7 Mistakes People Make When Choosing A Massage School

When choosing this topic for my blog today:  7 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Massage School, I was motivated by stories I hear or read about in different massage forums on the web.  I feel so strongly about this that I wanted Choosing a massage schoolto create a guide to help others so that they don’t experience disappointment with their education. When looking at a massage school, it is critical that you select a school that meets your overall future goals.

I recently read on a forum on Facebook about a student who attended a school in Washington State, and who has already taken the MBLEx twice and failed miserably both times asking for advice from massage therapists around the country on how to prepare for the exam.  Oh boy, that opened a can of worms as the comments from around the country left her confused on how to proceed.  Her school did not prepare her to pass the MBLEx – a costly mistake as each time she takes the exam it costs money, not to mention a lack of confidence now.  The state also limits how many times you can take the exam without passing – and would send the applicant back to school if they don’t pass.  Imagine paying for school twice!

Things to consider when choosing a massage school:

  1. The curriculum.

    1. What does the school teach and does it match your goals?
      For example, if you are interested in helping people who are injured, does the curriculum support this goal?  Do they offer advanced treatment modalities that will help you develop this skill while in school?
      Bodymechanics School is an advanced massage program with Tumwater and Vancouver WA locations.  This means that our curriculum focuses on teaching students techniques that will help alleviate acute and chronic conditions in those they massage.  For example, we teach advanced techniques for shoulder pain and dysfunction, head and neck pain, low back & hip pain and dysfunction as well as lower leg and foot problems.  Our students graduate and feel confident in their ability to help clients immediately.

      Is the program based on spa and relaxation modalities – and is that your ultimate goal?  Do you envision yourself working in a spa?
      If so, Bodymechanics may not be the best choice for you as we do not focus on this.  That said, we teach modalities that will allow you to offer your clients a deep relaxation.

    2. Is it generalized education – or focused on a specialty that interests you?
      A generalized education is a good start.  There are plenty of continuing education classes you can take after graduation that will help you gain skills to further your education.
      Bodymechanics School believes our students should graduate with the skills necessary to help their clients reach their goals with massage therapy. The way we see it is that it’s easier to learn advanced theory while in school – paid for in your tuition – rather than paying thousands of dollars after graduation to get the advanced theory.
  2. The success rate on certification exam:

    1. Do they prepare their students to pass the exam?
      I’ve read frustrated students in the massage forums who have taken the MBLEx 2 and 3 times and still haven’t been able to pass the MBLEx.  Each time they take the exam, it costs additional money.  There is a limit to the number of times you can take the certification exam before you are required to go through a massage program again.
      Bodymechanics School maintains a very high success rate on the first attempt at the MBLEx in both of our school locations.  Most of our students take the exam while still in school so they hit the ground running and are licensed within weeks of graduation.
    2. Are they recommending you purchase exam prep apps?
      This would be a major concern of mine.  The job of the school is to prepare students to pass the certification exam.  Why would they recommend students purchase extra programs to study for the exam?
      Bodymechanics School discourages the purchase of exam prep apps.  With our high success rate on the MBLEx, we encourage students to “trust the process.”  
  3. The location:

    1. Is the school close to your home – and is this a major decision for your choice?
      See the questions above.  Choosing a school based on proximity to your home may be a big mistake – especially if the school isn’t ideal for your future goals.
      Both of our school locations are easy access off the major freeway and conveniently located.  We have had students drive as far as 2 hours to get to school.  We’ve also seen students rent a small house or a bedroom in a house during the week.  We’ve also had a student offer a room to a classmate!

      Your education should meet your needs.  Don’t settle for a school because it is close to your home.  If it doesn’t meet your ultimate goals, and help you prepare for the exam, you’re just going to feel frustration and it could be a very costly mistake.

  4. The business training:

    1. Does the school focus on helping you launch your own business?
      This one is important if your future goal is to own your own business and be your own boss.
      Business is one of our biggest passions!  We love talking business and helping students develop their Big Hairy Audacious Goals.  Business projects are all designed to help students develop their business and hit the ground running.
    2. Are they barely meeting the state requirements for business?
      The state requirement for business is very low – 40 hours of a schools program must be business development.  Ask the school you are checking out what their hours are and if they are committed to helping develop your future business.  
      Bodymechanics curriculum is over 100 hours spent on business – and it’s designed in a way to facilitate learning and creation of business ideas.  On top of the school curriculum, we offer FREE business training through our Network of Businesses, a once a month offering from our network that is over and above training.  
    3. Are they passionate about your future business?
      When you meet with the school, you’ll know if they’re passionate.
      Our passion shows every time we present on the school.  Shari attends several different mastermind groups nationally and locally, and shares information (and mentors students) to help them grow professionally.

      Not interested in running your own business?  No worries, we’ve got you covered here as well.  Through our Network of Businesses, we’ve developed excellent relationships with clinics and spas in our communities who regularly turn to us for graduates.

  5. Do they have continuity programs?

    1. Do they offer continuing education?
      Many school offer Continuing Education programs.  This is fantastic.
      Bodymechanics School also offers CE classes.  Students can typically attend classes for 50% discount while still in school.  We strive to bring in big names from around the country that augment what we teach in the school.
    2. Do they offer other programs that will help you see continued success?
      How else are they committed to your future?
      Bodymechanics school offers many programs that will help you be the best version of yourself that you can be.  In fact, our goal is to “inspire the exceptional within” and it shows in every class we offer.
      * Teacher Assistant program
      * Incubator massage program for graduates
      * Instructor Training Program
      * Certified Personal Trainer Program
      * Corrective Exercise Specialist
      * Advanced Training Program
      * Externship Program
      * Mentorship
      * CE classes

  6. Do they practice what they teach?

    1. Do they have active practices? Do they bring relevant stories into the classroom?
      Trust me on this one, you want current and relevant stories in the classroom that will enhance your understanding of the topic of the day.
      All instructors at Bodymechanics School have active massage (or chiropractic) practices and are considered leaders in their field.  We love what we do, and we love sharing that information with our students!
  7. Financial obligations?

    1. Is your decision for a school based solely on the school offering financial aid – or GI Bill?
      Again, I would recommend that you read the questions above.  IF you are 100% basing your decision for school based on financial aid, and not on quality of the program, you may just have assumed a huge debt obligation and not be in a position to repay the debt if you can’t pass the exam.  
      I understand financial difficulties, I really do.  For this reason, I work with everyone individually and offer payment plans that will allow students to repay the debt over years.  There will never be a convenient time to go to school, and your finances may always be a challenge until you graduate and you can start earning a better than average salary.  Make the decision based on the quality of the program rather that just on the financial side.  Let us help you.

Our primary goal is to INSPIRE THE EXCEPTIONAL WITHIN. This shows in our commitment to student success in every aspect of their new profession.  We love to see them succeed!  I hope this guide helps you when choosing a massage school.  We’d love to be your choice!

We want to light a fire inside you and help you become the best version of yourself possible.

If you’re ready to join the Bodymechanics School family, we are here for you with classes starting very soon.
Call us 360.350.0015 and let us INSPIRE THE EXCEPTIONAL WITHIN YOU.