, can conspire to create an armoring in this area that begs to be nurtured and melted.

I’ve focused my own massage practice on this vital area. My private practice, Belly Love Massage Therapy, is centered on abdominal massage for fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, and women’s health. I’d like to help you regain your confidence in the value of abdominal work for all types of clients, and rekindle your enthusiasm for belly rubs!

In this 6 hour class, we will review the relevant anatomy, present several options for comfortable draping, reflect on social/emotional perspectives of the belly, experience breathing and postural exercises you can use to educate clients and care for yourself, and practice and receive Swedish and Deep Massage techniques to relax and soften the abdomen.

Brush up on your belly love skills – your clients will thank you for it, from the bottom of their bellies!


Learn more at the Abdominal Massage workshop with Hannah Ford on October 19. CLICK HERE to register today!

Grad Chronicle – Natalie Durkin

natalie photo

Natalie Durkin, LMT

I attended Semesters 1 & 2 at TLC during 1999-2000. My immediate passion became working with clients for pain management, sports performance, and rehabilitative/restorative bodywork. In my first years starting out, I continued to work part-time in corporate office environments while completing my licensing requirements and building my practice.

In the Winter of 2002 I was laid off from the corporate job, which although terrifying in the immediate, it was the springboard I used to get serious and make my career as a full-time, sole-proprietor massage therapist come to life. It’s been nearly 15 years since I started, and I’m still at it!

Through the years, I have worked in most aspects of the therapeutic massage industry, ranging from outcalls, to chair massage at ABIA, to contracting for chiropractors and acupuncturists, and even worked with fellow massage therapists to create online support tools for less-experienced LMTs. I have worked with NCAA Basketball MVPs and Olympic Athletes from disciplines ranging from swimming, diving and beach volleyball. Let’s not forget countless weekend warriors and ultra-stressed office workers.

I have been in private practice for the last 10 years, and currently see my clients at my studio located on 11th Street near the Capitol. I also teach and compete in Tai Chi, training students of all levels, and have won Tournament Grand Champion at competitions. I currently enjoy incorporating aspects of Tai Chi postural alignment into my client education suggestions.

My advice for new therapists? Hang in there, stay focused, and provide excellent service. Be accountable in your business practices as well as having healing hands. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or to let clients go who aren’t a good fit; there is enough work for everyone. Consider joining a networking group, or using a professional coach when starting out. Most of all, never ever lose sight of the help, peace-of-mind (and body!), and well-being that you provide to folks on a daily basis. You are awesome and your clients love you!

N

READING EMOTIONS THROUGH THE ENERGY BODY

by Jim McCormick

CLIENT: MALE, 45, Engineer, healthy

ZB FRAME: “I WANT YOU TO HELP ME REMOVE MY DOUBT.”

ZB SESSION:

The client didn’t specify exactly what doubt he wanted to get rid of. He was not really open to doing a lot of processing about it verbally. When he asked for that frame I immediately had a lot of doubt. Could I really deliver on that request? Was Zero Balancing really able to help clients in that way? I hadn’t really done it before.

I debated internally whether to accept this frame as the final goal for the session, and finally decided to go ahead with that as the frame, despite my reservations.

I began the session in the typical ZB way evaluating the body sitting and what I found was unremarkable. I certainly had no clue about how to help his doubts.

However, when I went to his feet to do what we call a half moon vector I was astonished. I began to feel or sense energy pockets or energy patterns within the energy field of his overall body/mind that had a signature of doubt. The overall field had patterns like the silvery light of the moon on the sea at night. Within that field were different areas were darker and less clear. It hit me that these were the areas of doubt. They caused me to read “doubt” like you would if you were talking to a person who had doubt – there was an vibration particular to that emotion. As I went through the Zero balancing protocol working with the whole body I felt many such areas.

Having not had that experience before, I wasn’t sure, but I decided to act as if these denser, different areas were in fact where his doubt was residing in his body and in his energy field. When I put “fulcrums” through these areas, or put traction to pull energy through these areas, the quality of the patterns changed. The difference between these areas and other areas of the body lessened. The whole field felt smoother and more congruent and coherent, and more uniformly lit up..

By the time I finished we hadn’t said a word, but I felt his system was much easier, lighter, and more integrated. He came off the table and felt lighter and clearer and over the next days continued to feel clearer and to experience less doubt.

