What Is A Massage Education?
So what exactly is massage education? I began teaching in the industry in 1993 at the Utah College of Massage Therapy. The classroom size was anywhere from 24 to 48 people, and the instructors were highly qualified. The students got a great basic education and if they decided to stick around for an additional 300 hours or 400 hours, they left with a pretty darn good massage education.
One of the great misnomers of the work is that deep tissue means continuously deep and painful pressure. The tissue work should access the deeper layers, but the tools should not always be angled steeply. Accessing the deeper tissue layers requires that a student use his tools in a superficial manner to begin with and then access the deeper layers later on once the more superficially layers have been opened. We do work at the origins and the insertions, and we often find ischemic tissue. And this can create some uncomfortable sensations, but they are always or should be brief. is deep tissue work a form of energy healing?Of course, anytime two biodynamic systems dance, there is an exchange of energy. One could say that energy healing is nothing more than the transference of energy from one source to another. And when we touch we exchange energy.
A massage education should give a student a wonderful set of tools in which they are able to begin their journey as apprentices on their way to becoming journeymen and journeywomen. I have been called calloused at times, but I have been doing this for over two decades. I’ve taught in three schools, taught privately for 15 years and I do believe there is room for improvement in the massage education field. That being said, I’m sure any field could use improvement. I have found most continuing education units are given to people who just need them to satisfy a state regulation. Sadly, this is true in many incidences.You would hope that the reason for continuing education would be to create some definitive tools in which they can become successful in their chosen discipline. Unfortunately, I would say that the majority of massage therapist who take continuing education courses do so because they are required to, not because they are interested in deeper insights of their chosen discipline.
After the student’s foundation has been built on firm ground by attendance at a good massage school, its important for them to continue their massage education by choosing continuing educational courses that will support their chosen field. Unfortunately, continuing education leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion. I know I may sound callous, but a student leaves massage school with a set of tools and are able to begin their journey in the world of massage therapy or manual medicine. But they are woefully unprepared if they think that their basic education will create a great career. There are exceptions to this rule, the majority of students need to continue their education in order to create the type of income that they desire. A massage education should create the tools that are necessary to perform therapeutically and help their patients with painful conditions brought a to their offices. But again, many students only continue their education because they are forced to by state legislators who had good intentions, but don’t reward the action of our discipline by allowing healthcare to pay for the patients that come to see us.
Let’s say a student focused on a deep tissue therapy like Rolfing or neuromuscular therapy and they took the time necessary to master these deep tissue approaches to healing, they would more than likely be successful as massage therapist and command a higher wage for their accomplishments. Another one of the most powerful disciplines that is available to them in their massage education is cranial sacral therapy, sometimes spelled craniosacral therapy. Don’t be fooled by the different spellings, it is a brilliant 110-year-old technique.
So when the student is researching possibilities for their continuing education, it’s important that that stick to a discipline once you find one that is satisfying and not act like a butterfly going from flower to flower looking for more nectar. The insights that you gain with your continuing education will bring freshness and clarity to your practice.