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Poll Results for the following Question:

How did you learn to operate your massage practice?


Classes in massage school
As an associate with a successful therapist
By reading books and literature on the subject
Previous experience/education running a business
Practice management consultant
Trial and error

Total Respondents: 5157


Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors to this Web site.
They have not been edited for content, grammar, or spelling.

 Trial and error

Alot of trial and quite a bit of error has taught me alot.

Other it wasn't one thing that i learned from. it was a combination of the above options, but mostly trial and error.

Classes in massage school My initial bussiness education was in MT school...but I have had to supplement that with further self education ie reading books, attending seminars. This supplementation has greatly improved my bussiness.
Thanks for this opportunity to speakout!

 I have has good results with a management consultant and classes on inproving my practice.


 I was hired to be a massage therapist with chiropractors. There I saw what they did that was successful and what wasn't. As I progressed in my career I took classes and attended National Conferences to learn even more from those who were educating others. Also trial and error.

Previous experience/education running a business Sound business training should be part of the foundation in a massage school program.

I was lucky to have a successful physical therapist to help guide me. My previous experience running my own business was a great help. I also found a few successful massage therapist to network with and chat about our success and failures.

Most therapists forget that if they don't run a sound business, they will be back at their old job in no time.
Other My education comes from my previous background as a nurse manager of an outpatient facility. My second most experience comes from what I did not like about other therapists and the way they handled me in their practice. I vowed never to "treat" others that way.

Trial and error they lectured us for about 2 hours, I dont rememeber a thing.

Classes in massage school during our last quarter, we had a section devoted to buisness.

By reading books and literature on the subject  I have throughly enjoyed learning how to heal and help
people. I also have learned the business end, of it and keeping and getting clints is always rewarding.

Thanks for the great site


By reading books and literature on the subject School had some training and there is always trail and error. Reading was the most helpful.

Classes in massage school I have just started working as CMT in a hair salon.
I have done some advertising, but things are very slow, do you know of a way to pick business up without dragging them from the street? I also gave free chair massage to hair clients for 2 weeks. I do chair, and table massage. I had 650 hours of an accredited college and received a diploma and was told by my classmates I was very good and had great pressure when needed and soft when needed. I come from a state that does not require a license and for I am glad for me, maybe that isn't a good thing.
Why should I give the city and state more of my money!
If you are a good massage therapist and have excellent ethics and good sanitary precautions and keep yourself dressed professional and act it, the word gets out. My feeling is in MT educating the public more and do some public speaking to inform them of the healing and the what it does for mind/body spirit in laymans terms and keep it professional and simple. I love my work when I get it very deeply and care very much for people's well being!
Have a great week and thank you for your time. :)

By reading books and literature on the subject  I Have read alot of books on running a business, but my time in school did help in the category of massage. I noticed that a lot of students didn't care for the business curriculum in school, but it helped me add to my experience. I know that by reading more and learning from other peers you only benefit in the end.
Kelly vaughn

Other After graduation and obtaining my licensure, one of my former instructors asked me to "fill her shoes" while on vacation. she has had a very successful business for over 10 years and I considered it quite an honor. This was an excellent experience for me to learn first hand, the marketing, front desk, supplies, scheduling and decor. This really gave me an advantage as a new therapist going out on my own.

By reading books and literature on the subject This is an area that should be taught more fully in massage schools. Clinic is not enough. Actual hands-on, perhaps "shadowing" an LMT would be a good place to start. Then there's the insurance thing! That could be an entire 6wk course by itself!

Classes in massage school Formal schoooling is best to ensure that we learn the
diffult and detailed lessons in anatomy and
physiology. Also I was exposed to invaluable
interaction with other students and staff as we
grappled with the deeper emotional and spiritual
issues that must be faces if we are to grow into the
sensitive people we need to be as massage ther
Classes in massage school i have been going to Fullerton College'es massage program. and it is apsolutly excellent. its completely hands on, i have learned so much. i have always thought i wanted to go into massage and now i know thats what i want. it is such an amazing program. thank you Connie and Loretta.

