A warning for anyone considering massage as a career option

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thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington

62 months ago

Yes Anna it sounds like you should get out of the massage profession. You must not have heard the info that most massage therapists start their own business and that jobs are really low paying and generally don't respect massage therapists. You must have missed my website that tells you about that stuff. There are also many things you can do to reduce the wear and tear on your body like getting a massage yourself once or twice a week as I am sure you already know.
But actually your claim that the web is oversaturated is not true at all. There is always more room online for other views, opinions and yes even ebooks. There is actually a big need for other views and information. The market online is increasing and coming up with new things everyday. I have sites on many different topics not just massage. I take my hobbies and turn them into websites and each one makes a bit of money and keeps making more each month. Having websites is not dependent on the market - it is dependent on traffic and keywords. You just have to learn about them to make it happen.
I wouldn't teach at a school either. They don't really pay much at all. You can start teaching you own classes on special techniques or methods or about business or whatever you have learned the most about and make a nice income. Your income will increase when you get more students and teach more classes. There actually is a big demand for teachers. One of my new projects is an online continuing education calendar.
To be able to charge $100 an hour you need to have specialized training and skills like go to Rolfing School or learn something like orthopedic massage techniques. Massage school is just basic skills. You really have to take much more training. You can also specialize in working with special areas in the population like pregnancy massage or people who have cancer or fibromyalgia or something like that.
Julie
www.thebodyworker.com
www.massage-career-guides.com

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thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington

62 months ago

Yes I did think you were an employee mMainly because you referred to "You can get a real job with actual employee benefits" and your other mentioning of jobs. I have no problem with people expressing their opinions. It is great. I am not offering any psychological advice - just communication skills for massage therapists. It is just basic things needed for professional relationships with your clients. Learning about yourself and transference and countertransference are a basic part of massage school. Massage is really just starting to become accepted by the medical field. I am a provider for all of the major medical companies here. Instead of complaining about it you can study it and how/why it works here in Seattle and start changing the perceptions of massage being sex workers- or you can just continue to complain.

If you can't make it in the profession then it isn't for you. It does not mean others cant be very successful. You trying to tell them they won't is demeaning to the whole profession.

I am working on a continuing education calendar for WA State and have about 200 independent teachers who don't teach at schools. And yes you can go ahead and complain about how it is different here in the PNW or you can start doing something in your area to improve the situations. You do need to find tables etc. You can gather others who are interested in doing the same and find space to start a school. That is one idea that is already being done here.

You can also teach classes to couples and individuals. You can teach classes to mothers of infants. You can teach classes to church groups.

Just like any other career or job - it is what you make of it.

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

62 months ago

Hey, Stef. So sorry about your business. As you found out, now is not the time to be raising prices! I have a somewhat similar experience. I worked at a resort town too (Shangri La) and was able to get $100-$125 per massage, stayed busy enough for myself and two other MTs. When Shangri La went under I moved into OKC and opened a similar business in an upscale, trendy neighborhood shopping district. The clientele there would not pay that much for massage. So I kept lowering my prices until I found the point that worked for the area, which was $60. After I was established I tried raising them $10 a few times. Each time I lost clients and trust.

I am the same, my massage is the same, my beliefs are the same. I didn't need to examine my beliefs. I needed to examine my pricing structure for the market. I already knew I was worthy and able to make $125 an hour. What I didn't know was the clientele was willing to pay half of that for the service.

I don't think any less of myself now. Prices don't determine my worth as an individual. Prices have nothing to do with your worth, either.

Here's a little encouragement, not criticism, from a true fellow bodyworker! You'll make it through, as you've probably done before! Just follow your own instincts, not anyone else's. Be true to yourself!

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thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington

62 months ago

For every post on here I get about 20 new emails that are positive on my website. So thanks to everyone!

I never told you to increase your rates $30 all at once - no one would do that. You have to raise them incrementally or offer something really different to of VALUE in order to be able to charge that. You can make more when you bill insurance companies. You can make more when you learn new techniques and set yourself apart from everyone else charging less. You then have to market to people who have more money to spend.

I am sure if we met in person we would just get along fine. Most of what is happening here is not being able to see or hear what is being written as I am sure you well know.

You will lose clients sometimes when you raise your rates. You have to learn to talk to people to make them understand the value.

No prices don't have anything to do with anything. Money is just money. The emotional things we put on money are the issues.

Julie

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Henry in Dubuque, Iowa

62 months ago

I got stait A in school I am very good at massage but there to much bs I am out and I urge any one else not to go to school for it and if your in the profession get out theres no credibility no clients and it takes some work to find that out SO DONT DO IT

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Sharon in Portland, Oregon

62 months ago

thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington said: For every post on here I get about 20 new emails that are positive on my website. So thanks to everyone!

I never told you to increase your rates $30 all at once - no one would do that. You have to raise them incrementally or offer something really different to of VALUE in order to be able to charge that. You can make more when you bill insurance companies. You can make more when you learn new techniques and set yourself apart from everyone else charging less. You then have to market to people who have more money to spend.

