March 03, 2017 by Jordan Nunziato
There is a steadily-rising consensus that massage therapy is a field worth exploring, as it’s not only a highly-rewarding field, but one that is seeing growth.
But, to become a professional within the field, you must receive the proper education, and it is here that MASSAGE Magazine is blowing the whistle, as, it is speculated, the American massage education system is in a sub-par state. In a recently published article entitled, “This is How Massage Education Impacts the Quality of Your Profession,” author and expert, Naomi Oliviae, writes:
“A recent MASSAGE Magazine reader survey identified several common concerns regarding the massage therapy profession. These concerns include a perception of substandard education in massage schools—resulting in poorly trained, unqualified massage therapists in practice; low wages paid to massage therapy and bodywork professionals; and the proliferation of cut-rate spas. Readers also cited concern regarding the lack of knowledge of the benefits of massage on the part of the general public.”
Massage schools in the US have relied, steadfast, on professional massage therapists to teach. But, Oliviae argues that what’s missing from this approach have been fundamental tenets of adult education, as well as other skills related to being an educator.
“‘Some states don’t have regulations or requirements about faculty qualifications, which can open the door to inexperienced instructors coming in,’ explained Dawn Hogue, C.M.T., who is director and an instructor at Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and chairperson of the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation,” Oliviae writes of her account, adding, “‘Sometimes administrators have an immediate need, so they select someone based on availability rather than skill or experience,’ Hogue added.”
With this knowledge being cast to the forefront, what is the industry doing to rectify it?
Oliviae writes that the Alliance For Massage Therapy Education offers five main ways one can take an active part in re-shaping massage and bodywork education.
“Become a member; apply to volunteer on a board or committee, or as a committee chair; attend the 2017 Educational Congress; become a sponsor of the Educational Congress or a global corporate sponsor; or apply for a 2017 Educator of the Year Award.”
“United, we can all make a difference,” she writes. “United, we have a strong voice. United, we will create a culture of excellence in massage therapy and bodywork education.”
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