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Are you dreaming of becoming a massage therapist, but feeling a little hesitant about jumping right into a two-year program? We’ve got you covered.

Massage for Beginners is a 2-day hands-on introduction to the world of massage. The workshop gets rave reviews from people want a short, safe, preview of what it’s really like attend massage school and build a massage career. We also get a lot of curious folks who want to learn the basics of massage to work on friends and family members (and to guarantee that they’ll be the most popular person on the group ski trip!).

Spend the weekend learning hands-on massage skills from a real MH Vicars instructor, using our professional equipment!

Why is Massage for Beginners so valuable?

When students first begin hands-on work, everyone is nervous about getting on and off the table and staying draped, touching, and being touched. Linda McGeachy, MH Vicars director of curriculum, says she can see the difference in the first few classes between those who have taken the workshop and those who haven’t: “Module One can be overwhelming, but those who have had the workshop do much better. They have so much more confidence.”

If you are interested in becoming a massage therapist, a beginners’ workshop is the best way to be secure about your decision and to be prepared and confident for the first day of class. And if you come away from the workshop feeling like massage therapy isn’t for you after all, that’s just as valuable. Massage is not the career for everyone. No reputable massage school wants to enroll students who are not going to thrive.

While many schools make their introductory session mandatory, Vicars does not because so many of our students are from out of town or out of province.

But we do strongly encourage prospective students to attend—and even refund the $250 course fee for everyone who goes on to attend our massage program!

From Workshop Student to Workshop Instructor

When Corliss Robertson was considering whether to train at Vicars for her new massage career, she was keen to sign up for the introductory weekend. Although she already thought she was making the right career choice, she wanted to make sure: “I thought if I was going to invest two years of my life in massage training, I might as well make sure it was really right for me, and the workshop seemed like a great way to give it a try.”

Corliss, who graduated in 2015, has built a successful career and eventually returned to the school as an instructor. As well as teaching classes, she now teaches many of the Massage for Beginners workshops at the Calgary campus.

No matter what brings our beginners in, they all find it wonderful—and empowering—to be able to do a simple and effective one-hour massage by the end of the two-day workshop. It’s an intense two days, Corliss says, but stress-free. Participants are free to explore the work without any stress or academic expectations.

“There is no judgement. It’s a relaxed environment in which to test the work,” she says.

Each workshop opens with a presentation on how to keep both therapist and massage subjects safe. They learn how to set up the equipment, what makes a good massage table, and how to keep a treatment space clean. Students learn to check with their clients for contraindications to massage. And they learn to keep themselves safe through practicing good body mechanics as they work. Careful draping techniques are taught and practiced, so that both parties feel comfortable.

The group works in pairs as the instructor demonstrates each of the techniques that together form the skill set of a basic relaxation massage, including effleurage, petrissage, and tapotement. They learn the overall principles of massage, the rules that make these techniques safe and effective.

But for everyone, the best part of the weekend is the last afternoon, when the instructor leads the class as they take turns giving and receiving a whole-body massage, timing the different steps so that each pair works at the same pace, and everyone completes the treatment in one hour. At the end of the workshop, each student takes home their learning materials so they can continue to learn and practice their new skills on friends and family once they get home.

The reviews are in!

Here’s a sampling of the feedback we’ve received from past workshop participants:

“It was so cool.”

“The course is very well set up.”

“I can’t believe all that I was able to learn in such a short time.”

“There was just enough structure, but it was never rigid.”

“We really got a better understanding about what it means to be a massage therapist.”

“Having Stan [one of the school’s anatomy skeletons] was helpful. He helped show what the bony landmarks looked like.”

And this one, which we suspect was written by a reluctant pal who signed up to support their friend: “I came into this not expecting to like it and I loved it.” 

Click here to learn more about Massage for Beginners and sign up for a future workshop. The fee is $250 per person, or $350 for both if you bring a friend.

massage therapy as a career

Why Being a Registered Massage Therapist Might be your Dream Job

Massage therapists provide an invaluable service to people who are in pain, recovering from injuries, or experiencing stress. Massage therapy speeds up the healing process, improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, and can help restore emotional balance.

