School Training

Why do you need to attend a massage school?

School TrainingReceive proper training. Massage schools can provide "effectively-designed training programs"(American Massage Therapy Association [AMTA], n.d.) which include a comprehensive curriculum for students to learn efficiently and skills and to prepare themselves for working in the massage therapy field . For example, most massage schools provide anatomy and physiology classes, which are two vital subjects (Yellow Page College Directory, n.d.) considered as the foundation of massage therapy; humanities and psychology can help strengthen personal characteristics in a more textbook fashion (Yellow Page College Directory, n.d.) and improve the mutual understanding between massage therapists and clients; business courses, on the other hand, help massage therapists launch a successful business (Yellow Page College Directory, n.d.). Massage school programs make sure that students get proper training in those basic subjects that massage therapist should master in order to become a professional in this field (Yellow Page College Directory, n.d.).

Complete required hours of education and training by massage therapy regulation. Most states have executed massage therapy regulations which include a minimum 500 hours of training requirement (AMTA, n.d.). For instance, Florida Board of Massage Therapy requires massage therapists to take 500 hours of training while some states such as New York even require 1,000 hours of training (AMTA, n.d.). AMTA (n.d.) also explicitly recommends massage therapists take "a minimum of 500 hours of supervised, in-class initial massage therapy training", which must include the learning of anatomy and physiology, theory and practice of massage therapy, and other elective subjects. It's a prerequisite for therapists to be licensed in massage therapy.

School TrainingFulfill the Continuing Education (CE) requirements by massage therapy regulation. In order to maintain current certification, a massage therapist is required to take a number of hours of CE in massage therapy. National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) requires 48 CE hours for a four-year certification cycle. Different states also have different requirements with CE hours. For example, Florida Board of Massage Therapy demands 24 hours of CE biennially while Alabama Massage Therapy Board requires 16 hours biennially (AMTA, n.d.). Taking massage school courses is one way to fulfill the CE requirements regulated by each state's massage therapy board.

Help pass different certification exams. Most States that license massage therapists require therapists to pass Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB) or one of two exams (National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage [NCETM]) or National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork [NCETMB]) administered by NCBTMB (AMTA, n.d.). It depends on the state regulation for which exam to take. School programs can assist students in learning the knowledge that they need and preparing themselves to pass the exams. (More about certification exams)

How to choose a massage school?

School TrainingChoosing a good massage school is of great importance to someone who wants to enter the massage therapy profession. According to the report from Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), there are 1,440 institutions that offer massage training in the United States (Massage Magazine, 2011). Among them, more than 350 are accredited massage therapy schools and programs (AMTA, 2012). With so many massage schools all around the United States in such a wide distribution in different states, sometimes it can be tricky to make the right decision.

Enroll in a training program that is accredited or approved by a credible national accreditation agency such as the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) (AMTA, n.d.). The accreditation can ensure the program's quality which as a result can provide a better education and a better recognition after graduation (AMTA, n.d.).

Different training programs may focus on different styles of massge therapy (AMTA, n.d.). It's reasonable to figure out what your interests are and find the program that matches your passion.

The Massage School Influencer

Susan Justus Weinstein has more than five years of experience in being a professional massage therapist and owns a successful business called "Massage by Justus" in Gainesville, Florida since she graduated from a massage school in 2007. Here she talks about how her school training in Florida School of Massage had such a big influence on her life.