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Do online massage therapy schools spell the end of our profession?

Do online massage therapy schools spell the end of our profession?

Over the years we have seen a gradual increase in the number of online courses being offered in various forms of massage therapy. Taking over from the more traditional hands-on courses, these online massage courses tend to come in two distinct formats;  


  1. Online massage training packages sold by discount websites. 
  2. Courses from experienced teachers or organisations. 


This latest trend receives mixed reactions in the discussions amongst massage therapists, with many of you being rightly annoyed and concerned about the impact those trained rapidly in an online massage therapy school might have on the industry.

However, are there any positives to this trend? Can this new development aid massage therapists at all or is it degrading the massage industry?

We will look at the two types of courses we are seeing on offer, reflect on the discussions they generate and try to see if the future of training really is as bleak as it first appears!


Online massage courses sold by discount websites. 


  Facebook comment about online training from Catreena Clague Hicks

It is upsetting that companies are fooling gullible members of the public into believing you can learn everything you need to set up such a wide range of businesses from less than reputable sources for only £39! However, realistically as one Facebook commenter points out, these practitioners can never get insurance to set up a serious clinic.

 Facebook comment about online training from Diz Aster


Our initial reaction to the idea that people who consider themselves "trained" by these online massage courses would be in competition to our own massage therapy businesses might be to scream!


Facebook comment about online training from Corinne Nielson-Kirby


However, think about it! This budget style approach to training is likely to manifest itself in the treatments the therapist will provide and the client who is always looking for a bargain is unlikely to be one who sticks around for long.

Whilst added competition is frustrating it is easy to set yourself apart from this kind of massage therapy. Show your experience and knowledge on your website, share useful tips on your social media and talk through your techniques with clients before and after their treatments. The right client will see the value in your work and keep coming back for more!  


Courses from experienced teachers or organisations.


We couldn't agree more with Nicki Lee that there are aspects of the training process you lose by studying massage online. 


Facebook comment about online training from Nicki Lee  


However, there are scenarios in which a course from an accredited online massage therapy school can be helpful to massage therapists. 

For years experienced massage therapists have refreshed their skills in a variety of ways, from short in-person courses to hitting the books. In this new age, online courses help keep costs down and are better for the planet than mounds of textbooks!

Experienced massage therapists also regularly expand their skills by adding a new style of massage to their roster. If you are looking at adding a new set of techniques which are not too dissimilar to those you are already using, the ability to achieve this without all the expenses involved in attending a lengthy in-person training course is a game changer. 

As we all know resources are often tight for massage therapists. When looking for the next style of massage to explore, having the chance to get a taste online before making a larger investment in a hands-on course is a blessing! It will undoubtedly also reduce the amount of burnout commonly felt when trying to run a massage therapy business. 


To sum up


Whilst the growth of quick fix courses is undoubtedly worrying, the increase in online options gives existing massage therapists opportunities to expand their skills with less cost. Do your research and make sure you know of any regulations for the massage style you are looking to train in. Reach out to other therapists to ask for recommendations and before signing up make sure a recognisable organisation has accredited the online massage therapy school. 


Have you ever done any online massage courses? Did you find them useful or do you still prefer to do all your training in person? Let us know in the comments below! 

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