I began my teaching career in 1993 at the Utah College of Massage Therapy. If I had a magic wand and wanted to create a different approach to learning that centered around a more focused approach, I am sure the dark forces of mediocrity would have defeated me in my quest. I used to laugh when a student who graduated from the massage schools where I taught my craft of Rolfing and Cranial Sacral therapy, would show me their newly minted business cards adorned with a vast array of disciplines. Those massage disciplines would have been impossible to learn in even a rudimentary fashion given the amount of time that they were exposed to them. I know this might seem controversial even using the term rudimentary, but I stand my ground on the issue. The multi-discipline approach that is taught at most massage schools is taught in the hopes that a student will resonate with a particular discipline and after graduation pursue it with great fervor. Makes sense if the majority of students actually did that. I would say that most might expose themselves to a superficial level at most! Please forgive me if you don’t fall into this category.
I would change the paradigm if I were the leader of the free world of massage schools! I would expose students for a month of their 6-12 month journey to every discipline offered at the school. And then allow the student to pick one or two that they resonated with them. The teacher of course would have a great impact on their decision to study that craft. Upon their graduation, they would have a firm grasp of the two disciplines. Anatomy and kinesiology would also be mandatory and studied the entire time in conjunction with the two main approaches. Using the above mentioned course of action, I believe a massage therapist would have no trouble enrolling their clients in experiencing multi-disciplines when challenges are brought to their table that provided the best use of that discipline. Their confidence and skill levels would be sufficient when they graduated, because their knowledge of the disciplines would be relatively thorough for the present day length of massage schools. [Read more…]