What was most remarkable about the session was not even so much this particular outcome, but the learning I experienced from doing the session. From that day forward I started to pay more and more attention to the quality of the blockages that I found in people’s body. I learned that I could feel the signature of any emotion or any sensation in their bodies. Each emotion and sensation had a particular energetic signature which was unique and which I could learn to read.

If I found a place of held or blocked energy in someone’s body, I began to feel more deeply and more curiously into the vibration. I paid more careful attention without trying to change it. Just to be with it. I would ask myself, or ask their system, “What is the emotion or sensation being held there.” Trying to feel what the emotion was. Fear had a very different vibratory quality than anger or than grief. Initially I started paying attention to the major emotions, (fear, grief, anger, joy) as they were the strongest and clearest, and therefore the easiest to feel. After some time I realized any sensation that a person might be experiencing could be felt through it’s own unique vibration. If someone had indecision; agitation; indifference; guilt; lack of motivation and many others, all of these sensations showed up in their energetic field and could be identified and then worked with by me as the practitioner.

Sometimes this meant just continuing to do the bodywork – but maybe with a different quality to my touch. If someone had fear, I might continue to work in the same places and do very similar treatments but I might do it with a very different quality of touch. I learned that not only could I “read” an emotion in someone through my hands, I could give an emotion with my hands. I might touch with the same quality anyone would use if you were to pick up a small frightened child you wanted to comfort – you would hold them in such a way that they felt safe and secure. So for an adult client with fear I would do the fulcrums with that quality of touch and found that it created much greater positive change in the client. Clients with major fears calmed down, without ever saying anything to them about their fear.

On the other hand, sometimes this opened up a whole new avenue of healing for the person. I might say to them: “I can feel a sensation in your body – I think it is fear. Are you feeling afraid?” One early person I said that to replied, “Only a mountain of it.” This led a huge outpouring of feeling and tears from her. We had a long conversation we’d never had before about her fears and this led to major changes in her for that session but also over time. The possibility of verbally processing emotions discovered through the body/mind connection via touch opened much deeper avenues of healing and change for people and led me to work in very different ways.

And, this was but one of hundreds of such sessions where the person’s experience is palpable in their body and in their field and working with this vibration takes a person way beyond helping their reported symptom to helping them connect to their core selves and grow personally.

So, the request that I help someone with their doubt, led to major revisions in how I worked and how much more I was able to help clients. This continues to be a major way of working – and allows the same Zero Balancing protocol to be performed in many different ways that mirror both the physical and the emotional experience of the client and actually help them progress faster and deeper in their lives.


Learn more at the Touching the Whole Person – An Advanced Zero Balancing workshop with Jim McCormick on Thursday – Sunday, October 30 – November 2. CLICK HERE to register today!

Hooked on Acupressure

by Dr. Gayl Hubatch OMD, LMT instructor

I use acupressure for everything – from my own muscle stiffness after a workout, headache or trouble sleeping to giving hour-long treatments in my professional clinic. When my spouse or daughter has a headache or allergies, they are always asking for my ‘point holding”.  Acupressure relives pain and sinus pressure instantaneously. It’s quite remarkable really.

My daughter’s in her 30’s now and it was her birth that actually led me to Chinese medicine. I had such a profound experience in giving birth and feeling such dynamic life force moving through me that I pursued the question: “What is Chi (Qi)”. It’s been a life long learning as now my practice is 30 years in the making. Time flies.. I must be having fun! Studying Acupressure led me to massage therapy in Eugene, Oregon and then to qigong and Chinese medicine in Santa Fe, NM and then Austin. My acupuncture practice in Lakeway is 20 years old this year!

The purpose of teaching Bodymind acupressure is to share my passion with qi and help others to learn how to access the intricate and powerful web of the meridian system with only their hands and intention. Accurately locating acupressure points is important but more importantly is cultivating intentionality and the use of conscious breath. This upcoming class will give you a real experience of qi and practical techniques to use professionally and personally. You will be hooked!


Learn more about acupressure at the Mindbody Acupressure with Gayl Hubatch on Sunday, October 5. CLICK HERE for more information.

