Networking is important in any professional field, and massage therapists should be prepared to begin “massage networking” almost immediately after graduating from massage school to get leads for jobs, professional advancement, and new clients. Massage networking is similar to ‘standard’ networking in that you should always try to connect with other professionals in your field for advancement, but specifically for massage therapy because networking opportunities not only help you find jobs but also help you get a become a subject matter expert, bring more clients to your practice, increase your knowledge about modalities, sharpen your entrepreneurial skills, etc.
Networking with massage therapy instructors
Massage therapists should take advantage of the opportunities provided to them by the massage school instructors and administrators. Chances are, these professionals have years of varied experience in all facets of massage therapy, from spa management to human resources/hiring, to working as a therapist, skin care esthetician, chiropractor, or physician. Whatever their experience, they can provide you with a wealth of massage networking opportunities and industry knowledge, and can give you valuable advice on how to start your career. Who knows? They may even have an “in” at a local practice or know of other massage therapists who can give you a recommendation that can help you find your first job as a massage therapist.
Even after you finish massage school, stay in touch with your classmates and massage therapy instructors by meeting up for a monthly lunch or seminar, or even by just staying in touch through LinkedIn or Facebook, or some other kind of massage networking social network. . LinkedIn is a great way for massage therapists to learn about opportunities in the field and network with limited effort – by adding instructors and classmates to your network, you can give and receive opportunities with the click of a button. come your way .
Mass networks with continuing education courses
To maintain licensure, massage therapists must take courses every two to four years, depending on where they live. You should not take any kind of classes that are only available to take the credits out of the way as you may be missing out on an excellent massage networking opportunity. Let’s say you have an interest in sports massage, but there are no sports massage courses available within your recertification cycle. Instead of taking something you’re not interested in, consider taking a Thai massage or reflexology class. Yes, it’s not really sports massage, but these are both types of therapeutic manipulation that could come in handy during a sports massage event. And chances are, there are massage therapists or instructors in these classes who are also interested in the same types of modalities as you, and can help you with massage networking opportunities that can help you navigate your career path.
It is also important to know that the instructors who teach continuing education courses often travel between regions or sometimes across the country at the request of schools that want them to teach their specialized courses. Because these instructors are so experienced, in demand, and well-known, consider asking them politely how they became a subject matter expert in their field, and if they have any tips they can give you to help you excel in your field. desired modality.
Massage networks with massage therapists at conferences
While massage therapists are not required to attend conferences, these types of events are incredibly resourceful and beneficial to both novice and experienced massage therapists. Conferences are like giant massage networking conventions – not only do you have the opportunity to earn continuing education credits, but you also have the opportunity to meet renowned massage therapists, interact with the widest variety of massage therapy providers across the country, watch videos and seminars experience that you may not have heard of, and witness some very instructive demonstrations that you can use later in your practice.
During these seminars, follow the same mindset as previously mentioned for continuing education courses to get the maximum benefit from massage networks. Remember that many participants in these conferences are experienced massage therapists who have a variety of knowledge and experiences to bring to the table. Whatever your preferred modality or level of experience, by networking with other professionals at these events, you can gain a great deal of knowledge in a short period of time that you may not have gained simply by reading trade journals or books, or even by participating in ongoing education courses in your state.
Finally, the great thing about conference massage networking is that you can travel as part of your profession and experience the different types of modalities practiced by massage therapists across the country. Attending a conference on the west coast or Hawaii? Look to learning about Lomilomi’s healing art to expand your knowledge of your practice. Would you like to book a hotel for a conference in Miami? Be sure to stay an extra day or two to see if you can schedule a tour of the Touch Research Institute, founded by Tiffany Fields, Ph.D. If you’re in Boulder, Colorado, see if you can visit The Guild for Structural Integration, founded and named by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, founder of the structural integration method known as ‘Rolfing’.
Laurie Craig, 2007 recipient of the prestigious Jerome Perlinski American Massage Therapy Association National Teacher of the Year award and recipient of the 2011 American Massage Conference Educator of the Year award, is a respected health scientist and co-founder of Georgia Massage School in Suwanee, Georgia. She brings over 25 years of diverse experience to massage school, combining her unique teaching skills, professional acumen and passion for teaching with a comedic edge that students remember and embrace years after experiencing her classes. She also serves as a subject matter expert and test item writer for the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards and has written test items for the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork