Alliance for Massage Therapy Education Board Position Announcement
Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage is proud to announce that school president, Shari Aldrich, LMT has accepted a position as Vice President on the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education board.
The Alliance is a member-based non-profit organization which serves to elevate standards of massage therapy education.
Elevating the standards of massage therapy education is something Shari believes strongly about having witnessed countless massage educators without the skills, knowledge, attitudes or habits necessary to uphold promises to incoming students who place TRUST in the school and the education promised.
Joining the board of the AFMTE allows Shari to continue on her mission to help 1 million people find their way out of pain – physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.
Shari says that “becoming a massage therapist, massage educator and massage school owner has allowed her to facilitate healing in those she reaches.” When Shari joined massage school in 2005, she thought she would die before she was 40. She had 2 siblings who died in their 30’s and her mom died at 59. All of this happened in just 7 years. At the time, she served as an IT Director for a home health & hospice agency and was overworked and highly stressed.
Massage therapy changed her life. It set her on a course to find joy again in helping others through compassionate and ethical touch. Educating others brought out the coach in her – that person who desires to help others perform better in all activities.
When Shari bought Bodymechanics School in 2010, her goal to create exceptional massage therapists launched. Today, Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage graduates between 75-100 therapists and personal trainers each year.
Shari joined the marketing committee with the AFMTE in 2019 to share her passion and knowledge in marketing. Granted, 2020 has not been the year we all envisioned at the start due to COVID-19, but that hasn’t diminished Shari’s passion for massage education. When the chance presented itself, Shari interviewed for a board position and just this week was nominated (and accepted) the Vice President position.
Quality Massage Educators Needed
Shari feels strongly about high quality massage educators. She is the creator of the Bodymechanics Instructor Training Program; a 32 hour CE class that teaches the 10 core competencies that massage educators should possess. Instructors at Bodymechanics School are in the process of receiving training and ultimately achieve certification as a Massage and Bodywork Educator through the AFMTE.
In her time with Bodymechanics School, Shari has seen excellent educators and others, who well, lets just say they needed some work. This is all part of the journey that Shari has undertaken as she explores educational excellence. Some instructors are excellent body workers who just don’t possess the tools to educate students – and this is the problem.
Students trust the schools to employ educators who are knowledgeable, ethical and who possess teaching capabilities. In a recent Facebook post, Shari observed another LMT write that certification “isn’t necessary unless going up for a job against another massage therapist.” And this is also the problem. The certification is NOT for the therapist – it’s for the students benefit. Massage therapists may be gifted at body work but be horrible instructors.
Here’s a secret – most massage schools hire based on immediate need. Almost like “you’re up!”
And that attitude is failing the student who pays a lot of money to attend the massage school.
Shari herself was hired in this very same manner. Just six months after graduating from Bodymechanics School, the new lead instructor who was hired quit just 3 days into a brand new class after half of the students went to administration demanding a refund on their tuition. Shari stepped up – yet wasn’t trained in teaching methodologies.
Make no mistake, Shari has herself hired instructors in a pinch and hoped that it would work out well for the school. Most of the time it did, but it’s not the best situation to utilize on the job training when there are hopes and dreams on the line.
Shari joined the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education to make a difference in how educators are trained before being put in front of students. She created the Instructor Training Program to ensure her instructors are fully trained prior to stepping foot in front of the students. It’s definitely a work in progress.
As a massage school owner, Shari understands the importance of quality educators. When she interviews potential students and promises to help create “exceptional massage therapists” she trusts her instructors to be their best every class; she trusts them to be ethical; and she trusts them to follow the curriculum. She has seen first hand how students are affected when an instructor “goes rogue.” It erodes the trust necessary between the school and the student.
And the truth is: the unethical instructor who goes rogue can pretend all they want that they are helping the student, but they aren’t. They are creating mistrust in the process and setting the student up for failure.
As a member of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, Shari understands the importance of instructors who possess the knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits that are an essential part of the education process. She is excited to be part of the national conversation and continue the mission of the board to elevate massage educators.
Students around the country win.
The public who receive compassionate and ethical touch win.
Shari can be reached at 360-350-0015 or by emailing Shari @ bodymechanics-school (dot) com