I am sure if we met in person we would just get along fine. Most of what is happening here is not being able to see or hear what is being written as I am sure you well know.

You will lose clients sometimes when you raise your rates. You have to learn to talk to people to make them understand the value.

No prices don't have anything to do with anything. Money is just money. The emotional things we put on money are the issues.

Julie

Actually what is happening here is typical of someone untrained giving career counseling advice. When you offer unsolicited advice to someone who just wants to share a story, don't be shocked when s/he responds with hostility. It also happens when you offer cookie-cutter advice to different people in different situations. No matter how strongly you believe in your own method it simply cannot be understood or applied the same way for everyone. This kind of sensitivity and knowledge comes with proper training in the counseling field. I know this fact won't influence your behavior any, but maybe this will help others understand why they get angry with you.

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

62 months ago

Sharon in Portland, Oregon said: Actually what is happening here is typical of someone untrained giving career counseling advice.

Thanks for the insight, Sharon. She also makes us angry because she's the consummate know-it-all who doesn't listen to what anyone says. She already has "The Answer" to everything. It's always our fault, our beliefs, we're not taking responsibility for our actions. Is that what you mean by "cookie-cutter advice"?

For example, Stef said this: "I opened my own place close by and offered fantastic services like a hot stone aromatherapy massage with peppermint foot scrub for $90. My menu included not just basic services but great advanced ones just like Julie said would sell. "

And this: "80% of my old clients left because of the high prices. I even gave them a discount at the beginning to introduce my new services and ease them into the new pricing structure."

Julie completely ignored this and went on with her usual know-it-all answer even though Stef didn't ask any questions: "I never told you to increase your rates $30 all at once - no one would do that. You have to raise them incrementally or offer something really different to of VALUE in order to be able to charge that."

Somehow I understood that Stef both raised prices gradually for her existing clients and offered more advanced services first read through. Then in typical Julie fashion she chooses to ignore it and criticize Stef for doing the EXACT OPPOSITE.

Geez. Wonder why we irresponsible idiots who don't take responsibility for our actions here in indeed.com get peed off by that kind of insulting treatment.

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

62 months ago

Oh, and Julie, here's a great article you need to read right away:

massagepracticebuilder.com/taking-things-personally/

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thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington

62 months ago

Yes - thanks glad you could find that and read it.

I am not taking anything personally. I am not counseling anyone on anything. All I am doing is sharing my business information and what has worked for me and the people I have worked with.

Massage can be a really great profession but just like anything else success doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't come without it's challenges. Part of the problem is that massage schools make you think it will be easy and that you can just step in and start making tons of money and get lots of clients. That's what I talk about in my sites to try to inform people that it is hard work but it can be done.

Julie

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Sabeena in Portland, Oregon

62 months ago

thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington said: Yes - thanks glad you could find that and read it.

I am not taking anything personally. I am not counseling anyone on anything. All I am doing is sharing my business information and what has worked for me and the people I have worked with.

Massage can be a really great profession but just like anything else success doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't come without it's challenges. Part of the problem is that massage schools make you think it will be easy and that you can just step in and start making tons of money and get lots of clients. That's what I talk about in my sites to try to inform people that it is hard work but it can be done.

Julie

Then do it on your sites and leave everyone here alone who doesn't want your advice or even ask for it. Quite being an obnoxious bully.

I know, I know, you're not bullying anyone and you're not taking it personally blah blah blah. You are perfect and we're just wrong.

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thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington

62 months ago

Look I just want the same thing as everyone on here - to help others figure out how to be successful in the massage profession. I just want to share my many years of success with others and let others know that no it isn't easy but yes it can work and even be fun and very rewarding. If you want to complain about how hard it is to be successful in the field then maybe it just wasn't right for you. If raising your rates didn't work then figure out what went wrong and what to do next. It doesn't mean that you can't or won't ever be successful and make more money and yes even make that $100,000 a year. It took me 18 years to do that. I didn't give up. I am hoping that by sharing with others that they won't have to wait so long. That is all.

No one is wrong or right about anything. Each has their own path to follow and figure out. I don't have answers. I have ideas. You can try them or not or hopefully they can inspire you to figure out your own ideas.

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Manny M in Denver, Colorado

62 months ago

thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington said: Look I just want the same thing as everyone on here - to help others figure out how to be successful in the massage profession. I just want to share my many years of success with others and let others know that no it isn't easy but yes it can work and even be fun and very rewarding. If you want to complain about how hard it is to be successful in the field then maybe it just wasn't right for you. If raising your rates didn't work then figure out what went wrong and what to do next. It doesn't mean that you can't or won't ever be successful and make more money and yes even make that $100,000 a year. It took me 18 years to do that. I didn't give up. I am hoping that by sharing with others that they won't have to wait so long. That is all.

No one is wrong or right about anything. Each has their own path to follow and figure out. I don't have answers. I have ideas. You can try them or not or hopefully they can inspire you to figure out your own ideas.

