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I need to ask a few interview type questions for class project. so feel free to answer away. it will be greatly appreciated..
1) what would your best advice be for a current mt student?
2) is there anything that youve done in school or as a professional that you u would change or do differently?
3) what did you find to be the most effective way to prepare for the licensing exam?
4)how do you keep yourseof pain free when you have alot of massages to do? best self care technique?
5) what you like most about being an mt?
Great questions Kelli! Also post these on ABMP's Facebook page and get some additional traction. I'd answer them, but I'm not an MT. I'm just here to support all of you!
1: do as much massage as you can. the more you do the more it flows. also, use your anatomy charts during massage practise- feeling how the muscles lay on someone's frame is so important, especially since each person's body is just a bit unique.
2: I would have prioritized getting to class for every session. I would also have taken more time to develop a business plan and really have a marketing plan in place- a little research early on goes a LONG way.
3: Flash cards ^_^ and having a partner/friend who will act as live models so you can really see how each flexion and extension works.
4: I work on my own arms and hands during the day. After really demanding massages I ice my arms and hands. I network with other therapists to get my shoulders and back worked on as often as possible. I also use magnesium supplements- I have scar tissue in my back that causes spasms and the magnesium helps a lot with that and with general achiness. Really good rest is important too. Also, the more work you do the more protein your muscles need to repair. That works wonders.
5: The look someone has after a great massage. They look taller, softer, calmer. It's such a rewarding experience to give that to someone.
1) Understand that school is just an introduction to massage. You will do your best learning when you get out and start working on clients. Schools still have a tendency to teach myths about massage so educate yourself about those. Understand that while "Deep Tissue" massage is popular while you are in school, it's usually not the best for your clients. Plan for continuing education when you get out - it keeps you fresh and excited about the work, and knowing different modalities is a great way to solve problems for clients.
2) Hmmm...this one is tough. I would drop doing "Deep Tissue" massage much more quickly; it took me till I was in a great deal of pain to switch to Forearm Dance and Bamboo Fusion massage - a change that was really beneficial to me and my clients.
3) I can't address this one as I haven't taken it.
4) I've never been pain free in my conscious memory (too many sports injuries!) so I have a tendency to be too accepting of pain. However, I do work to figure out what is causing me pain in my work and fix it. Sometimes it's a technique, sometimes it's table height, sometimes it's stool height compared to the table. It takes constant vigilance! Eating healthy food and staying hydrated are really key on busy days. Best self-care technique - if I had to pick just one, it would be yoga. But Pilates and Zumba are up there as well! And meditation...which I should do every day and don't!
5) Solving pain issues for people! Figuring out the puzzle and truly making a difference. I do CranioSacral Therapy, Myofascial Release and Lymph Drainage Therapy as well, and all play key roles in solving issues. Also, I like the fact that my constant drive to improve my skills involves a constant drive to improve myself in general - the more I deal with my own physical and emotional issues, the better I can help my clients.
1, Once out of school. Forget everything you know. (Talking of bulls is not the same as being in the bullring.).
2. Never assume. ( The only time I make mistakes.).
3. Just study.( Its memorization. Not much practical value).
4. Stretch and self massage( If you cant fix yourself, you cant help anyone else.). You can learn a lot about muscles from your own body compared to a text book.
5. Helping people out of pain that they may of had for years.. Changing lives. Seeing their smile.
1) Massage as many people as possible. Become familiar with the anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and "hot-spots" for pain issues and find techniques that work well for them. Utilize your instructors while you have them: Ask questions about muscles, modalities or whatever else you think might be interesting to learn.
2) In school I would have studied more overall rather than just focusing on what the next test was going to cover. I hardly realized the vast amount of information in the text and coloring books (until it was time to start studying for Nationals).
3) Speaking of Nationals... Find as many practice tests as you can to study. I found several books at my local library, friends loaned me books and I found some online tests. As I would go through the test, I'd make a list of terms or concepts I was unfamiliar with then focus on studying that area for a while. Retest, rinse, repeat.
4) The biggest factor I'd say is body mechanics. Make sure your table height lets you use your weight rather than muscle to apply pressure. Be mindful of your hand position and don't overwork your thumbs.
5) Helping others get in touch with their bodies. Whether it's seeing an increase of ROM for a problem shoulder or just feeling a client deeply relax and breathe deeply - it brings me a lot of joy to know that I was able to help someone.
For the testing, http://www.tmbtests.com is fairly good. You can pay them a fee and have 24 hour access all the time to their bank of tests. The first Tue of every month they provide full day access w/o charge, and you can sign up for ONE free daily question five days per week. It's virtually the equivalent of 12 certification exams every year.