Think about your goals. Once you decide to become a massage therapist there are several things to consider before your first day of class. For starters, make sure you identify your goals and priorities. What do you want to get out of school? What do you need to do to achieve your goals? What obstacles do you anticipate, and what is your plan to address them? Planning out your weekly schedule can help pave your way to achieving your goals. This should include class times, work schedule and personal time. Remember, the good habits you develop as a student will help you once you begin your massage career.
Consider your learning style. How do you learn best? Take the time to determine your learning style—are you a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? According to Richard M. Felder, a professor at North Carolina State University, this will help you select study materials that best suit you. If you’re an Active and Reflective Learner, actually doing the task and speaking out loud will help you remember the material. If you’re a Sensor and Intuitive Learner, giving examples and scenarios would help you most, and so on. Find your learning style! Once you know your style, you can apply appropriate study methods to ensure success in school.
Participate in your local chapter. One of the greatest benefits of AMTA membership is the excellent community you have available to you. Your local chapter is a great way for you to connect with other massage therapy professionals through networking, education and volunteer opportunities.
Attend Student Day at AMTA National Convention. Another chance to network with other massage therapy students—as well as seasoned professional massage therapists—happens each year at AMTA’s National Convention. Get professional development tips and resources from leaders in the industry, all while connecting with other massage therapy students!
Read your association newsletter. We’re dedicated to helping you both navigate your massage therapy education and prepare for your career in the massage therapy profession. Hands On, AMTA’s monthly member newsletter gives you a wide variety of valuable information , including the latest association business, a “Where Do You Work?” member profile that details massage work being done by one of our members, as well as “Massage In the News,” which provides a look at the latest trends and research being done in the profession.
Find a mentor. Many former students have also mentioned they wish they had connected with a mentor earlier in their career. As an AMTA Student member, your state chapter and AMTA’s mentoring program can offer guidance to you throughout your time in school and after you graduate and launch your career.
Beginning your schooling doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start off organized and prepared and you will have the foundation for success. For more tips to consider as you prepare for your massage therapy program, check out AMTA’s Getting Ready for Massage Therapy School checklist.