For most massage professionals, that’s the main reason we chose this job: we care about other people. We want to help our clients get better and stay well. We’re attracted to the health care and wellness field, but we want to make more of a one-on-one connection with our clients than would be possible as an EMT or a nurse (not to mention being able to avoid the high stress, long hours, and potential burnout so common in those jobs). Massage therapy is one of the most accessible, adaptable, and personally satisfying careers in health care.

Massage therapy could be a satisfying career for you if you are empathetic, active, and ready to learn. Over our 20 years training RMTs, we hear a lot of stories about why students choose massage, and still find it rewarding five, 10 or 18 years later.

Massage therapy may be the right career for you, if:

A flexible schedule suits the way you live

With the start of covid, Canadians traded full-time, in-office jobs for work from home and setting their own hours. Post-vaccine, many of us are still doing that, or wish we could. It’s great to be able to do an errand midweek, or volunteer for the Grade Four field trip.

Massage is that flexible: block out time to accommodate your other responsibilities and make up the time by opening your calendar earlier or later a couple of days a week.

Night owls can work more evenings, and larks can start early. If you can work evenings or early mornings or weekends, you will be doing your 9-5 clients a great service, and it will give you a competitive edge.

You have had enough of office work

Some people thrive at a desk and find making sense of a balance sheet or facilitating a zoom conference suits them perfectly. If you have tried that, and it is not for you, think about a career that lets you stand up and be active while you work. As we’ve written about before, sitting is dangerous work!

You like learning about health and how bodies work

Massage is a good choice for you if you have a background in sports, yoga Pilates, or another health care field. Much of the massage school curriculum is about the human body and how it works. You will graduate with a thorough knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the systems most affected by massage therapy.

You don’t have be an expert on human anatomy before you start our program, though! We have designed our program to be accessible to students from all backgrounds. If you meet the basic academic entrance requirements, the only other things you need are a passion for the subject matter and a willingness to work hard. This is thanks to the quality of our curriculum material, and the way we teach it.

Often, our best students are people who were nervous about going back to school because they weren’t star students in high school, or because it’s been a while since they were last in a classroom.

Our program is built specifically to meet the needs of adult learners, and our blended-learning program can accommodate the different ways that students learn. Learning the science, theory, and other academic material when it’s combined with hands-on learning and you can apply the knowledge in a practical way.

“I’m not much of a classroom person – I find it hard to sit and listen to a lecture,”, says Karen Goforth, a 2017 Vicars grad. “So that it was only four classroom days a month worked really well for me. It was hands-on and I got to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time, and then take it home and digest it myself and reread. That setup worked really well for the way that I like to learn.”

You want be fully qualified and ready to practice in less than two years

Massage therapy is one of the most accessible of the health care careers.

In regulated provinces, massage schools are required to teach anatomy and physiology, pathology, orthopedic assessment, treatment planning, medical terminology, and other subjects to a specified standard. Their hands-on education includes many hours of supervised work experience. When they meet their first clients as RMTs, they have the knowledge and experience they need to be fully effective.

In unregulated provinces, providing this level of preparation for national “entry-to-practice” standards is optional. It is expensive for schools to meet the standards, but good schools know it is what our graduates need for success.

MH Vicars School was an early adopter of the national standard and one of the first schools in Alberta to have achieved accreditation from CMTCA, the same authority that accredits schools in the regulated provinces: BC, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and PEI. 

You want job security and a living wage

As standards for the profession have risen across Canada, the profile of the well-trained professional has risen with it. Good massage therapists are in higher demand than ever. Research evidence of the value of massage piles up, and it has become increasingly common for other health professionals to view RMTs as part of their patients’ health care team. Doctors regularly recommend massage for rehabilitation following surgery or injury, to promote flexibility and increase range of motion for older adults and people with disabilities, and to provide relief to those with chronic pain.

And with this growth in respect from other professions and the public, job security for RMTs is better than ever. Most years, between 95-98% of our grads are fully employed (or working as much as they want to) by the end of their first year in the profession. Even with covid precautions in place, our grads report that they’re booked for weeks or even months in advance. Especially in smaller centres, many are no longer accepting new clients.

Talent.com reports an average salary of $67,500 for massage therapists across Canada (higher in regulated provinces). Your income will rise as you build a reputation for effectiveness, and generally be higher if you are self-employed.

