By Marina Petroni
Which friend doesn't love to pass time away chitchatting while receiving a massage? Which boyfriend doesn't love to spend some quality time giving his girlfriend a backrub? In any situation that it's possible, we love to give and get massages.
However, when we join the real world where the job takes over, girlfriend gossip gatherings become rare, and the boyfriend, who has now become the husband, doesn't have the time to rub your back, the stress adds up. The fact is, our youthful, relatively stress-free lives and bodies were not in need of fixing yet, and massage was a fun and pleasant pastime in those days.
As adults, massage is something that we not only desire, but oftentimes require as therapy. So, along with college graduation comes the massage graduation: leaving the amateur hands of friends and family behind in exchange for the trained and professional touch of the masseuse. A masseuse, trained in massage school, not only has the magical fingers that make for a good, productive massage, but also has the knowledge to make for a good, productive massage.
To reach the professional level, massage therapists go through intense courses to be certified. There are two main categories a future masseuse must consider when looking at massage schools. First is the choice of school itself. There are important factors that should be considered when choosing to study in general, but massage school takes special consideration, as it falls into the realm of therapy and, thus, healthcare. The second factor to consider is what the massage therapist will study once at massage school. Massage school helps the potential massage therapist specify and choose his path within the hundreds of existing massage techniques. If and when one is considering certification for massage therapy, take the time to decipher the options.
Finding the right environment is something that humans need from the womb on. The right niche continues to be just as important when, as adults, we choose our own paths and destinies. And thus, the environment of the massage school you will choose is no different. First of all, the ambiance and the location should suit your personality. If you can only fall asleep to the lull of a screaming Doppler-effecting ambulance and local party animals stumbling home at wee hours of the morning, you won't do well at a Vermont nature retreat location. Choose a setting that you will feel comfortable in. After all, we are happier, we are bound to be more productive.
The staff is another important factor to consider. The staff should consist of well trained teachers, with at least some years of clinical experience. While the staff's credentials are important, the schools credentials are just as important. Be sure that the school's certification will be well received and respected in the areas you hope to practice. In addition to having a good staff, there should be sufficient staff: the teacher/student ratio should be minimal. Be sure that the school offers the student ample practice, including training and experience on the field. Assess both the courses offered and the grading styles. If they fit with your likes and abilities (for example, you prefer more hands-on work rather than theory), that is a good sign.
The curriculum offered by a massage school will, even after you've chosen your school, prove to be of utmost importance. The curriculum and courses available will, essentially, lead you on your career path. Within massage therapy, there are over 200 techniques. Through your courses, you must decide which techniques appeal to you most, which make most sense, and which you will want to work with in the future. The techniques you will choose to specialize in will become your field, and not only you must feel comfortable with the choice, but you must make your patients feel comfortable when they are in your care. Thus, the curriculum, which can lead you from courses in Polarity Therapy to Hydrotherapy, is the labyrinth which, in the end, puts you on your path.
Massage therapy involves much more than giving a simple backrub. Training and education are needed to produce a capable and effective massage therapist. Massage is nature's best method of healing for both the body and mind, but nature needs a good medium to work her charms. This medium is the massage therapist, and when well trained in a massage school of high caliber, the patient will be very pleased with nature's charms.