Myofascial Techniques for the Thorax and Diaphragms

by Liz Hoffmaster

Let’s look at the rectus abdominus (RA) muscle and a role it plays in our lives. We are a culture obsessed with core work. In truth, 95% of all abdominal core work is done with severely or mildly bulging abdominals. You have to wonder why one would want to do this? The result is a rectus abdominus that is a half inch thick and the underlying support structures….transverse abdominus (TVA) and our precious rotators, internal and external oblique (IO & EO)…… thin and unable to do what they are supposed to do. This causes many problems, not the least of which is that other muscles can’t do their job!

Number one on the dance card is the diaphragm. RA stops it from full excursion in the torso, primarily in exhalation. Why? Because an overused RA keeps the anterior ribs high, and they can’t fully drop down as you breathe out. This drop naturally allows the diaphragm to fully rise up in the torso. This simple activity promotes parasympathetic activity, and allows the neck and shoulder to relax. How many people do you know who lie on their back and you notice their ribs are stuck up in the air as you work on their neck and shoulders and marvel at how tight they are?

So one of the most important things you will learn is how to quieten the rectus abdominus. In turn your client’s neck and shoulders will thank you.


Learn more at the Myofascial Techniques for the Thorax and Diaphragms workshop with Liz Hoffmaster. CLICK HERE to register today!

How to Choose a Good Massage Therapist

How to Choose: 5 Characteristics of a Good Massage Therapist

good-massage-therapistDo you hop from massage therapist to massage therapist or feel like you’ve tried them all but can’t settle on one? Maybe there’s a good reason! Finding a massage therapist who is the complete package can be challenging, and depending on what is important to you, may seem near impossible.

Since the benefits of sticking with one massage therapist are so great, consider using these five characteristics when assessing the quality of your massage therapist the next time you find yourself on the table.

Massage Training:

Your massage therapist’s education will be important to you the second their hands come down on you on that massage table, so before you get that far, save yourself the time and money and do some research. These days, it is common to find most of the information you’ll need about your LMT’s background on their website. However, there are still a few tech-stragglers in this industry and also those who consciously choose not to advertise online. If this is the case with the massage therapist you are considering, it is in your interest to call or email them ahead of time to ask for more information about their training. Since it is possible to be injured by your therapist on the massage table, and it is absolutely possible to waste your money on a so-so massage. Don’t risk it!

Professionalism:

Another assessment you can start to make before you climb on the massage table is the level of professionalism of your massage therapist. Does she have a website, and if so, is it well done and comprehensive? If there is no web site, is their correspondence with you professional – is it timely and official? If so, this indicates they recognize they are running a professional business and are interested in earning yours, which usually indicates you will receive good customer service all around. If not, they may not be a dedicated massage therapist or have too much else going on in their business or private life, which could indicate you will be chasing them around for appointments in the future. Save your energy! There are plenty of other massage therapists out there to choose from.

Massage Atmosphere:

Atmosphere is an interesting assessment tool. Is the space easy to find, clean and comfortable? It should be! As a massage therapist who runs a private practice, your therapist is in charge of his or her own space. But even if your massage therapist works for a spa or chain, how the contribute (or detract) from the atmosphere matters, too. When you meet your massage therapist for the first time, are they calming and welcoming or frazzled and rushed? Do you feel like they are in charge and comfortable in their surroundings or just ready to get through the massage? Even if you don’t invest much belief in energetic bodywork, a massage therapist who is late to a session or uncomfortable in their surroundings can sure churn up some air. If this happens, take your time getting undressed and on the table to allow the massage therapist some time to settle down – massage therapists are people, too, and sometimes things happen. If the atmosphere doesn’t improve when your LMT returns, you may have a problem going forward. Your massage therapist should not only be able to control the atmosphere both physically and energetically but also recognize if they are contributing to the potential dysfunction. Skip the turbulence!

Mindfulness:

Your potential massage therapist’s mindfulness may show up in their professionalism and even more so in how the affect their atmosphere, but certainly when they begin talking with you about your session and then lay their hands on you, you should be able to tell if they are being thoughtful about what they are offering you. Do their hands come off you frequently only to reengage somewhere you weren’t anticipating? Did they address the areas and concerns you asked them to? Was anything about the session rushed – do you feel rushed even just lying there on the table? Whether your LMT’s strokes feel jumpy or if you catch yourself feeling jumpy, this is usually an indicator your massage therapist is not truly “plugged in” to what he or she is doing and how your body is responding to their work. Mindfulness is one of the most powerful tools a massage therapist has in this line of work.