You can be your own boss

Massage therapists can work anywhere that they want to. You can find MH Vicars graduates in dedicated massage clinics, in clinics or health centres alongside physiotherapists and chiropractors, at gyms, at corporate or industrial work sites, at resorts and hotels, and even in their own homes.

Most Vicars graduates work for themselves. They rent a room in a larger clinic or a gym, have clinic space in their own homes, or start and operate clinics that employ other massage therapists or other practitioners.

 

The Massage Therapy Program at Vicars could be the pathway to your ideal career. We have campuses in Calgary and Edmonton and a schedule that is designed to work with your lifestyle. For more information and to speak with our friendly admissions team, call us toll-free 1-866-491-0574 or sign up for an online open house!

 

For our latest entry in our graduate spotlight series, we’re switching things up a bit. Instead of interviewing a grad and writing about our conversation, we handed over the whole blog to her! 

In this post, Claudia Wattel tells the story of her massage therapy career in her own words—from going back to school as an adult, to starting her own business in her small town. 

Hello! My name is Claudia Wattel, RMT. I run my own home-based massage clinic, R.E.M Massage in Barrhead, Alberta. I graduated from MH Vicars of Massage Therapy in Edmonton in 2017.

 

For me, going back to school was a life-changing event in more ways than one. When I decided to go back to school and pursue a career in massage, it was a now-or-never moment in my life. It was also, in a lot of ways, a spur of the moment decision.

 

I was 43 years old and I had already been a single mom for many years. I was looking for something that would be fulfilling and I wanted to do something that would benefit the health of others. I was looking for a career that would give me freedom and would not tie me to a specific place.

 

I also wanted options so that I would never feel stuck in any job. At the time, I was working full time as manager of a furniture store. I was doing okay making a living off of that, but knew that something had to change if I ever wanted to get ahead financially so that one day I could retire.  

 

I was also looking for a career where I could attend school while working full time. After doing a lot of research I was pulled in the direction of massage therapy because MH Vicars offered a blended-learning schedule option that would make this possible. 

 

But I still was not sure I would like it. So when I saw that MH Vicars was offering a weekend introductory massage course, I signed up for it.

 

This in itself was way out of my comfort zone, but I decided if I was ever going to do it then now was the time. My two older children had already graduated and in the work force, and my youngest daughter was in high school. I wanted to be done my own schooling before she went into her grade 12 year—I wanted to be able to dedicate my time to her in her graduation year.  

 

After taking the weekend massage course, I decided to jump in with both feet. I was called into MH Vicars for an interview after which I was accepted into the weekly program.

 

I will admit it was a very tough 2 years. But I knew it was doable. I remember thinking when I started that if I can make the pass grade of 75% I will be happy. Being a mature student, I knew that failure really was not an option. There is not only a lot of money invested into education but also a lot of time. Time is a precious commodity. And I will admit—there is also a sense of pride that is not always there when you are younger. There was no way I was going to go home at the end and have to tell people that I failed! 

 

I was working full time most weeks. I had two days off each week: Sunday and Wednesday, the day I had class. 

 

The first year I was in school from 9am-5pm (plus the commute to and from Barrhead, which is 2 hours each way). I also did about 4-5 hours of independent study work every weekday evening and most weekends. 

 

Once public clinic was added into the mix, it became even more time-consuming. I chose to do my public clinic shifts on Wednesdays after class so that I wouldn’t have to drive into the city more often than necessary. So I was in school pretty much every Wednesday from 9am-9 pm. 

 

I was thankful that my kids were older and fairly self-sufficient. I was also thankful that I had a strong support system: my sister and brother-in-law helped me out a lot.

 

When all was said and done it was all worth it: hard work and perseverance definitely pays off. Not only did I achieve my goal of not failing—I graduated from MH Vicars with honors! 

I received a great education through MH Vicars. 

 

The program is jam-packed. I had very hands-on instructors and public clinic supervisors. By the time I graduated I was prepared to confidently put into practice what I had learned. Today, I am doing what I love.

 

I was very fortunate because I still had my full-time job at the furniture store when I graduated. This meant that I didn’t have to stress about having a full client base right away and gave me the freedom to build my massage practice at my own pace. 