That is a very noble goal. The problem happens when you "offer" your ideas to people who don't want them. I just read a comment on one of your web sites from someone who said suggestion is more powerful than force. That is a very nice way of saying you are too pushy.

Many people you "offer" advice to are already making good money. But you automatically assume every one who posts on forums needs your help to get themselves out of noble poverty. You do help many people but offend many as well.

I know you won't listen to this. You are only interested in offering advice, not accepting it. Maybe if enough of us keep saying it you'll get it.

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Terry Time in Trenton, Florida

62 months ago

Manny M in Denver, Colorado said: That is a very noble goal. The problem happens when you "offer" your ideas to people who don't want them. I just read a comment on one of your web sites from someone who said suggestion is more powerful than force. That is a very nice way of saying you are too pushy.

Many people you "offer" advice to are already making good money. But you automatically assume every one who posts on forums needs your help to get themselves out of noble poverty. You do help many people but offend many as well.

I know you won't listen to this. You are only interested in offering advice, not accepting it. Maybe if enough of us keep saying it you'll get it.

Amen to that. From another person you've offended, I urge you to consider this advice and modify the way you interact with others. If you want to be helpful, please listen and try to understand what we write instead of resorting to scripted answers that contradict our questions or don't address them at all.

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massubian in Charlotte, North Carolina

62 months ago

I just have to say that I only just stumbled across this forum last night. Why does everyone let "the body worker" get them s riled up? Just don't read or reply to them. For being in a field that is supposed to be peaceful, there sure is allot of hate here. Right or wrong, let's not let this person turn us into bad energy people.

Peace

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arlenemcphee@hotmail in Nassau, Bahamas

62 months ago

Massage is what you make it like any career. I left the military, went to school and also got my esthetician license. I prepared myself to be successful and planned a career path...Therapist, Lead, Trainer/Educator and Manager..I did it all and now own my own place. You are what you think! I love my career and the skin I'm in..Good luck all

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Terry Time in Trenton, Florida

62 months ago

massubian in Charlotte, North Carolina said: I just have to say that I only just stumbled across this forum last night. Why does everyone let "the body worker" get them s riled up? Just don't read or reply to them. For being in a field that is supposed to be peaceful, there sure is allot of hate here. Right or wrong, let's not let this person turn us into bad energy people.

Peace

Because her posts are so non-stop. She never lets up and never says anything different. It's always the same thing day after day. We've taken it and taken it long enough, and it's time for feedback.

We said our peace, and that's it.

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massubian in Huntersville, North Carolina

61 months ago

OK....I hope nobody out there has it in for me because I asked about "The Body Worker" Please don't put me on the list too. J/K...anyhow.....back to the topic. I'm starting massage school in three weeks. Anyone out there have an opinion about the Southeastern School of Neuromuscular massage? Is there anyone out there that's from the Charlotte area who can tell me a little about the market? Ultimately, i decided to make this huge life change because I was sick and tired of working a corporate job that I hated instead of doing something I love.

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Trina in Portland, Oregon

61 months ago

massubian in Huntersville, North Carolina said: OK....I hope nobody out there has it in for me because I asked about "The Body Worker" Please don't put me on the list too. J/K...anyhow.....back to the topic. I'm starting massage school in three weeks. Anyone out there have an opinion about the Southeastern School of Neuromuscular massage? Is there anyone out there that's from the Charlotte area who can tell me a little about the market? Ultimately, i decided to make this huge life change because I was sick and tired of working a corporate job that I hated instead of doing something I love.

I have no experience with that school, but I can speak to your plan in general. I did the same thing, quit a corporate job to massage. It was a HUGE mistake. I worked in technology and after 6 years I'll have to seriously retrain to get back in. But I'm working on it!

You may love to massage now, and you may love it the first year. Almost anything can become miserable if you do it long enough. I make the same salary I did in my corporate job but without the insurance, education or retirement benefits. Remember your corporation pays 30% or more of your base salary in benefits.

The only way to make serious money in massage is to get out of the actual massage part and focus on the business. So that puts you back into a realm more similar to your corporate job anyway. Just stay there and be thankful for what you have.

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searching4more in Bell, California

61 months ago

serenity1 in Tallahassee, Florida said: Maybe if you read some of thebodyworker sites instead of acting so hateful you would get what they are saying -god knows you need some help here and what you are doing is apparently not working so try something different. Just like any other career -it is what you make it.

I for one have found a working as a massage therapist to be very lucrative, rewarding and enjoyable and wouldn't trade it for any desk job, pt job or anything else. You can make great money and have fun and find it very fulfilling if you want to - or not.

Wow. More frightening stuff. I find it quite interesting that anyone who disagrees with Your Leader is consistently labeled as 'needing help' and 'needing to try something different to make it work'. I disagreed once on a simple point of style and was slapped with the same label. Independent thought is a good thing, folks.

If I had a corporate job I'd hang on to it. The grass isn't always greener on the other side. Massage has its wonderful points but it's very challenging too.

