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Massage Today
May, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 05

Anatomy of a Massage School Makeover

By Angie Patrick

Sometimes you get an idea that makes perfect sense, but you simply do not have the appropriate place to launch it. Maybe the timing isn't right, or the manpower and implementation that you need to launch would be more than you have capacity to offer.

Yet you know the idea has merit, and can benefit so many in the industry. I had the idea of a "Massage School Makeover" rolling around in my head for almost a year. Despite all the willingness and excitement about the project, nothing seemed to come into alignment to enable this idea to grow feet and walk on its own.

One day, I was talking with my dear friend Scott Dartnall of World Massage Conference (WMC) about how to invite schools to attend the WMC and give them an all-access pass to the presenters for free. Since schools and students are a huge part of my involvement with the industry, and recognizing the potential outreach the WMC could have with its positive impact on students and schools - a light bulb went off in my head.

Perhaps, finally, this was the perfect launching pad for this outrageous and unprecedented event I had knocking around in my head for so long. Our own company, Massage Warehouse and the World Massage Conference would be an awesome collaboration, with the exposure and ability to make the idea work. I took a deep breath and pitched the idea to Scott. To my delight, he was as excited about the project as I was.

Hunger for Product Knowledge

The idea of the makeover came about as a direct result of my school visitations and trade-show participations across the nation, and seeing the hunger for product knowledge on behalf of the students, as well as the schools. Additionally, our school program at Massage Warehouse is designed to help schools and students make the appropriate choices for the good of their practice, economically and as hassle-free as possible. It was in these interactions with schools that it became clear our responsibility was to make sure we come up with a way to broaden the overall exposure and education about products. As my role with Massage Warehouse has evolved over the years, one thing has definitely not changed - my desire to educate and expose students and therapists to a wide array of professional-grade products.

I could see need and opportunity for greater exposure and involvement in product and supply education. This is where the many contacts I have made with hundreds of vendors over the years could come into play. Then I could share the hopes that perhaps we could all come together as a community and each take a part in a program designed to bring these products forefront where they can be considered, discussed and researched by the schools and students alike.

To my great happiness, the response has been overwhelming. Manufacturers, educators, and product suppliers from all segments of the business have made their commitment and expressed their support for this project. Take a look at these wonderfully generous professional product partners on and click on "Massage School Makeover." You can learn a bit more about the growing size of the final award and explore direct links to the professional product partner Web Sites to learn more about the products they offer.

This project really involves each and every individual within our industry. When I tried to drill down to the impact it may have and who the participants would be, one overwhelming truth occurred to me. While therapists each have their own specialty, their one commonality is the fact they all graduated from someplace. Each practitioner learned their modalities and techniques from an instructor while attending a school. This would enable every therapist an opportunity to voice support and to nominate their own school.

I would encourage instructors, educators, directors, school owners, students and therapists to take a moment to visit the Massage School Makeover page and nominate their school. Perhaps you will be the catalyst for your school to receive a makeover valued at more than $16,000, and growing! With greater exposure and participation on behalf of the vendors, there is no telling how great the final award may be. Your odds of winning are substantial, and the possibility of this award coming to your school is well within reach!

I would also encourage every school, instructor or school director/owner to participate in the free access to the World Massage Conference. Here, world-class presenters will be inside your classrooms, providing insight and instruction to your students, free of charge. It is unprecedented access to some of the world's leaders in our industry and an opportunity that should not be missed.

I would like to thank all of our professional product supply partners for their selfless support of this event. It is with great joy in my heart we launch the Massage School Makeover, and it is my hope we can communally share the goodwill and awareness of the support of education through this event.

Click here for previous articles by Angie Patrick.


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