 

I started working part time at Pembina Massage in Barrhead in September 2017. I knew that I eventually wanted to have a home-based practice where I would have complete control over my schedule and my clients, but I also wanted to get some more clinic experience first.

For almost three years, I worked at Pembina Massage three evenings a week and treated a few clients at the clinic space I set up in my home. And then COVID hit in spring of 2020 and Alberta had its first shutdown. 

 

When Alberta Health made the decision to allow massage clinics to open up again, I decided that the time was right to leave the clinic and focus on my home-based business. 

 

I knew that this would mean rebuilding my clientele, but I could afford to take this risk because I am still working at the furniture store (I love that job too!). 

 

It was always my intention to practice massage part time. This career supplements my existing income. At first that additional income went towards paying off my student loans. Now that I have done that, I can slowly work towards retirement.
 

I believe that massage therapy in a small town differs a lot from a city practice. In a small town everyone knows everyone. When you walk down the street it is a constant stream of saying hi to people you know. This also means that your clinic has a much more personal feel to it. 
 

When we studied ethics in school, our instructors really stressed the importance of having boundaries between your friendships and your client relationships. In a small town, many of your clients are friends or acquaintances before they become clients. So I need to pay special attention to enforcing the appropriate boundaries and maintaining the therapeutic relationship both during massage treatment sessions, and in my everyday life. When my friends and neighbours come to me for a massage treatment, they know that for the time they are in the clinic space, they are my clients and I am their massage therapist. Outside of that space, I’m their friend and not their RMT.

 

Professionalism is very important. I have found that because I work from my home, new clients are sometimes surprised that it’s a professional space, a professional business. But they learn right away that my clinic is exactly that: my clinic. It is a professional environment, and I my clients receive the same respect and care that they would in any professional clinic. 

 

In a small town there is a lot of “it’s not just what you know, but who you know.” Advertising happens through word of mouth. You have to be good at what you do, because if you are not news travels fast. That being said, if you do your job well others will hear about it.  

 

I have been very blessed.  My career in massage therapy to date has been very fulfilling. I have been able to help a lot of people and continue to do so. My clinic is open 3 nights a week. I am fully booked through October and am booking clients into November and December. I have not had to advertise for my clinic and have had to turn clients away because I am already busier than I imagined I would be. 

 

My massage career has also given me that step up that I was hoping for financially. In addition to saving for retirement, I was able to purchase a new home this spring and I have been able to create a perfect set up for my home-based clinic. 

 

When I was a student, we had to create a business plan. One of the required elements was a mission statement. I still believe in what I wrote back then, and it’s now the mission statement of R.E.M Massage: 

 

To assist in the healing of body and mind. 

To relieve tension and pain. 

To bring an overall feeling of health and wellness to each and every client in a professional and relaxed environment. 

One massage at a time. 

 

Claudia Wattel, RMT 

R.E.M. Massage 

Rejuvenate. Enhance. Maintain. 

Q & A with Jocelyn Stewart: RMT and owner of Sunrae Massage and Wellness

 

A career in massage therapy called to Jocelyn Stewart. She enrolled in the 2-year program at MH Vicars School of Massage Therapy in Edmonton and  graduated in 2013.  Jocelyn got a job in a clinic as a student therapist when she was in her second year at MH Vicars, and stayed on after she graduated. During her four years there, she established a loyal client base, developed as a therapist, and learned even more about the business side of massage therapy.grad spotlight- Jocelyn Stewart

When she was ready to strike out on her own, she opened Sunrae Massage and Wellness in Fort Saskatchewan. Sunrae is now a thriving multi-therapist practice. Jocelyn herself is booking four or five months in advance, and she rents clinic space to other RMTs as well. 

She recently sat down with us to talk about how she became the therapist she is today, and what she’s learned along the way.

 

Tell me about your experiences as a business owner

I had the most wonderful mentor at the first clinic I worked at. She was so open to teaching me or letting me ask any questions, but yet letting me explore my own way. When she decided she was going to work from home, I decided to open Sunrae. I found this beautiful little building – and then I got a lot of life lessons!

Renovating, signing contracts, dealing with leases, accountants, all of that.