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massubian in Huntersville, North Carolina

61 months ago

Thanks for the advice, but I don't like the implication that I didn't appreciate the job that I had. That was a little insulting....

It sounds to me that the people that are so negative about the profession may have gotten into it with unrealistic expectation. Hell, I have a BA and an MFA in theater. I certainly did not chose to get my education because I thought that I was going to be a star director or performer. I chose theater because I love it. I got into the corporate world because I was realistic. It paid for my school and my mortgage.

I'm not getting into massage to make a great deal of money. That was never my motivation. I have no delusions in my head that this would be a skill that would make me six figures or anything, unless...like you said, I get deeply into the business aspect of it. Well...i guess I'm kind of contradicting myself because i also was prepared to make my own business out of this. Isn't that just a part of being a massage therapist? You have to be your own boss and run your own single man operation?

Is there anyone at all that feels positive about massage therapy? Is there anyone out there that has had the luxury of choosing this career for the benefit of the soul? To me it's no real surprise. When I got into massage, I read up on what to expect, I spoke to practicing massage therapists. I know that I will have to maintain CE credits as well as insurance. I know that there are no benefits. It all makes sense, considering you only need a GED to enter a Massage Therapy program. Furthermore, the length of the education period is six moths to two years. I guess I see it like the nurse is to a doctor. The anatomy and systems study is no match for any medical degree requirements. I don't expect to get paid like a doctor.

With this info in mind, is there anyone that has chosen to become a Massage Therapist that is fulfilled? Is the spiritual aspect just a pipe dream?

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searching4more in Bell, California

61 months ago

For me the 'spiritual fulfillment' just ended up to be a pipe dream. For me the realities of the daily grind of the business end of things and the physical discomfort cancel out any fulfillment I would otherwise enjoy. Perhaps if I didn't accept insurance I would feel differently about it. Insurance billing is a HUGE pain in the nether-regions.

I disagree about the lofty expectations. Most people I know had similar expectations to yours (including me) and we find it isn't even that good. I wouldn't do it over again.

Of course many people disagree with me and have very different experiences.

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massubian in Huntersville, North Carolina

61 months ago

Ok. I'm getting it it more now. Would some of the practicing Massage Therapists say that the experience was ruined after regulations started to change? It seems as if the profession is going trough a huge transformation. Now that massage is considered a good supplement for preventative care by doctors, would you say that the experience for the body worker has changed. Thanks for giving me something concrete. I can understand how having to deal with accepting insurance can be a real pain. Especially having to deal with it as the business owner.

Here's my next question. I refuse to believe that all or even most of the LMT's on this page jumped into body work without taking a look at forums like this or talking to people with experience. (Not that anyone is trying to convince me different) The question is.....though you saw the clear potential for a negative experience, and there are allot of examples out there, why did you start the the education instead of doing something else? What was it that made you become a therapist? What is it that keeps you an LMT? ...I know just like the next person how hard it is out there. Even if I was willing to go back to the corporate world, I can't - banks are still on freeze.

The majority of people on this thread hate the profession and regret ever making the "huge mistake". Ok, I get that it sucks for you and that allot of you regret it, so what is the next step for you all? Or were people just wanting to vent. That's fully understandable. Everyone needs to be able to be real. I am by no means Mrs. positive... I appreciate an environment where I am safe to be honest about negative feelings. There are no judgments here. But.......if you hate that much......get the hell out....save yourself. You only live once.

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searching4more in Bell, California

61 months ago

For me regulation had nothing to do with my experience. The regulations have been the same since I've started my practice. It's just the nature of the work: it's physically and emotionally draining. The negatives exceed the positives in my experience.

I researched massage as a career choice obsessively for years before making the leap. I did it anyway because I 'KNEW' I was different than the majority of other practitioners out there. I have a business degree and had proven myself successful at networking and marketing. I am in fantastic physical shape and am in tune with my body. A healing career was my first choice but western medicine and regulations turned me away from it. I had always succeeded at whatever I wanted. So I 'KNEW' beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would be passionate about a massage career forever.

Telling people to 'get the hell out' is as helpful as others telling you to get back in the corporate world. Do you think your last paragraph might be a little insulting too?

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thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington

61 months ago

So what happened to your passion?

If someone told me to go into the corporate world I wouldn't mind because I wouldn't take it to heart because I know I am best right where I am and I am very happy being a massage therapist. I think people should get out of something if they are not happy doing it. Time is just to short to be living a life without being happy and passionate about what you do- that is all.

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Forrest12 in San Antonio, Texas

61 months ago

massubian in Huntersville, North Carolina said: Here's my next question. I refuse to believe that all or even most of the LMT's on this page jumped into body work without taking a look at forums like this or talking to people with experience. (Not that anyone is trying to convince me different) The question is.....though you saw the clear potential for a negative experience, and there are allot of examples out there, why did you start the the education instead of doing something else? What was it that made you become a therapist? What is it that keeps you an LMT? ...I know just like the next person how hard it is out there. Even if I was willing to go back to the corporate world, I can't - banks are still on freeze.

