The new year brings new resolutions. Have you vowed to "learn something new," "change jobs," or "help people" in 2010? It might be worth examining a career in massage therapy! Massage therapy careers offer people the opportunity to achieve all of the aforementioned resolutions and then some. However, a good massage education is the first order of business in becoming a massage therapist, which means you will need to find a school!
In the Metro Detroit area, prospective massage therapy students have a variety of options for study. It is important to visit potential schools, talk to the faculty, staff and students, tour the building, get a full program description, weigh tuition costs, and most importantly, follow your instincts about the fit of the school. Visit several schools to make sure that the one you choose is the best fit. Often you may get a good feeling at the very first school you visit, but it is a good idea to visit others so that you can compare.
Here are some schools that you can explore if you live in the Metro Detroit area (in no particular order):
- Irene's Myomassology Institute, Southfield, MI
- Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy, Ann Arbor, MI
- Health Enrichment Center, Lapeer, MI
- Everest Institute, Southfield, MI
- Blue Heron Academy, multiple locations, MI
- Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills, MI
At the very minimum, it is essential that each school you choose to visit explains the program requirements, fees and materials, describes placement opportunities,gives you a tour, and offers the ability to talk to current faculty, staff, or students. Also, now that Michigan has massage therapy legislation and a massage therapy board in development, it is mandatory that the school you choose offer 500+ hours of accredited classroom instruction. A licensing examination has not yet been implemented, but additional requirements are forthcoming for Michigan licensing. Additionally, in order to take the two most widely-recognized national certification examinations (MBLEx, NCBTMB), you must meet minimum educational requirements.
Some schools specialize in certain types of body work, like myomassology (Irene's Myomassology Institute), medical massage therapy (Blue Heron, Oakland), and other types ("modalities") of massage and bodywork. Some schools offer personal development classes, some offer energy-based techniques, and still others utilize a very traditional, medical methodology. Online and in-person research will help you get a feel for the type of school that you want to attend.
Have you had experiences with massage schools? Please share them with other readers in the comments!