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Massage Today
October, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 10

For the Love of Massage

By Angie Patrick

I believe people do things for many reasons. Sometimes people do things because they feel obligated or they feel it will reap a huge profit; and often they do things out of kindness.

But then sometimes, people do things out of love. This could be out of love for their family, friends, neighbors, or any other love they feel. Love can make you do things you never thought possible, and give you the drive to do things as they have never been done, forging headlong into new and untried territory. It can make you dream big; and when your heart is in the right place, your dreams can be bigger than you ever imagined.

I know this is true. The Massage School Makeover has made me even more of a believer in this.

I have watched the seedling of an idea born out of the love of massage grow into a mighty forest of manufacturers, educators, media, associations, artists, events, and publishers - all standing tall as part of positive and productive change. This forest of caring and dedicated people stand proud as the Professional Product Partners for the 2010 Massage School Makeover, bringing professional grade products, equipment and services to the forefront - gifting these wonderful and bountiful awards to a deserving school to be announced Nov. 16, 2010 at the World Massage Conference. (Editor's note: The Massage School Makeover event ends Oct. 30.)

Massage Warehouse, Massage Today, and the World Massage Conference have sponsored an idea I have had for quite a while, and in doing so, breathed life into a project we feel will bring the awareness and need for education in our schools to also include exposure to professional tools of the trade. The need for utilizing professional grade products, education, and services is vital to the success of any massage therapist. After all, when they graduate, pass the exams and become licensed, are they ready for success? Have we, the stewards of this industry, done all we can to educate these new members of our community in regards to the proper lubricant to utilize for each specific modality? Do we share what to look for in a professional grade massage table? Have we exposed them to a wide variety of modalities by introducing them to the world of CE providers? Have they ever compared different brands side by side? Have we impressed upon them the importance of a positive, professional appearance and impression for the client? Do they know how this may play a huge part in whether a client returns for a second visit, or ever books the first?

If we don't, we should. And this is why the Massage School Makeover was created. Working with schools for much of my career, I have heard many success stories. But for every yin, there is a yang. And conversely, I have heard tales to make you cringe.

Speaking with students and new graduates, and assisting them in their first purchase of equipment and supplies is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to share what I know about various products and help the client make the right choices for their needs. But it has become quite evident to me that often the first time they think about the product side of the massage profession, they are already well out of school and having to learn on the fly. Their curriculum is often so immersed in the clinical side that the business side often gets glossed over. In doing this, we have armed a well-educated student with wonderful technical skills, but with no real idea where to go or how to begin to put them into use in a business model. Many are surprised and shocked at the prices of massage tables. It concerned me that so many were unaware of the wide world of amazing professional grade products out there and further unaware of basic start-up costs for a mobile therapist.

By bringing together the greatest manufacturers, products, services and education in the industry and providing an opportunity to educate about these items as well as physically award a school with a tremendous and life-changing gift is really what community is all about. It is a way for the "support" side of this industry to give back to our community in a way that is both fulfilling and philanthropic.

Our partners have given the best they have to offer. (A full list of these amazing partners can be found on Never have I been more aware of the power a few can create when united for a common cause. Each partner gave what they could, and in doing so, we have amassed over $50K in products, equipment and services. This is unprecedented in our industry; awards of this scope and stature have never been seen in our community.

It is with a humble heart that I extend my appreciation for their belief in this project, and for rolling the dice with me to try to impact change. I think we have succeeded. The number of schools that have been nominated has been tremendous! We have learned so much about the education of a massage therapist from coast to coast. The information we have learned will be broken into segments and will soon be published.

While I began with a significantly encompassing list of schools nationally, we have heard from many others that have eluded lists, associations and publications. These have been the unknown quotient, and there are more out there.

I want to learn about these schools, and assist any way I can in providing what they need to educate on the business of massage as well.

The Massage School Makeover is a project that will continue to flourish and grow, as many more schools become aware of the event and take part. It is my hope that we can come together as a community on a yearly basis, and bring to light the importance of professional grade products for years to come.

Click here for previous articles by Angie Patrick.


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