I just came from Julia Onofrio's blog (see blog list to the left of here) where there's a nice comment thread about the number of hours that's optimal in massage education. You can also go to http://thebodyworker.com/massage_blog/massage-therapy-training/#comment-1977. One of the themes is the effect of large profit oriented massage centers, large profit oriented massage schools and even the profit oriented motivation of massage students entering the field seeking a good way to make some great money.
It seems like we see this all around us in American society. People question where quality and caring goes when excitement for profit eclipses other goals.
To me, the act of giving a professional massage is one that has the possibility for tremendous effect on the client in emotional and spiritual ways as well as the obvious physical ones. Collectively, massage therapists have the potential for making a big difference in the world and the question of how we educate these therapists to be the best they possibly can be is an important discussion to be having.
I believe part of the answer lies in schools where the student and what is learned in the classroom are the priorities, where individual attention sparks enthusiasm for bodywork and the desire to continue learning throughout one's career. One of the most important things a massage therapist can have is the ability to be present, providing attention and acceptance for a client and his or her body. Regardless of the number of hours it takes, if this is addressed, the level of massage education is enhanced. For the benefit of massage therapy and massage clients, let's hope there continue to be massage schools that are dedicated to providing this type of education.
© 2008, Rebecca Mauldin