Classes in massage school i "learned" to become a massage therapist from attending school here in tampa, FL...however, after i graduated and started my own business...that's when i really felt as though i was learning the trade...the more massage sessions i had, the more hands-on, the more reading i did...THAT'S what made the difference...i was not very pleased with the school i attended (7 yrs ago) was a whole different "massage world" out there than (i believe) the school led you to think...i spent so many hours in the beginning promoting myself...mailings, flyers, advertisements,etc...only to realize that the BEST way to get new clients was through 'word of mouth'...
i LOVE what i do for a living...and i am constantly reading about the different techniques and health conditions that massage can be beneficial for.

Previous experience/education running a business I ran a successful engineering business for 19 years before making a career shift to massage therapy. I knew I didn't want to be an employee to someone else so I utilized my business experience to do what I could and hire the rest out. (CPA, Legal work, etc...)
Approaching the business of massage like any other business is key. Some people get into massage so they can make their own schedule and only work half days. I find that is true in any business. Massage is no exception. My bigest problem is figuring out what 12 hour part of a 24 hour day is going to be my "HALF DAY". Folks, there are no shortcuts. Please don't blame massage schools for not teaching common sense and the ability to "THINK THINGS THROUGH". As a clinic owner/practitioner, I find peoples motives interesting for getting into the massage therapy profession. The successful ones I know, still practicing after 12 years, are the professionals with a strong work ethic brought into their practice from other businesses. We are drawn to the caring massage field because we love massage. We belive in its benefits and we care about people. The massage schools have a tough enough job keeping up with new research and basic training. Don't expect them to extensively teach business 100, 101, 200 & 201. I'll probably get resistance saying the things I've said, and that's ok, just know there are no shortcuts!

Previous experience/education running a business My experience was going to Nursing school. I learned more there, than anywhere. I went to different Doctors when I had problems of my own. I learn alot of technique from Chiropractic, orthopedist and other doctors. I read, and read books on how to help people without so much drugs. Yes, I also learn from other Massage theraphist. I even learn from teachers from Europe. I also, had my clients put down their comments on how they felt after the Massage. (next day) I've been doing this since 1979. Experience is very important and being able to improve every day.

Previous experience/education running a business It is my opinion that massage school DO NOT prepare students to run a successful massage practice. Most are self-employeed and do not have the skill or disipline to operate that kind of business. They don't show up on time for scheduled appointments, they don't return calls in a timly manner, and they charge too much for the experience they have. Sounds like I am complaining...well...all you have to do is look around at what is coming out of school today and you will understand! I expect some negative comments to this, and I will read your commments and respond if you would like for me to. Thanks, Larry Brooks, RMT

Other I gave massage to friends, family and coworkers for years and had many people tell me that they would pay me if I did this for "real". So I just sent out a flyer to friends, bought a massage table and began that way. Now I am attending school.
Trial and error While there were some classes that talked about advertising and practice managment, the training was really focused on bodywork, which was after all why I came. The training I had was in the mid 80's and there weren't really any core competencies for massage education at that time. I took other courses outside the massage school sponsored by SBA which were helpful.

 TRIAL AND ERROR AND TRIAL AGAIN. What works for one may not work for everyone. After 6000 hours of masssage I have learned you do what you love and success and money will follow.

Books are a help along with school but EXPERIENCE is the greatest of source of wisdon.

 No question for me, TRIAL AND ERROR. After five years of practicing massage I have tried most every suggestion that came my way. After awhile I found that asking my clients for advice on everything from how to operate my business to the type of bodywork I should concentrate on. Everytthing I heard was not positive but it was honest.

I now tell my regular clients that they are my BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

Trial and error I have been out of massage school for 4 years, and feel I have a practice that satisfies me (at last!). Although I did have a prior business, I feel the practice of massage is unique in many ways and that schools should spend more time in addressing the business end of it. Record keeping, communication, and publicity are just a few items that were not adequately addressed in my school. I have been involved with my state AMTA chapter working with continuing education, and from requests and discussions with many other therapists, I feel this is the norm. I feel many therapists may not succeed in this field because we are not trained better as business people. I think students deserve more. Teaching the mechanics and very basics is not enough. Thankfully there are classes and books available, and networking with other therapists helps. I also have sought help from a CPA. Although we practice with our heart and hands, we need to be taught how to use our business brain as well.
Jennie Irving, Eaton, IN
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