First Students Have Passed the State Exam

Normally this wouldn’t be a subject for a blog post.  Since we maintain a 99% pass rate on the national certification exam that is required by the State of Washington to get licensed as a massage therapist, the fact that the first students have passed the exam would be expected.  This is no different – and yet, altogether, newsworthy.

Let me explain.

Last December, I returned home from an international trip to a voicemail message telling me that the only massage school in Vancouver, Washington was closing their doors to new students.  I had  long had the idea of opening a second location but hadn’t decided where that location would be.  When I heard that the Vancouver area was losing their only massage school, I jumped on the opportunity to open my second massage school 90 miles from my first location.

The decision to open  Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage in Vancouver was solidified in January, a location was found in February and we then began the process of telling the community about our school.  Info sessions were held.  Facebook ads were created.   Equipment was purchased.  Staff were hired.  All the while, the main school in Tumwater kept churning along and graduating exceptional massage therapists.

Vancouver Massage School
First massage class at Bodymechanics School – Vancouver Campus

We launched our inaugural class in Vancouver on March 22, 2016 with 5 students.  I remember each student that I met with – how excited they were for massage, and sharing my vision with them individually allowed them to see the future.

Challenges along the way

For the past 11 months, there have been challenges to overcome.  Yet, each challenge was met by a determined group of professionals who have stepped up to ensure that the first class experience was a success.  Equipment purchases were done over time and each week the building was transforming into a massage school.

We lost one student from the original five due to personal reasons, leaving four talented and dedicated students who have blended together into a family more than any other class I’ve seen.

Staff and schedule changes required the students to be flexible.  Thankfully, these first students have shown tremendous grace and I couldn’t be more excited and proud of them than I am today. Truly, the beauty is that they have not only done well – they’ve excelled.  Feedback from other professionals in the community have bolstered their (and my) confidence.  Clinic clients are raving about the quality massages offered by our students.

A surprise exam

I’ve only done a surprise exam one other time – and it’s not done lightly.  At our November staff meeting, I suggested we surprise these four students with the final exam on a day they expected to be a “prepare for the final” day.

Instead, they were given the comprehensive final exam and until the end, they didn’t know that it was the final.  It was all or nothing – meaning, if they all passed, they were done with the exam and if they didn’t, they wouldn’t have known about it being a potential end to their exam and would have taken it again on the original day marked in their calendar.

All four students passed – and with scores in the 90%and higher.

It was exciting to hear how surprised and proud they were when they learned that the comprehensive final was done.  No stressing over the final.  No late night studying.  No sweating waiting for the results.  Done.

For the school and especially for me, it was validation that we are doing exceptional work in Vancouver.  Our staff of professional instructors have done an outstanding job teaching the Bodymechanics curriculum.

First students have passed the MBLEX Exam

We received notice that two of the students took the MBLEX

Students pass the MBLEX
Sandy and Ryan celebrating after they passed the MBLEX exam

Exam and passed.  As I said earlier, it is expected – yet celebrated by everyone.  Their smiles are contagious in the picture – and a little relieved as well.

Sandy, Ryan, Tish and Regina are ready for graduation and licensure.  On December 9th at 6:00 pm, we will hold our first graduation ceremony at Bodymechanics School.  We will celebrate these students, and we will celebrate our success as well.

The enormity of the year is not lost on me – as it has been intense.  I couldn’t have done this without the dedicated staff in the Vancouver office.  I can’t wait to celebrate with them – and congratulate them on a job well done.  This has been a team effort by all involved.

Am I proud?

A Tumwater student recently asked me if I walk around in awe at what I’ve accomplished – and she hit the nail on the head.  It has been an incredible journey for me and I can’t wait for the next few years to see the growth of Bodymechanics School.

Here’s a brief look at the Bodymechanics journey since 2009:

  • June, 2009 – school closed by school founder due to the economy
  • December, 2009 – I reopened the school in Olympia, determined to keep Bodymechanics alive and thriving.
  • July, 2010 – I bought the school from the founder
  • March, 2011 – Opened the fitness facility, Fit Body Boot Camp and brought the mission “movement is life, stillness is death” to the forefront
  • November 20, 2012 – today as I write this, I purchased the “forever home”  for
    Tumwater Bodymechanics School
    Bodymechanics School – Tumwater campus

    Bodymechanics in Tumwater, WA.  The Bodymechanics family of businesses includes: Bodymechanics School, Fit Body Boot Camp, and Integrative Health Clinic

  • October 6, 2013 – I suffered a traumatic finger amputation.  Over the next 18 months, I focused on how I could grow Bodymechanics School, and on the “business” of growing my business.
  • November, 2014 – launched the Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) program in Tumwater
  • March, 2015 – began academic partnership with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) to incorporate their curriculum in our CPT program.
  • January, 2016 – formally decided to launch Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage in Vancouver.
  • March 22, 2016 – inaugural class launched in Vancouver
  • July, 2016 – launched the Bodymechanics Training Center, an overlay program designed to engage students in the business side of their massage career, develop a flourishing practice and network opportunities in the community

As we move into 2017, our focus turns to a continued effort to grow the Bodymechanics School.  We  will continue to strengthen the programs in Tumwater and Vancouver with an eye to the future growth.  I live by the mantra that “movement is life.”  This is true for your body, your mind, your business, and in many other ways.  Our goal of creating exceptional massage therapists is alive and well.

If you are looking for a massage therapy school in Southwest Washington, give Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage a call – we’d love to share our mission with you, and hear your goals for the future.  Classes are starting 1/3/17 in Vancouver and we still have room for you.  Check our our curriculum here –>

In house financing is available, and we strive to meet each students needs individually. Don’t let finances be the ONE THING that stops you from reaching your career goals.  Learn more about our tuition options here –>

My goal has never wavered:  offer an exceptional education, create a family-like atmosphere, encourage students and graduates to build their dreams, and support students and graduates as long as possible.  I’d love to invite you into the family – curious about more?  Lets talk.  Call (360) 350-0015 and ask for more information on Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage.

Committed to your success-
Shari Aldrich, LMP
President and Clinical Director