Students practise technique at the Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy
Before you go back to school and invest in continuing your education, it’s important to make sure that the program you choose is a good match for your career aspirations and personal priorities.
The best way of figuring that out is by asking yourself key questions about your professional goals, what you expect from a training program, and how you envision applying your new skills after graduation.
Here are four important questions prospective massage therapy students should consider before starting training, along with some valuable insights from our own students.
Many students are interested in the flexible career options available to massage therapists. They want the option to set their own hours – or even be their own boss.
Entrepreneurial graduates may set up their own local massage therapy clinic. Or, because British Columbian certification is increasingly recognized and portable, RMTs may also launch practices in other provinces or countries.
Some RMTs stay on the move by joining a sports team or offering house calls to patients in communities without access to clinics. Other truly adventurous massage therapists travel the world with contracts on cruise ships or at resorts. This is a career in which you can make your own rules about where you work, for how long, and with whom.
When we asked our students what drew them to a career in massage, many of them mentioned “wanting to help people feel better.” Massage therapy training equips students with the skills to effectively assess patients’ needs, coordinate with primary healthcare providers if needed, and customize a treatment plan that can help patients achieve an enhanced quality of life.
As an RMT, you will find yourself working with diverse patients at all stages of life, from infants and expectant mothers to seniors, sports enthusiasts and professionals. This profession is perfect for a dedicated people-person who enjoys establishing therapeutic relationships with patients in the pursuit of improved physical performance and overall wellbeing.
Students looking to enroll in a massage college are often searching for a stimulating career change. One of our students revealed that before enrolling at OVCMT, “I worked at a factory and needed something different and a challenge in my life.”
Another student said “I was working a minimum wage job and was looking for a more rewarding career.”
With courses in neuroanatomy and pathology, and intensive hands-on training at the college clinic, students certainly take on a challenge when they enrol in OVCMT. However, while our standards may be high, our instructors are patient and kind, willing to work with students to help them learn new concepts and skills. And as with any great challenge, the rewards of completion are significant and enduring. Our students graduate with renewed self-confidence, a strong sense of purpose, and the expertise to launch a meaningful, rewarding career.
There is a growing body of clinical research in support of massage therapy as an effective complementary approach to conventional healthcare. Each year, new studies emerge about the role massage therapy plays in supporting patients with a wide range of health conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic headaches, stress, depression, and musculoskeletal dysfunction.
Registered massage therapists engage in ongoing professional development in order to improve their clinical knowledge and skills in providing safe, ethical, and effective care. And increasingly, RMTs are contributing their own research to the field, helping expand our understanding of how massage therapy fits into the landscape of conventional medicine.
For people who love to learn and want to join a thriving community of likeminded healthcare professionals, there is no better time to become an RMT!