OMG you must be joking right?! I'm a massage student struggling to find time for school cause I work up to 12 hours days 6 days a week at Countrywide (now BofA). We can't get enough staff to cover operations. The same thing is happening all over the country. If you don't want to go back to the corporate world I understand tho. My plans are to work P/T at Countrywide til I'm sure massage will work for me. All my teachers recommend something like that.

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BonitaMarina in Miami, Florida

61 months ago

massubian - I didn't know about the problems female LMTs can experience with men. Here in Florida the problem is bad bad bad, I don't know about North Carolina. I've been attacked and grabbed but the owners laughed and said that's how it is, get used to it. I work at my own place now but still have problems with dirty old men. Looking back it seems obvious but I was too young and stupid to know. I should of gone to PTA school instead. I can't just get the hell out for the same reason you can't just get your banking job back. Not that easy right now so we need to have more patience and sympathy for each other.

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massubian in Huntersville, North Carolina

61 months ago

I am so not here to get all personal and heated. Really I come in peace. I guess I shouldn't be shocked considering the heading of the forum was a warning. Everyone on this page is valid to me. When I said to get the hell out....it was not meant to be an insult. I truly hope that you all find happiness. I was just looking for a little direction. Again, I'm sorry if I offended anyone. None of us knows...each others full story..... I think that those men that have violated any of you should be in jail. I think that your bosses should be fined and put in jail as well, for allowing the behavior...actually they could be put in jail...you have rights...what your bosses are allowing is illegal....

..All of you deserve to be happy. I'm gonna hop off of here because I don't want to add to any anger. Again, I am so sorry. I didn't come here to hurt anybody. I really do wish you all peace and happiness.

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Tracy in Portland, Oregon

61 months ago

I don't see anything getting personal or heated, massubian. I think everyone is OK. They're just responding, not getting mad. If I'm wrong let me know guys. It's just the nature of discussion forums.

Everyone has different experiences and different opinions. Some are passionate about massage and love it. Others are indifferent and think of it as just a job. Many passionately hate it and want to leave it but are finding it very difficult with this economy the way it is. What one person finds a challenge is no issue at all to someone else.

I found that everyone else's opinion didn't affect me at all in the end, although like you I spoke with as many therapists as possible. If you love massage and want to do it, go for it and make it your own! Best wishes.

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BonitaMarina in Miami, Florida

61 months ago

Did you think I was getting mad? No, not my intention. Sometimes it's hard to tell when you're not face-to-face. I agree with tracy, everyones different and your experiences will be unique too.

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ABZ129 in Las Vegas, Nevada

61 months ago

Geez I kinda hate to leave my comment. I'm not disgruntled, warped, angry, blaming, poor, or looking for something to make it work...just sharing my experiences...LV like Miami is known as sin city...which means the male clientele expect sinful services...
In my opinion the massage industry has not reached its full potential as a real profession in the US...we're still considered prostitutes...yes, even the males.
If you want a serious, respected profession then do PT/OT...however I have met MTs in other states who never had this problem...

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John Mikelson in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

61 months ago

TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED said: To the guys considering Massage Therapy as a career. STOP!!!

All the massage therapy jobs are being offered to females. Men ask for female massage therapists, and Women are asking for female massage therapists.

Regardless of how you look at it , the fileld has become dominated by the girls, thos who "put out" and those who are definitely trying to make a honest living.

If you are "gay" go ahead and become a Massage therapist.

I'm a straight male & part owner of a successful all-male massage practice. It is true a majority of the jobs are being offered to females, but opportunities for self-employment are unlimited for males. Why would you settle on employment when you can be your own boss and make your own destiny?

This does pander to the stereotypes, but clients do accept males more in therapeutic settings. My clinic offers hand and foot rehabilitation for post-surgical clients. All of our independent contractors have advanced training and are in high demand in our area.

You are correct about one thing, though. Other professions in the medical field are much more accepted for males than massage. I wouldn't complain about it, though. The ladies deserve something, since men have traditionally dominated almost every other field. We are the ones who've got it easy!

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Massage No More in Hyattsville, Maryland

61 months ago

I have to agree with the original poster. Massage therapy is a dead end job. I practiced massage therapy for 5 years treating clients that suffered from chronic pain. It was fulfilling on the level that I was able to help people however that doesn't pay the bills. Massage therapy is great however the massage industry and massage therapist are their own worst enemy. There is no higher education associated with massage or bodywork and in my opinion most massage therapists I have encountered no very little about A&P and lack critical thinking skills. When dealing with people on a healing level it can very complex and there are many things that MTs need to be aware of but the training and education isn't there. I became frustrated with the lack of direction and needed education in the field and I left the massage industry over 2 years ago. I'm currently completing my undergrad in psychology and will continue with my masters. There are so many great things about massage therapy and bodywork however the industry itself is not focused or grounded and will continue to back slide or flounder until it finds a direction.