Maybe the biggest thing, on the business side of it, is I have learned the importance of a contract. My whole motto in life now is: “To be clear is to be kind.” 

When I have new therapists come in, I really try to foster them and say: “You know what, I don’t want to be on a split, I want you to have your own business. I want you to rent the room. I want you to develop, and do what you want to do.” 

 

You’ve been working as an RMT for nearly a decade. How has your client base changed over the years?

I don’t work with a lot of new clients now. Some of my clients are the same ones I’ve had for nearly ten years, and I’ve been so blessed. Right now I’m booking into October and November.

I have one client that I massaged at school outreach event when I was a student—I think it was the Mother’s Day Run. I massaged him for ten minutes, and he asked me for my card. [Laughs] I didn’t have cards! I was just a student! But I gave him the information of the place that I was working, and I’ve been treating him ever since. 

When you get a real connection with your clients, it’s so nice. You can build on each massage therapy treatment, and have an idea of where we need to go next. That’s really interesting.

I’m kind of nervous when I do get a new client now. I’m like “Oh my god! I’m going to have to explain myself and what my philosophies are!”

 

Can you elaborate on that? How have you managed to build a client base that aligns with your outlook and what you’re trying to do? 

I think that as a new therapist, you really try to please everybody and in doing so, sometimes you don’t get to find your own gifts or your own qualities. 

You have to be OK with the fact that you’re not for everybody. My style may not be for everybody. And, you know, you have to let your ego go and do what’s best for the client. 

Communication is so important, with all your clients. You tell them, “This is what we’re going to try, and why.” And at the end, I ask them how they feel and ask for feedback. And to my newer clients, I do say: “I’m not for everybody, and there’s other types of massage that may help you better.”

You really have to communicate and listen to what the client’s saying. 

It can be really hard to be open enough to know that you can and even should refer out to other therapists. I will refer out to the other RMTs that work with me sometimes, or to other colleagues. Sometimes I’ll tell them that they should try going to a physio, and so on.

And another thing that sometimes we don’t talk about is when you get a complaint about how you’ve performed, or in my case sometimes I hear a complaint about one of the therapists working for me. 

You have to take a step back, take the deep breath and go, “OK, how do I make this better? Is this a learning situation or is it a little bit unreasonable? Is this person just not for us?”

It can be really hard! I mean, I put my heart and soul into this. This is a little piece of me.

 

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your practice?

When it hit, there were three of us working at the clinic. It was difficult because of all the new regulations. I took that very seriously: I went into the clinic, removed the waiting room, put up the signs, got all the new things we needed. And then we were off for what, four months? 

I didn’t get a rent break, I still had to pay my lease. I was able to give a rent break to the RMTs who rent rooms from me, because I was able to access some of the financial support. 

But you sit at home for four months and you think, “Oh my god, how am I going to keep my clients?”

But I had clients asking to buy gift cards to help me stay in business. I was just so humbled and grateful. And most of my clients came back. 

I went right back to my normal schedule, following the new rules. And then we got shut down again [in December 2020]. And again, you worry about how you’re going to pay the bills. But it was ok.

The only thing that I have really struggled with is clients who were anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. I got really tired of having to fight for them to wear a mask. I have a couple of clients that I just didn’t rebook, because I couldn’t deal with it anymore. It’s my safety, you know?

I was following the restrictions, and really trying to do my best with that. The other RMTs and I just sat down and discussed what we want to do now that the government has said that there’s no more restrictions. We’ve decided to keep them going for now, because that’s what we’re comfortable with at this moment.

 

Those can be tough conversations to have. 

I really think it’s great that we just sat down and discussed how this going to look for us. We’ve been pretty much on par, and so supportive of each other. We’ve been there for each other. 

I really enjoy that part of the business—trying to empower younger therapists. 

It’s hard to find somebody who’s brave enough to go out on their own. It’s hard. So I try to create an environment of support for them. 

 

What advice would you give to someone just beginning their massage therapy career? 

It is really important to make sure that, with any place that you go to work, that you have a very good contract. A contract protects both you and the other person—a verbal agreement isn’t good enough. You really do need to have a contract, because then there’s no guesswork and I would really do things.

