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Massage Today
December, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 12

A Natural Partnership

By Editorial Staff

Most national and state professional associations have services to support student members. But, are students really taking advantage of all the tools these associations can offer? And are the associations making a concerted effort to reach out to these students? For the students, this relationship could provide the keys to their success.

For the association, these students increase membership and provide new manpower as they become the new ambassadors for the massage profession.

The Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) recently embarked on a drive to reach out to students and, as a result, topped 5,000 members at the beginning of October. In addition to enhancing member benefits and working with local chapters to reach out to students as well as non-members, the FSMTA enlisted the help of MPA Media and Massage Today by having the publication insert membership applications inside the issues delivered to 175 massage schools in Florida. According to the FSMTA, this exposure, along with personal contacts by staff and volunteers contributed to the increase in new members.

"We met this goal with the help of chapter presidents, members, educators and our sponsors. I hope that we can continue this upward membership trend as we expand our goals and improve our services to members. I believe that MPA Media's incentives worked to get over our inertia and we will continue to look for incentives for new and existing members," said FSMTA Executive State President Ralph V. Russ.

FSMTA logo - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark In addition to providing information about various massage school programs, associations can help students navigate questions regarding what malpractice insurance to purchase, student loans, starting their own practice, continuing education requirements and legislative issues that could impact their practices. These are just a few of the obstacles new practitioners face as they get started and associations have the ability to keep members informed the information they need to maintain their success.

Associations also provide opportunities for mentoring. Students could be wondering whether a spa environment is right for them or whether they should partner with a chiropractor or another massage therapist. Associations provide a pool of seasoned massage veterans that can help answer these questions and offer advice about how to get started and avoid mistakes.

Students and associations are a natural partnership as students offer the associations new ideas and fresh perspectives and the associations offer students experience and an opportunity to get involved in this growing profession.


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