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I am in my first two months of my massage therapy program and am doing well. I have gotten mostly As on all the tests. However, my teacher, although very knowledgeable about the information, seems disorganized with lesson planning. We are constantly starting new body systems/info before completing others and I am getting burned out. We commonly have 2-3 tests a week as well. We are told to review old material but have no time to do it because of the amount of homework assignments and new chapters given. I am working on cutting back my hours to 32 hours/week and only work three days a week to help. We just got a new pathology book yesterday which will require more reading. My program is 750 hours 10 months 4 five hour days/week.
As for the actual massage aspect, so far we are doing faces. I wish we had a way of following the teacher on a projection or tv at the same time as they do it as I am struggling to do it right. I'm thinking about videotaping as the teacher shows the movements (although the teacher does not like being taped) I don't know, I am feeling discouraged. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for me to help?
A couple of things that may help:
1) Remember, massage is not rocket science.
But, do learn what you need to graduate, do practice as much as humanly possible and get rock solid in your anatomy. You can do it now or do it later. If you do it now, while you are in school, you'll be able to take advanced course work with a greater level of understanding, and be much more capable of knowing when something is useful to your practice, and when it is useless.
Physiology, though important, will not be near as key to your profession as understanding your anatomy.
Pathology *is* very important. I recall you asked about working in an orthopedic or PT's office (http://www.massageprofessionals.com/forum/topics/working-in-rehab-o...), you'll need it if you end up in either place.
If your instructor cannot complete a body system before going on to the next, there is a problem and it needs to be addressed with the owner or manager of the school. Unless the instructor is the owner of the school... in that case, you have a larger problem on your hands.
Some schools hire good instructors and others just want a warm body. Yes, that sucks. But, at this point, if you don't have the means to change it, what you must do is complete the education so you can work, if that is still your desire. There are always work-arounds. You just may have to do them once you've graduated (we talked about that here: http://www.massageprofessionals.com/forum/topics/how-do-you-learn-n...).
2) A's are great, but they are not a requirement for you to do good bodywork, nor are they a requirement to sit for your exams. So, if you are struggling with keeping up, and have to take a lower grade on an exam because your instructor is giving you too much to digest... don't stress out about it. I've never known anyone to ask a massage therapist what their grades were in school.
When you say you are struggling to complete your face work "right", does that mean you will be tested on a sequence, and you are unable to see the sequence and copy it for examination purposes?
If you have to know a sequence for an exam, then make sure and get the instructor to show you again and again until you get it. If the instructor does not want to be taped, do not tape him/her. Find a friend and practice, asking the instructor for more cues if necessary.
If your instructor wants a "sequence" then you will have to give it to them. You have to start somewhere, but keep in mind... there is no perfectly "right" way to massage a face, other than full comprehension of the basics. Once you know the basics, you can apply them any way you wish, taking into account, the anatomy, physiology, pathology, and specific needs of the client. In the end, your "sequence" should vary from client to client to client, depending on their needs. Each person is unique as is each massage session you provide.
If you need a helping hand, and see me online (sometimes I am logged in, but not here though), you can always click on my name in the box at the right lower portion of your screen, and send me an immediate one-to-one question. I am happy to help when I can.
Dont' get discouraged. If this is a profession you are interested in, keep on keeping on! :)
Jeremy - hang in there. I know my last semester in school I had the "blessing" of an unorganized instructor and felt the same way. I learned a lot more that I thought I had. I'm assuming you get to practice on fellow students and at clinics? That's where you will learn the most!
I have to disagree with you on some points. I had A LOT of A&P in my massage program at the community college I went through. As a matter of fact, I had to take the same A&P that the nursing, radiology, etc. students took as a prerequisite for entry to the program. Then we went over it again in the massage program as we actually had to be able to find the bones/muscles.
We also had a lot of hands on time massage other students, school clinics (free to public - don't get me started on the schools that charge for it) and were required to work on other health care providers (LMTs included) before we could get our certificate. In addition, we were required to receive massage from LMTs as homework each semester. And we also had the option to work an internship if we wanted (or for the people that were having trouble making clinics). I believe it was 200 hands on hours out of a 608 hour program?
But I have to admit the obsession of 750 hours for schools is excessive if that's not required by the state. Few states need that many hours (NY is 1000). I think most still require 500 hours. And I get really angry regarding the for profit schools charging for student massage, my school didn't. The students aren't getting those $$$, it's going in the schools pockets. Again, I chose to go to a community college program over private massage school because 1. it an allied science program
and 2. it was cost effective.
Gordon J. Wallis said:
I don’t know what to say. I have long been against our education system. This is all my opinion. What you are experiencing is pretty much a perfect example of what I’ve been saying. Way overly complicated, with excessive amounts of unnecessary information. All designed so you can pass an exam, instead of knowing how to massage.
I was lucky because I went to school 30years ago. I had about a month of very basic anatomy and physiology. Not anything near what they are teaching now. After that month, I served an apprenticeship for about eight months. That apprenticeship was actually working in an established massage clinic under the supervision of an experienced therapist.
Unfortunately with the nightmare school system you are in now. You just gotta keep going. Everyone in your school is in the same boat. Just keep getting the good grades. You will in time, learn your profession after you have passed your exams and received your license. Oh, that’s another thing. I actually had to Massage an experienced massage therapist and pass their standards in order to receive my Hawaii state license. Your school is set up to pass a written test. Not actually massaging people. Just do what you gotta do. Get that license. If you can afford it. Get some massages by experienced Therapists. You will learn a lot that way. Keep us informed as how you are doing.
Jeremy, you may just need someone to work through a few things with. I'll do my best to try to help you to consolidate your learning if I can --- just use the chat box to try and catch me. I'll stay logged in when possible, even if I am not at computer. I'll respond in an hour or two, depending on what I am doing. Then again, I may be sitting in front of the computer.
Muscles, origins, insertions and innervations can be difficult (especially if it is all new terminology for you) and are generally rote memory. But, some of them can be consolidated as well. It's just something you have to press through.
Keep your chin up.