And take continuing education courses. Get excited about new techniques, and get excited about what you’re doing. 

When you go into that massage room, go find what needs to be done—not what you think needs to be done. Really, really try to be open to solving the problem.

It can be really hard to be open because I think massage therapists are, as a rule, fairly sensitive people. So just know that it’s okay to say to yourself, “That didn’t go as well. What can I do to do better?”

And of course, support each other. There’s no need to be cutthroat. Support each other, and let’s make this industry really well respected. 

A massage therapy career (and the opportunity to open your own business!) is well within reach. Jocelyn got her start with our massage training program and you can too! Set up your virtual tour today to learn more about how MH Vicars can help set you on a path to a new career as a registered massage therapist.

 

Preliminary Accreditation Granted Seal of the CMTCA

Preliminary Accreditation Granted Seal of the CMTCA

MH Vicars School of Massage Therapy is proud to announce that we have been granted Preliminary Accreditation status from the Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation. 

This status is an important milestone for our school, our students, and the massage therapy profession in Alberta.  

“I’m so proud of our faculty and staff,” says Maryhelen Vicars, the school’s founder and president. “We have been working towards this goal for several years, and the high score we achieved at this stage is a welcome confirmation of the quality of our program.”  

What is CMTCA accreditation? What is preliminary accreditation?  

The Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation (CMTCA) is an independent agency that evaluates massage programs across the country to determine whether they meet rigorous curriculum and delivery standards. 

The CMTCA evaluation rates a school’s performance in seven important categories: curriculum content; faculty and learning; student support; leadership and administration; human resources; resources and infrastructure; and quality improvement. Each category is broken down further into multiple criteria—95 in total.  

Schools start by applying for preliminary accreditation. This is a rigorous process that involves gathering documentation and evidence for all the criteria. The school’s written submission is then independently reviewed by three trained CMTCA surveyors.  

Now that we have preliminary accreditation status, the next step is full accreditation, which involves a scheduled site visit from CMTCA surveyors. We are one of only two private massage therapy colleges in Alberta to have earned preliminary accreditation status. The massage therapy program at Lethbridge College, a publicly funded college, is the only massage program in Alberta with full accreditation. 

Preparing the application was a team effort led by Executive Director Sarah Ward-Bakken and Curriculum Coordinator Linda McGeachy. The whole team spent many hundreds of hours on the project, reviewing each standard and gathering detailed evidence of how our program meets the criteria. 

“Applying for accreditation gave us the opportunity to examine each aspect of the program in great depth and detail,” says Linda. “Receiving preliminary accreditation has made me more confident than ever that the school is offering comprehensive, well-rounded training that is second-to-none in Canada. 

“Accreditation is about making sure that best practices in massage therapy education are upheld, and that schools continue to invest in quality improvement,” Sarah added. “It ensures that graduates are knowledgeable, competent, safe, and ethical.” 

Why does CMTCA accreditation matter?

Program accreditation through the CMTCA is a way for massage therapy programs to demonstrate that they meet Canada’s national program standards. In provinces where massage therapy is a regulated health care profession, standards are mandatory and so accreditation is essential.  

Massage therapy is not regulated in Alberta and there’s no universal education standard. But in our eyes, that makes independent approval processes like CMTCA accreditation and the MTAA school approval program list more important, not less. 

“We have never been about meeting minimum requirements,” says Maryhelen. “It’s unfortunate for the profession, and for Alberta massage students, that this kind of consistent, evidence-based education isn’t already mandatory for Alberta massage schools. But I’m proud to be able to offer it for our students. 

“From the very beginning, our school has been committed to meeting the highest standards of massage therapy education,” she says. “Back in 2012 when the regulated provinces first agreed on a standard for what all students should learn before they are ready to practice, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. In many areas, we were already compliant. Where the expectations were higher, we spent the time and money needed to make sure we met them. 

“We had the same attitude when the CMTCA started accepting applications from Alberta schools. We jumped at the chance to prove ourselves.” 

The more schools that choose to get accredited, the higher the quality of massage education in Alberta will be overall. This will improve outcomes for clients and help strengthen the reputation of massage as a valuable health care profession.  

What does this mean for current and future Vicars students?