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

61 months ago

Massage No More in Hyattsville, Maryland said: I have to agree with the original poster. Massage therapy is a dead end job. I practiced massage therapy for 5 years treating clients that suffered from chronic pain. It was fulfilling on the level that I was able to help people however that doesn't pay the bills. Massage therapy is great however the massage industry and massage therapist are their own worst enemy. There is no higher education associated with massage or bodywork and in my opinion most massage therapists I have encountered no very little about A&P and lack critical thinking skills. When dealing with people on a healing level it can very complex and there are many things that MTs need to be aware of but the training and education isn't there. I became frustrated with the lack of direction and needed education in the field and I left the massage industry over 2 years ago. I'm currently completing my undergrad in psychology and will continue with my masters. There are so many great things about massage therapy and bodywork however the industry itself is not focused or grounded and will continue to back slide or flounder until it finds a direction.

^^^^^^ I'm agreeing 100,000% with what she said about the profession and the lack of education! Bravo! ^^^^^^

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Nunya Beezwax in Dallas, Texas

61 months ago

I've read Rick Rosen's white paper on the evolution of massage into a profession one day. Anyone who is thinking about going to massage school MUST READ THIS:

www.massagemag.com/Magazine/R.Rosen%20white%20paper.pdf

Sure, it's great to be a part of the solution. You can even coddle your Pollyanna attitude if it gets you through the day. Fact of the matter is it doesn't matter what you think about massage. It is what it is, and the very white paper you provided describes in great detail every single problem that has already been expressed here plus many, many more.

The issues are indeed being addressed, but nothing will be resolved for 10 to 20 years, folks. Massage practitioners will be considered stupid prostitutes until then, and it WILL continue to be a dead-end job, not a true profession.

Thank you for providing seekers real information for once about the state of massage for years to come. It's a mess.

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Zen in Seffner, Florida

61 months ago

Uh Men and Women of this site, Please know that I come in peace and i am not trying to take any sides or cause anger pertaining to this discussion, i just wanted to join the conversation if thats ok with everyone? I'm learning more about the massage world and its controversies everyday. And i have to say, There really is a lot of issues still going on with the profession. I can briefly see or shall i say read, both sides of story here and most of it seems mis-understood in most cases. One person has many years under their belt, may know what worked for them and just put it out there for others to read on how it may work for you based on her results, and from the other perspective it seems like people got angry stating that it was affending and rude, but honestly lets just take a sec to look at it from this way if you will, every one has a point in their life when you feel like your stuck, you need a change so you take a leap and it can split into 2 ways. Depending on what your choices were while partaking in what journey you've picked, can affect how your life can go. Julie the body worker, has become an independent practitioner with a bunch of experience and probably a lot of knowledge under her belt. That doesn't mean we have to get upset at her for sounding bossy. Communication is the hardest skill to understand and being wrong or right doesn't matter here really. Everyone has a story, and most people just wanna be heard am i right? Your probably saying who the hell is this person and why is she saying this crap and taking sides with Julie. Please, Just for the record, in a positive way, if we all have the time to be blogging or chatting about this, then why don't we use it to start doing something positive in our lives that show results? It really does start with a thought. Heard of THE SECRET, by chance?

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Zen in Seffner, Florida

61 months ago

Just to continue on the mini novel i was writing :) a few minutes ago, The website for anyone who may be interested or even a lil curious, is THESECRET.TV
It speaks for itself and can be very helpful. I've been a Massage Therapist for 4 years now, and understand truely, what a lot of you are talking about , the rude men and women clients who don't respect your personal space, or the people who seem like their doing so well in this profession while yours is falling apart, or sick and tired of taking advice from anyone to fail at it later, or maybe even taking that risk and falling on your face. I have been in those situations over and over too. Its called life. If we didn't fall on our faces at times how would we know we were succeeding? If we didn't have bad experiences how would we know good ones? I'm sure your wondering, what degrees does she have to make her so much better than us right, i know there may be a few and its ok, that why we have opinions, they truely make the world go round, but you all know that right? No sarcasm, i mean it kindly in discussion. I have made choices like others to get my degrees and decent money but as i write to you all here, i think to myself, isn't nice to have the freedom to make good choices and bad ones in your lives? to have a say so in what profession you choose to do? whether you jumped in, or fell in, or got suckered in, maybe pushed, you can always make that desision to take the steps towards a career you wanna do? I do. I thank you all for reading and having what opinions you all have of me and what i say, i hope that some of the things i've said gave you hope, and i'm sorry if the the things i have said made you upset, just know that with every word or comment that someone says to you, you have the power to change how you interpret it, for yourself.

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Exec in Virginia Beach, Virginia

61 months ago

There are some good points here, others not so much (LOL). I would like to address college educated professionals considering leaving their careers for massage. Before making the leap, consider if being a respected, educated member of a professional team is an important part of your identity. If the answer is 'yes', then massage may not be a good fit for you. This has nothing to do with how much money you can make, but how a non-professional job affects your identity.

