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Networking and Professional Resources for Massage Students
Need-to-Know Massage Associations, Organizations, Resources, and Journals
Whether you’re currently enrolled in a massage therapy school, working toward that goal, or have been in the field for years, professional resources such as journals, associations, podcasts, blogs, and more can offer the information you need to stay on top of the latest news and industry trends. Once you begin working as a massage therapist, you’ll also want to consider networking with your peers at workshops, conferences, and online. Attending these types of events can help you connect with other professionals, build your reputation, increase your expertise, and boost your job opportunities in an occupation that’s projected to grow much faster than others over the next 10 years.
Why You Should Stay Connected
Resources and groups that are tailored for massage therapists provide valuable access to current industry information that can help you expand your knowledge, support your business, prevent practitioner injuries, and improve your service and techniques.
The big questions with these resources are: Will this help me achieve the goal for my practice? Will this allow me to be the therapist I want to become? How can I use this for my clients?
Taffie Lewis, director of membership outreach at Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, she always advises students to join at least one association.
“I definitely recommend that students become members of an association because they can tap into so many avenues for expanding their knowledge around the different types of bodywork and massage available,” she says. “It also can offer information on different types of venues for working.”
Lisa McNeil, M. Ed, CFSS-M, a Wisconsin-based licensed massage therapist at the Momentum Movement Clinic, who works with athletes for the United States Olympic Committee, says she likes to network with related professionals who can offer referrals.
“It’s my opinion that massage therapists need to go outside their peers and build relationships with clinicians in modalities that complement their practice,” she says. “That can be achieved by attending workshops and seminars that have a diverse group of clinicians as well as reaching out and meeting people locally.”
McNeil is a big believer in attending these events in person rather than online, so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to build recognition through face-to-face meetings. She also recommends choosing the events you attend wisely by doing some research first so that you’re more likely to meet individuals aligned with your goals.
Attend events in person rather than online, so you don’t miss out on face-to-face meetings, which is how you build recognition.
“Contact professionals who have already completed the course and discuss the pros/cons, what they liked/disliked, how much they’re using the material, and how they market it to their clients,” McNeil adds. “That helps weed out events that aren’t compatible with your practice.”
In fact, she recommends creating a strategy to help you stay focused when networking, reading, watching videos, and participating in other activities. “The big questions are: Will this help me achieve the goal for my practice?” McNeil says. “Will this allow me to be the therapist I want to become? How can I use this for my clients?”
Leading Massage Associations
Popular Industry Journals and Magazines
Who to Follow on Social Media?
Many associations, schools, and businesses have their own social media accounts, which can be helpful to follow if you want to receive updates in real time. Massage influencers are a rare breed on Instagram, but following these hashtags can connect you to useful information #swedishmassage, #massagetherapylife, #deeptissuemassage, #licensedmassagetherapist, #massagetherapistlife.