The most important thing for current and future Vicars students to take away from today’s news is that their massage education meets the highest national standards, and that they can be confident that they are on their way to becoming skilled, effective, and successful health care professionals. The day-to-day experience of being a Vicars student hasn’t changed. This new status from the CMTCA is simply recognition from independent experts that what we’re doing works.  

There will be practical benefits, too, of course: many clients and employers already show preferences for therapists from specific schools, and this will set our graduates apart even more.  

We expect that the accreditation process will have the greatest impact on our students who plan to work in regulated provinces after they graduate. The details will depend on when we are able to schedule our site visit for full accreditation, and on the policies of the regulatory college in question. Overall, we expect that our current status, and eventual full accreditation status, will open many doors for our students in other jurisdictions.

6 tips how to choose a massage school

Ready to Begin Your New Career?
This Essential Info Will Help You Get Started

Massage therapy is a thriving, in-demand career, ideal for people from all walks of life who put “helping others” at the top of their career bucket list. It’s also a career very well suited to those who are curious about physiology and how the human body works. If you’ve ever thought about a career in massage therapy, your next step will be choosing the right massage therapy school or program for you. 

To help you on your journey, here are a few tips to help you research your options. 

1.     Make sure it’s a licensed school

Your success as a massage therapist depends, in large part, on the quality of your massage therapy education. In order to provide the best health care to your clients, and to navigate the business side the career, you need to attend a school that has a strong curriculum, qualified instructors, and offers a practicum that is fully supervised and integrated into the curriculum.  

It’s essential that you attend a school that’s properly licensed by the government. The only schools that are licensed by the Province of Alberta to provide Massage Therapy Certification (as part of a two-year program) are listed with Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education. Only students who attend a full-time, licensed program are eligible to apply for provincial and federal student loans and grants. 

But in Alberta, where massage is not a regulated profession, government licensing is the bare minimum to look for in a school. Unfortunately, making sure that a school is licensed isn’t enough to make sure that you’re going to get a good education, or have an enjoyable student experience. That’s because the Alberta government doesn’t monitor the contents or quality of a school’s curriculum, which has led to a lot of variation among massage programs in Alberta. 

There is no single standard for course content, subject matter, academic standards, facilities, or faculty qualifications that all schools need to follow. There are few advertising standards, and little to protect prospective students from high-pressure or misleading sales tactics. 

2.     Find out what the professionals have to say

So where else can you look to find out if a school is going to prepare you for a long, successful career? We recommend looking through the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta’s Approved Programs list. To make it onto the list, schools and programs must comply with Canada’s massage education entry-to-practice standard  and meet demanding criteria for program delivery methods and instructor qualifications. This list is also a useful tool to hold schools accountable for what they teach, ensuring that all students get the best quality education possible. (Full disclosure: we were the first private school added to the list) 

From there, you can start to look at the details of each program to decide whether it’s right for you. 

It’s also a great idea to chat with your own massage therapist. Where did they go to school? Would they recommend it? What do they know about other programs based on their conversations with colleagues, or their experiences as employers? 

3.     Learn your local massage therapy standards

In order to work in a province where massage is not government regulated, you need to become a member of one of the professional associations that operate in that province. In Alberta, those associations include the Massage Therapists Association of Alberta and the National Health Practitioners of Canada.  (It’s a great idea to reach out to an association in your province as you research your education options! But be careful—some associations are owned by or linked to particular schools. So make sure you’re getting an independent opinion). 

If you want to work in BC, Ontario, or another province where massage therapy is a regulated profession, you will have to go through a few more steps to become registered after you graduate.  

All of those provinces require you to pass an entry-to-practice exam to become a member of their Regulatory College. Though the application processes vary, all of Canada’s massage therapy Regulatory Colleges use the same entry-to-practice standard. So if you want to go to school in a non-regulated province and plan on working in a regulated province someday (or just want to keep your options open for the future) then make sure that your school of choice has a curriculum that lives up to that standard. 