Massage is a low-skill manual job that as others have mentioned is still associated with sex. Unless you only offer very light energy work it's a sweaty, manual labor job with the only opportunity for advancement being business owner in one form or another. If you are an educated professional considering massage, do yourself a favor think about how either of those two options would fit your self image before pursuing it further. And remember, you don't need to be a massage practitioner to own or manage a massage business.

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Pete Spairring in Renton, Washington

61 months ago

Anna Bananna in Jacksonville, Florida said: Don't do it! Go into something else related but more accepted in the medical field such as physical therapist, occupational therapist, or an assistant. PTA/OTA school costs about the same as some massage schools (much more than others). But you will have 4 guarantees: 1. You will have a steady income stream 2. You can get a real job with actual employee benefits 3. You will be treated as a valued member of the medical field, and not a sex worker or flunkie who couldn't do any better 4. It won't tear up your body so your career span will be much longer.

I have been massing 6 years and really regret leaving my high-paying job for what I thought was going to be a wonderfully creative, independent career choice for a free spirit like me. I make decent money as a LMT but there are so many negatives to it and I WANT OUT...hence my list above...

Other income streams are unrealistic. The market for them is shrinking every day. How many more web sites and e-books promoting massage do you think the market will support? Very, very few! Teaching? No way! There's a waiting list to teach at every school in my area. That tells you how many people are desperate to get out of massage and into alternative income streams. And sorry, but my town suffers a lack of 5-star hotels and WC doesn't pay near the $100 an hour you folks say you need to make to earn a decent living.

DON'T DO IT!

I don't agree with your comments. Massage can be a wonderfull carear but your comments do open up many peoples eyes. I opened my business 12 years ago in washington state. We are more respected in washington than in most states because we can charge medical insurance companies here. Be aware that if Obama gets his way of national health insurance everyone in states that can bill health insurance companies will lose this ability and the ability to make a living will be gone.

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Meagan Holub LMT in Seattle, Washington

61 months ago

Is there anyone at all that feels positive about massage therapy? Is there anyone out there that has had the luxury of choosing this career for the benefit of the soul? To me it's no real surprise. When I got into massage, I read up on what to expect, I spoke to practicing massage therapists. I know that I will have to maintain CE credits as well as insurance. I know that there are no benefits. It all makes sense, considering you only need a GED to enter a Massage Therapy program. Furthermore, the length of the education period is six moths to two years. I guess I see it like the nurse is to a doctor. The anatomy and systems study is no match for any medical degree requirements. I don't expect to get paid like a doctor.

With this info in mind, is there anyone that has chosen to become a Massage Therapist that is fulfilled? Is the spiritual aspect just a pipe dream?

I got into Massage Therapy for the spiritual aspects. I just wanted to care for people. I had been caring for others my entire life. What I discovered after a grueling seven years was that I needed to be needed. I was sick and exhausted from giving too much. I decided to stay in the profession and establish boundaries. Over the last seven years I have had the time of my life. I have earned a six figure income while healing and connecting with people in a deeply profound way. What could be better? Few things, in my mind.

This journey has been very spiritual for me. I have grown so much. I think many people may be drawn to caring for others because they need to be cared for. I was one of the lucky ones who figured out how to do just that (care for myself) and as a result have had a better career these last seven years than I could ever have dreamed. Much of the spiritual growth in this profession came from the pain and exhaustion I endured, but now I see that people don't have to experience that side of it at all.

www.hundredthousanddollarmassage.com

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Meagan Holub LMT in Seattle, Washington

61 months ago

For some reason it the quotes around the person I was responding to disappeared. My comment began at "I got into Massage Therapy for the spiritual aspects"

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Exec1 in Virginia Beach, Virginia

61 months ago

thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington said:

I do have a college degree and it is all hogwash in my opinion. Having a degree is meaningless to me. Why exactly did you become a massage therapist since it is so unfit for your needs? And the bigger question - why do you stay?

The things in the white paper are happening as we write and it is happening in the professional organizations. I am part of one of the biggest movements currently happening. It will only be a few years - really for some big changes to happen. I think if you start looking harder you will see how much respect massage has gained in a very short time instead of focusing on the so called bad image you think it has.

Great, your self identity doesn't include a professional, educated position that is respected by others. I wasn't talking to you in my original post then, just to those who find it important.

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

61 months ago

Ignore it, Exec. She is perfect and knows exactly what is best for everyone, including you, despite having no actual training or credentials in the subject, whatever the topic is. A few psychologists here have pointed out that fact to no avail. We'll be the ones to "let" others be who they are instead of forcing them into our own personal molds, alright?

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Exec1 in Virginia Beach, Virginia

61 months ago

Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma said: Ignore it, Exec. She is perfect and knows exactly what is best for everyone, including you, despite having no actual training or credentials in the subject, whatever the topic is. A few psychologists here have pointed out that fact to no avail. We'll be the ones to "let" others be who they are instead of forcing them into our own personal molds, alright?

