Bring the Best You to School
As I enter the massage room, I take a deep breath. And as I close the door, I let it go. I also let go of all the busy-ness that is on my mind so that I can focus my attention fully on my client. I would ask my students to do the same thing when they walk into the classroom: Leave your personal self outside.
If you are like many massage students, this may be your first time in a classroom since high school. Surprisingly, your attitude toward school may be the same as when you were a teen, even though the situation is very different.
When feelings arise in you that seem particularly “young,” remember that I am not your third grade teacher.
You have consciously chosen to be in this school.
You are paying for your education now. As your instructor, I consider myself accountable to you, and you are accountable to yourself.
Although we still have evaluations and exams, I think of myself less as “judge” and more as a resource for your success.
Evaluate what you bring into the classroom:
- Listen to yourself speak and ask yourself, “Does what I say contribute to the learning environment?” If not, perhaps it is best kept to yourself.
- Is your conversation too personal? It is not appropriate to talk with clients about your boyfriend’s misbehavior or how tired you are--that conversation does not add to the atmosphere at school, either.
- Do you elevate your environment with positive, focused energy, or does a cloud of negativity enter the room with you?
Learn to be responsible for your behavior:
- Do your homework on time and to the best of your ability.
- Practice, practice, practice your massage. Hold yourself to a professional standard of performance even as you are learning, including keeping practice sessions on track and bringing your best to the session.
- Don’t penalize family members because you have taken on the big project of being in school. Keep up your responsibilities at home.
Begin now to develop the precision and focus that will help you to be successful as a massage therapist. Impress your friends, family, classmates and instructors with the self-awareness, responsibility and professionalism that you are developing. And most important, impress yourself!
This year, Susan Pomfret celebrates her thirtieth year as a massage therapist. She was chair of the coalition that helped to bring licensing to Arizona and is now a board member. Susan is lead instructor at Central Arizona College’s massage program and has a private practice in Mesa, Arizona.