Redding massage schools

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Questions to Ask a Massage School

Many people go to massage schools to prepare for a career in massage therapy. These institutions typically teach a wide range of techniques, from Thai massage to deep pressure therapies. But massage schools are not all alike, and before you devote your time and money to one, it’s best to keep a few important questions in mind.

  • Is the school accredited?
    The majority of massage schools are not accredited—that is, they do not meet the minimum training and educational standards set down by a regulatory organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. But a degree or diploma from an accredited school is more valuable on the job market. Also, you may not qualify for financial aid if the school lacks accreditation. At present, there are seven accreditation agencies, the most widely recognized being the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA). Most accreditation agencies maintain websites that allow the public to confirm a school’s status.

  • Does the school help prepare for certification exams?
    Most states require massage therapists to pass an exam before they can legally work in the area. Generally, you will have to take either the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) or the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM). You should check to ensure that the school’s curriculum will prepare you for these.

  • What does the curriculum cover?
    Massage encompasses a wide range of physical therapy techniques. Aside from the well-known Thai and Swedish traditions, it can also reach into areas such as aromatherapy and acupressure. Some schools lack a deep curriculum and may teach only a few techniques.

  • Should I get a degree or a diploma?
    A degree is more prestigious than a diploma, but a degree is also expensive and takes longer to complete. Many practitioners in massage and alternative physical therapy believe that a diploma is sufficient.
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    Students looking to attend massage school for training should seek out one that is reputable and accredited. Many programs take about a year to finish. The student then must pass an exam to become certified and licensed. They must reapply for a license every so often to keep up their certification. Students can attend a massage school full or part time.

    Massage school courses may include anatomy and physiology, pathology and combination of theory and hands-on practice. Students can learn appropriate sanitation and personal hygiene practices, emotional effects of touch, pain assessment skills, as well as pain and tension relieving skills.

    Students at massage schools are exposed to many different types of massage therapy techniques, providing a full range of capabilities. This may involve learning Thai, deep tissue, hot stone and shiatsu massage techniques. Each one has its own pressure points and techniques. Many such schools offer small class sizes where students can learn within a low teacher-to-student ratio, which allows for more intense hands-on training for Thai, deep tissue, Swedish and other physical massages. Massage therapy schools often offer subsets of natural, alternative and holistic health care to relax the body. These areas may focus on acupressure, reflexology, homeopathy and aromatherapy. Masseuses can employ these physical healing therapies in conjunction with massage to provide a well-rounded range of services once they own their own spa or chiropractic office.

    Those who want to become a massage therapist should start with each school’s website for more information. They should then get in touch with the admissions department at each school to speak to a qualified admissions counselor.