Yes, I had that one figured out already. It became blatantly obvious when she criticized me for needing the respect of others then announcing her thousands of adoring fans in a brilliant display of hypocrisy.

I will re-state my point since it has been drowned in a sea of rebuttal.

If you are an educated professional working in a highly respected position and are considering massage, first take inventory of what you need in a career. Massage is a relatively low-skilled, repetitive job that even the leading experts say is NOT a real profession. If you value being a respected member of a professional team, massage may not be a good choice for you.

Sabeena and I are good examples of this. I know many, many others who quit their professional careers for massage and are very disappointed and have gone back to their careers. I know others who are very happy. Just consider first what you need from your work before deciding either way.

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Michael in Marbella, Spain

61 months ago

Anna Bananna in Jacksonville, Florida said: Don't do it! Go into something else related but more accepted in the medical field such as physical therapist, occupational therapist, or an assistant. PTA/OTA school costs about the same as some massage schools (much more than others). But you will have 4 guarantees: 1. You will have a steady income stream 2. You can get a real job with actual employee benefits 3. You will be treated as a valued member of the medical field, and not a sex worker or flunkie who couldn't do any better 4. It won't tear up your body so your career span will be much longer.

I have been massing 6 years and really regret leaving my high-paying job for what I thought was going to be a wonderfully creative, independent career choice for a free spirit like me. I make decent money as a LMT but there are so many negatives to it and I WANT OUT...hence my list above...

Other income streams are unrealistic. The market for them is shrinking every day. How many more web sites and e-books promoting massage do you think the market will support? Very, very few! Teaching? No way! There's a waiting list to teach at every school in my area. That tells you how many people are desperate to get out of massage and into alternative income streams. And sorry, but my town suffers a lack of 5-star hotels and WC doesn't pay near the $100 an hour you folks say you need to make to earn a decent living.

DON'T DO IT!

I love my job doing massage but I have to agree that its up and down and very frustrating to say the least and am looking at another feild in the medical field to have a steady income....I could scream sometimes....

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

61 months ago

thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington said: They don't think massage is professional because it wasn't what the massage schools told them it was going to be. I agree- the massage schools are marketing to students and filling their heads with pretty pictures. That is why I have created my sites - to inform people just how hard it is and how much skill it does require to be happy and successful. Jobs are such a new phenomenon in the field that they are low paying and don't demand much for the most part. You can find or create more meaningful jobs that pay more but most massage therapists start their own businesses and take advanced trainings and increase their skill levels. You can actually learn as much or even more than a PT if you put the time and money into it without going to PT school.

My head doesn't get filled with pretty pictures from anyone. I don't take what anyone says as absolute truth. I have a mind and use it to make my own decisions about the world around me as I experience it.

Massage school didn't tell me one way or the other what the job would be like. I would have ignored it anyway. I decided on my own, based on my own experiences, that massage is a tedious, sweaty, unrewarding thing to do with my life that the majority of the public still associates with sex. No one had to tell me this. I have eyes and ears and experience it for myself.

Geez, you'd think I was the only one that came to this conclusion. Fact is, 90% of all massage graduates are no longer in the field after 5 years.

I don't care what you need to tell yourself to make it through the physical pain and disability you're experiencing after 20 years of tearing up your body for nothing. You need to stop assigning thoughts and motives to everyone else and allow other opinions out there. Why can't you do it? Why so threatened?

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thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington

61 months ago

I am just voicing my opinions just like everyone else here. I am allowing others to have theirs- this is a discussion forum after all.
I am not threatened by anything here but greatly intrigued as to how with about 300,000 + massage therapists in the US that the 20 or so people who are the most disgruntled end up here!

That is also the way it is in most careers. People don't stay in one thing very long any more. It isn't just the massage profession. Sitting at the computer is way harder on people's bodies than doing massage if you do it right. I see it all the time in my practice. No career is free from wear and tear on your body.

Then how did you get into a career that you hate so much? Just curious...and better yet why are you still in it?

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livingston in Las Vegas, Nevada

61 months ago

Massage has made my life a living hell. Woke up this morning still hurting from yesterdays load and must do it all over again. Someone please kill me. I have a whole year b4 I can get my real job. Pleeeeeeaaaseeee listen to the warnings and dont massage if you value your body. Body mechanics dont matter at all, its all about overuse. Im truly in hell doign massage with all the pain.

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thebodyworker in Seattle, Washington

61 months ago

No bodymechanics is only half of it- the other is getting regular WEEKLY massage yourself, exercising, eating right, setting boundaries around your time and energy, getting clinical supervision sessions and basically taking care of yourself.

If you are in pain doing massage something isn't right.

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bodyworkerpro in Houston, Texas

61 months ago

There is a better way. Negative tissue decompression gets double the results efforlessly and painlessly. It is a pain eater, no physical effort on your part. You can even reshape the body and face. bodyworkerpro@gmail.com

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Michael in Marbella, Spain

61 months ago

what is negative decompression...tell me more, im interested....

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