If the whole session feels “off,” unplug! Look for a massage therapist who can stay connected to what is going on in front of them. The quality of work from a “plugged in” massage therapist is worth it.

Consistency:

In some ways, consistency is the most telling characteristic of a good massage therapist. A massage therapist who is continually well-trained, always professional, who has your room ready and makes you feel comfortable and who regularly mindful of their work and your body’s response to it is a good massage therapist. Yes, every massage therapist runs late once, has an “off day” or a massage session that doesn’t quite turn out how they’d like it to, but if you are considering each of these five characteristics when assessing them, you’ll be able to tell if your massage therapist is dealing with a chronic issue or a one-off disaster.

Good luck on your good massage therapist hunt! Remember, if you find a good one, sick with them! Seeing the same massage therapist regularly has huge benefits , and that, in and of itself, will lead to a more satisfying massage experience for you all around.


Start your new career as a massage therapist today! CLICK HERE to see upcoming class schedules.

Want a great massage? CLICK HERE to request an appointment at the Student Clinic!

What’s Better Self-Employment or Massage Jobs

What’s Better? Self-Employment vs. Getting a Massage Job

A massage job, often massage jobs, or self-employment, I’ve done them both. But what’s better? Obviously, the answer depends completely on you – your needs and goals, your dreams – but I’d like to share my experience with you in an effort to shed some light on this debate. As someone who has a private practice, you may be surprised with what I have to say.

experience (1)Self-Employment: It’s Why Most of Us are Doing This

If we’re honest, most of us are in this industry to have control over our finances or time – and if you’re more altruistic than I am, even over the value of the services we provide – or all three! And self-employment with a private massage practice is key to meeting that need for control.

I went to massage school to work for myself. With young children, I needed to maximize my income and work as little as possible. Though I loved massage and moving and serving others, love for the work as a provider came later. I incentivized my internship clients to follow me into the real world, graduated from massage and started the rough road to earning money for myself.

Though it is a rough road, seven years later, I now have just the number of clients I want, make an income that serves me and have control over my finances, time and quality of the services and work I offer. It is very rewarding, and I can’t imagine going back to my “old life.”

Currently, I do not have any massage jobs. Self-employment is working really well for me. But this hasn’t always been the case, and I know this won’t always be true, either.

I’ll tell you why…

One Reason Every LMT Should Get a Massage Job

I believe every new and experienced massage therapist, both, need a massage job at least once, if not repeatedly, throughout their massage career.

You don’t know it all.

Five years after becoming a licensed massage therapist, I took a part-time position at local Massage Heights, providing therapeutic touch 20 hours per week to, usually, 20 different bodies with different needs. I went through internship in massage school just like the rest of you, and thought I was well-prepared for this industry. Until then.

After I graduated from massage school, I launched right into a private massage practice. That was the whole reason I went to massage school – I wanted to work for myself when I wanted to work. And I did. I provided your basic massage session to anyone who came looking for one while I worked a “day job.” But because I was just starting out, my clients were few in number and frequency, and as a result, the experience I had been building on during my internship stalled-out in the real world.

The lesson I learned? When it comes to being a competent massage therapist, running a private massage practice, which includes marketing, billing and scheduling, does not compare to just doing massage over and over and every day.
You can memorize human anatomy and physiology – it is finite. Eventually, though daunting for most of us, we can learn it all! But without hands-on experience, without first-hand knowledge of how a body responds to therapeutic touch, you haven’t learned how to be a massage therapist. Not really.

Massage chains can support your learning and gaining of experience to you better than any other employer – including you. Finding clients, bodies for you to work on, is what they do best. And there are always massage jobs with a massage chain.

In the end, remember massage is called a practice. After the classes and the internship hours are over, and when your state-issued massage license is in-hand, there is still a long road ahead. Use the tools available in this industry to get your hands on as many bodies as possible. And while you’re at it, build that private practice you started out to create. You’ll never be done learning, so there’s no reason not to start now!


Start your new career as a Massage Therapist today! CLICK HERE to see our upcoming class schedules!

Massage School | Success as a Student & Therapist

massage-school-success-balance (1)Success: How to Get the Most Out of Massage School and Beyond

Success in massage school not only means you learned how to give a good massage, but that you also understand how the human body works, what pains it and how it can heal through massage therapy. Also, since just about anyone is eligible to attend massage school, success during the education process also will mean your understanding and skills surpass the abilities of many other licensed massage therapists in the job market. Despite this, many massage school students find getting the most out of their education is harder than expected – but also that their hard work pays off in the future.

To get everything you can out of your massage school experience, practice these steps.

1. Be Prepared: Know what to expect. Massage school is not like high school. It is not a typical trade school. And it is not like college. In addition to required course hours and lectures and hands-on work, massage school also requires professionalism, intuition, experimentation, dedication and practice, practice, practice. When you register for classes, be sure you understand how the program works, and review your school’s student handbook to understand what is expected of you while in class.
It’s also a good idea to talk to existing licensed massage therapists about their experiences in massage school. Don’t just ask what they loved about it. Be sure to ask what caught them off guard, or what they felt unprepared for. Then make yourself ready!

This practice of preparation will serve you well not only in future job interviews, but also as you design massage sessions for your future clients.

2. Keep Balanced: Since massage school is both physically and intellectually demanding, it is important to keep mentally and physically healthy while in school. It is not uncommon for massage school students to be overwhelmed by project deadlines or practical tests and forget to take care in their personal lives and with their whole, personal wellness. Also in massage therapy, your body and mind are your tools, they are how you are able to perform your craft. They need to serve you well.

Furthermore, as a licensed massage therapist, whether you like it or not, you will often find yourself in the position of a “healthy lifestyle role model” to your clients. Practicing this lifestyle, which is often little more than a balancing act, while in massage school will help you transition into your professional role as a well-balanced, massage therapist.

3. Prioritize & Strategize: Can you identify what is most important in your life? Spending time on the things that matter most is not only a good life skill, it will also serve you in massage school. Do you need to take care of a looming work assignment or study for a looming anatomy test first? Is there any give on either deadline? If you have to get them both done, how are you going to make that happen? Is there anyone who can help? Be ready to get creative. Since most massage school students also often work or participate in other educational programs while in school, these issues are bound to come up.

When you have multiple roles, whether you also have to answer the phones and check out clients or address a chronic neck problem and a new issue with a foot in one session plus your non-work-life, there will always be more than one thing demanding your attention. Knowing what is most important will help you maintain your professionalism while getting things done.

4. Go, go, go: As with any educational program, being on-time and having good attendance is key to getting the most you can out of massage school. In massage school, each class and its assignments often builds on the next. Missing classes can cause you to fall more than anticipated – perhaps months to a year – since massage therapy licensure often requires a certain amount of hours taken in each subject. If your massage program, for example, only offers one program at a time or offers only one daytime class and one evening class, making up classes can often be daunting.

Professionally, licensed massage therapists are not only expected to be punctual but also have time in advance to prepare for their first appointment. So many massage therapists will tell you the appointment begins 30 minutes before the client even arrives! Similarly, it is important to not miss work frequently. A massage therapist who doesn’t show up to work on time or with consistency will not gain favor with front desk staff and managers who have to scramble to cover or reschedule clients.

Even massage therapists who are self-employed are accountable to their clients – a tardy or “missing-in-action” massage therapist does not keep clients, get referrals and grow their business.

5. Pour Yourself Into It: Name, if you can, something in life to which this statement does not apply: you will get out of it what you put into it. Massage school is not an exception. You will get out of massage school what you put into it. For this reason, go beyond what you are doing or asked to do and pour yourself into your class work. Investigate interesting topics you learn about in class, consider massage modalities you might be interested, get regular massage yourself, learn the history and follow massage industry trends. Reading current journals, articles and magazines during school will give you added insight into the curriculum that other students will not have. It will also give you a more comprehensive understanding of the material you are covering.

After massage school, pouring yourself into this work keep you a step ahead of your peers in the massage industry. Managers and clients, alike, will recognize not only your skill but knowledge, and both will set you a part.

So massage school isn’t like any other education program you’ve participated in? You can do it! In massage school, you can learn how to give a good massage and be successful in business. Just practice these steps – prepare, stay balanced, prioritize, show up and be passionate – and your effort will show. Good luck, future massage therapists!