In This Episode You Will Learn: 

  1. Why positive energy is an important tool for massage therapists 
  2. What to look for in a quality massage therapy program
  3. How to choose a program that equips you with best business practices 

Set Goals Before Choosing A Program

James Waslaski, author and integrated manual therapist, dives into the importance of defining your goals and choosing a school whose instructors and educational approach will help you reach them. 

James worked as a paramedic for 20 years and transitioned to become an Elite Sports Therapist, working with the likes of Olympians and professional athletes. James is now a leader in integrated manual therapy and orthopedic massage and is passionate about helping others on their journey to becoming a massage therapist.

One of the first steps of that journey is understanding your “why.”

He says the best place to start is the heart. Knowing why you want to be a massage therapist allows you to set productive goals and choose schools that can help you achieve them. This will also help you choose a program that gives you a strong foundation and opportunity to specialize in your specific interest.

When you visit a school, ask yourself:

  • Does the school prepare students from a business perspective?
  • Does it provide emotional and mental support to its students?
  • Is there good energy on campus? 
  • Do the instructors and faculty exude good energy?
  • Will this school teach me in the way that I learn?
  • Do the instructors at that school have professional experience? What does that look like? Remember, simply graduating from a program isn’t enough to make a great teacher. 

For success within your chosen program, James recommends that you:

  • Get in touch with yourself 
  • Find self-confidence
  • Approach studies with an open mind
  • Cultivate positive energy
  • Interact with humility
  • Be prepared to adapt

Good Instructors Make Complex Information Accessible

Students learn best in an environment in which they feel encouraged and motivated by their instructors. James has seen this play out in his experience both as a student and a teacher. He stresses that the quality of your practice hours will depend heavily on the quality of your instructor.

[20:05] “I would look for a school that has a lot of kinesthetic, visual, auditory blending instructors that know how… to cater to every style of learner. I personally barely passed high school because my teachers didn’t teach the way my brain processes information. And now I’m teaching neurologists and doctors and osteopaths and physical therapists in a way… that drives them to passionately learn how to best serve their patients.”

James emphasizes that a great teacher presents information at a user-friendly level, even if it’s complex. He adds that students should find a mentor once they have set their goals. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the best of the best for help.

Cultivate Humility

James shares he struggled with insecurity in his younger years. When he became successful that manifested as a big ego.

[31:23] “Be humble… Realize no matter how much you know, someone knows more.”

Being humble means treating others with a kind heart, not self-deprecation. Good massage therapists make it a point to treat each person with enthusiasm and to give each client the VIP treatment.

James urges students to spend time in nature and take care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. Keep reevaluating your goals, and set some that seem unrealistic — they may not be as unachievable as you think.

Learn More:James’s website