You can jumpstart your practice and build your business with the clients you worked with while in school. Keep in mind that it can be a shock for clients to make the transition from paying nothing or a nominal fee to your standard rate. Upon graduation you may lose many clients if they're abruptly required to double or triple the amount they've been paying. Ease their transition by offering them a lower rate that gradually increases over time to the standard rate. You never know - they may offer to pay your standard rate anyway.
Shortly before you open your practice, send a thank-you letter to each of your practicum clients. This gives you the opportunity to formalize your new status as a credentialed massage therapist and offer a special transition program. Consider including something like this in your letter: "I greatly appreciate your confidence in me and the support you've given me throughout my schooling. Now that my educational program is about to complete, I have set a rate for new clients, which is $55 for a one-hour session. Because I value your longstanding support, I am pleased to extend you the following special rates: For the next three months, your rate will be only $30 per session; the following three months, your rate will be $45 per session. After that, the rate will be $55 per session. This special rate takes effect as of January 1."
When you broach your rates in a gracious and businesslike manner, it's highly likely your clients will appreciate your professionalism and special consideration, and will choose to schedule ongoing sessions.