I had just been involved in a motorcycle accident and sustained multiple injuries. I wasn’t able to work for a full year, and I wondered what the future would bring.
I had been a nurse all my adult life, I wasn’t sure what I would do for my career. I was afraid that, because of my injuries, I wouldn’t be able to be a nurse again. I was terrified. Nursing was all I had known.
It was after my accident that I started to look at other professions, and it was then that I found massage therapy. I wondered if it was something that I could do, if I could become licensed and own my own practice. I know so many people have chosen massage therapy as a second or even third career, and it can feel intimidating to go into a new field.
If you are in a similar position as me, I have three suggestions for you as you think about beginning massage therapy school.
1. Take the Plunge
I thought about becoming a massage therapist for two years before I took the plunge. Every other profession I looked at always brought me back to massage. After looking at where I started as a nurse, I really believe that massage therapy chose me. I knew that I was doing what I needed to do because when I started school again—I was excited to be on a new path and journey. I’ve only been a massage therapy student for eleven weeks and I’ve already grown so much. I used my knowledge from my nursing background to apply my knowledge of the body to massage, and I’ve already grown so much. The time in school is going by so fast, and I’m reading and learning more each day.
2. Keep an Open Mind
When I was first beginning massage therapy school, I wasn’t sure what area I wanted to focus on. I eventually decided that my best path was not only learning Western modalities, but also Eastern modalities. I know that with starting anything new, you will run into difficulties. For instance, right now, I’m having a bit of trouble remembering parts of acupressure, like the points and what they treat, the meridians and where they run and when to use them or incorporate them into a massage. I know that I will overcome this challenge and eventually be a better massage therapist because of it. I also know that, eventually, I will come across other areas of massage that are challenging, and if I can get through one challenging area, I can get through another.
3. It Feels Good to Give, and It Feels Good to Receive
We all want to go into massage therapy for a reason. We are natural caregivers and feel a deep desire to connect with others in a therapeutic way. Trust in this inner desire to help others and trust in yourself. You have everything inside of you that you need to be successful.
It’s true that sometimes life can get busy, and it can feel tough to fit everything in the week that needs to get done before you go to your next class. Make sure that you have a good support system to help get you through the challenging days. Never forget that you chose to be in massage school and that it’s something you want more than anything. Don’t forget to stay positive! It’s amazing where your journey can take you and how things work out in ways you never imagined.
Leslie Schneeberger is a blogger for Massage Study Buddy. She is currently in massage therapy school.