It Takes Time to Become Good at Massage Therapy: School is Only the First Step

Many students have the misconception that simply attending massage school and getting their license will make them an expert at massage.

While it is true that you will become an expert relative to the common individual, you are far from becoming an expert relative to the field of massage and the broader pool of massage practitioners.

While school teaches you the basic principles and fundamentals of massage, it cannot by any means teach you all the nuances in the human anatomy, particularly those that are different from one human being to another. It also doesn’t teach you about the politics involved in the workplace.

Everybody is drastically different in so many ways. Everyone’s body works in different ways. Everyone has a unique lifestyle and engages in different types of activities on a day to day basis. Because there are so many unique attributes to each individual, the types of aches, pains and thus the cure for each also varies a great deal.

Learning the human body is a continuous and lifelong process. While doing well in schools is great, nothing will teach you more than practical experience and the years compiled doing the job. When we interviewed the top massage professionals in our interview series, it is no surprise that each and every one of them had over a decade of experience.

The same goes for business savvy. Massage practitioners who are interested in starting their own business should not do so immediately after finishing massage school, even after attending a school that specializes in the business side of things. There is a lot to be learned from a practical perspective while working for someone else.

Spending some years working for someone will also help financially build up some capital which you can use later when starting your business. But even then, you are learning as the years go by. You will learn from your experiences and get better over time the more you engage in the practice.

While going to massage school is certainly the first step in establishing a successful career in this industry, it is not the last as many perceive it to be unfortunately. Use schooling to understand the basics, and then make the most of your practical experience to understand and learn what works in reality.

Keep this very simple yet powerful message in the back of your mind as you progress in your career. Those who don’t often end up disappointed because the outcomes of their actions do not match their expectations. Don’t be that person.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

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