How to Become a Top Therapist

I have to assume that most massage therapists like what they do.  You get to help people feel better, you can often pick the hours you will work, and there are many opportunities available today, maybe more than ever before.

But for some of you, working for someone else, or working alone, may not be what you want going forward.  You may want to become a teacher, or a continuing education (CE) provider.  You want to grow in our profession and then share what you have learned.

In this short article, I want to share a conversation I had just the other day with a fairly new therapist (two years in the field), and how that conversation got me to decide on writing this article.

Renza Hill-Moore is a graduate of Cortiva, and she initially emailed me asking for some help.  I responded to her email the same day, and within hours we were chatting on the phone.  I asked her how I could be of help and she started to explain to me that she was starting to feel stagnant in her job and she wanted more.  She decided that if she got involved in the AMTA, she might be able to meet new people in her profession, learn from some of these same people, and then hopefully start working towards her goal of being a CE provider.  

I was first impressed with the fact that she has set goals for herself.  I soon realized that she was also taking steps to reach her goals.  She figured out that in order to become a Top Therapist (My words, not hers) she would need help along the way.  And what better way than to reach out to a professional organization that is here for the members.

As we were talking I filled her in on all the options available to her through AMTA-IL.  I told her about Government relations and some of the success stories we have had when governmental bodies treat our profession as if we are just rubbers of oil and houses of ill repute.  I mentioned communications and how we try our best to keep the membership informed about many different topics and activities being offered through AMTA-IL.  I mentioned the Outreach Committee and how they provide massage at various activities.  I included the Conference Committee and how every spring AMTA-IL put on an amazing 3 day conference attended by close to 300 therapists from around the State.

She was very intrigued by the outreach committee as that would allow her to meet a lot of different therapists and at the same time give back to the community.  So I put her in touch with our Outreach Chair (who has done an amazing job by the way).

I also told her about several things related to how to become a CE provider, but as we were talking, I soon realized she had already started doing her homework on how to become a provider.  

As the title of this article states “How to become a Top Therapist”, I hope the story of my conversation with Renza explains at least part of how to do just that.  You need to first realize that dreaming of becoming one is not enough.  You have to set goals.  You then need to determine the steps you can take to achieve those goals.  But the hardest part for most people is taking action to make those goals happen.  

Becoming a top therapist will not fall in your lap.  You need to get more education that just what you received in school.  Schools provide you what you need to get started in this profession, but thousands of therapists get the basics from school.  If you want to become a top therapist, you will need to do research.  You will need to step out of your comfort zone.  You will need to take lots of classes so you can become more skilled and knowledgeable, and you will need to meet lots of people in our profession.

Becoming involved in AMTA, I believe, is an outstanding way to help any person become that top therapist.  

I always considered myself to be a very good therapist, but it was through my teaching at The Soma Institute and becoming active in the AMTA that my career took off.  I have no doubt that Renza in on the path to becoming a Top Therapist.  She is taking all the steps needed to achieve her goals.  As membership chair, I can tell you that if she keeps asking me for help, I will gladly help her, because the future of massage therapy is only going to become more and more accepted, and we need to develop that next group of Top Therapists now.

So, if you want to be more than just a 9 to 5 therapist, follow Renza’s formula for success, and a big part of that is to get involved on an organization that is there for the members—AMTA.  

Mike Hovi