4.     Learn about eligibility requirements and application deadlines

In terms of official qualifications and prerequisites, application standards vary from school to school. There will be reasonable academic prerequisites. At a minimum, schools will require a high school diploma, GED, or a combination of high school credits and an aptitude test. These are the minimum technical requirements for acceptance into a licenced program in Alberta, but at most schools, students are accepted based on a one-on-one interview. At Vicars, we’re looking for students who have the drive for an intensive two-year program that covers everything from anatomy to ethics to business skills. The most successful students want to spend you’re their careers helping people, and are you curious, energetic, organized, and self-motivated. 

Keep an eye on the start dates for your preferred program. Plan ahead and apply early so that you’ll have the best chance of getting a place in the program and your first choice of schedule. This is more important at some schools than others, depending on a lot of factors, such as program size, class size and maximum student-instructor ratio, and number of start dates per year. 

At MH Vicars School, we often have to put applicants on a waitlist for our most popular schedules. We keep our class sizes  small (a maximum of 22 students per class, and two teachers per class) so that we can make sure our students get a high standard of hands-on instruction and plenty of one-on-one attention. We have two start dates per year: September and January, though students can start our Anatomy and Physiology and Pathology classes online as soon as they are registered.  

Some massage therapy schools do things differently, and there will be advantages and disadvantages that go along with that. For example, a school might have the option of new classes starting every month. This is appealing for people who don’t want to have to wait to start their new careers. But those classes might only run if enough people sign up, causing your education to be delayed and deferred anyway. Or a school might have small class sizes for its practical instruction, but larger classes for everything else. It’s up to you to consider your priorities, research the program, and decide what combination of features is the best fit for you. 

The best massage therapy programs in Alberta have high standards for their students because they have high standards for the profession of massage therapy.  

5.     Find the schedule and learning style that suits you

At the end of the day, choosing a school isn’t about finding the “perfect” massage therapy program. It’s about finding the perfect massage therapy program for you. Even the best schools in Alberta have differences among them and are designed to meet the needs of different students. 

There are some colleges that offer a variety of programs, with massage therapy one of many. Other schools, like us here at Vicars, are dedicated solely to training professional massage therapists. At a larger institution, especially one that offers multiple programs, you’re more likely to get the “traditional” post-secondary student experience. For some people that’s one of the draws. Others are attracted to the personalized experience and close relationships that come with a smaller, massage-specific program. 

Monday-Friday programs are a better choice for students who are right out of high school and are used to a more directed and less flexible learning style. A blended learning program is ideal for mature learners who want more control over their education and schedule, and people who don’t live in a big city but still want a quality education. 

Pay attention to the recruiting style of schools that interest you. Are the admissions staff on commission? Do they use call centres? The impression that you get from the admissions staff is often a reflection of the school itself and what your student experience will be like. They should be as interested in learning about your goals and needs as they are about telling you about the program.  

6.     Register for a tour and try a workshop

Now that you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to see if your dream schools live up to your expectations! 

If the school offers an in-person or virtual tour or open house, that’s a great sign. You want to be able to experience the college and meet staff, faculty, and students as a part of your research. (Many schools have turned to virtual tours due to the pandemic, and these can also be a valuable experience.) 

Take advantage of any opportunities you have. Ask questions about the coursework, meet the staff, see the students in action, and even  experience a treatment for yourself at student clinics. 

Some massage schools offer one- or two-day beginners’ workshops so that you can get a short hands-on experience and learn some very basic techniques. They can be a good way for a prospective student to get a feel for their space and teaching style. 

Set yourself up for success 

By choosing the right massage therapy education, you’ll set yourself up for success by making sure that you have the skills, knowledge, and experience that clients want and need. Graduates from the best schools are fully qualified to forge arewarding career as a professional massage therapist.  

If you think Vicars might be the right school for you, contact us today to learn all about life as an MH Vicars student and future massage therapist. 

Create a Balanced, Healthy Lifestyle as an RMT

Work-life balance is high on the list of career must-haves for almost everyone. Looking to break free of the 9-5 and the culture of being constantly connected to the office by text, phone, or email? A career as a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) can help you achieve this dream. 

As a massage therapist, you’ll never be tied to a desk again. Working directly with your clients to help them heal, you’ll have the satisfaction of being a health care professional—without the shift work and high stress. According to job website Monster.com, being a massage therapist is among the top 7 most relaxing jobs. And most MH Vicars School graduates are entrepreneurs, which means they set their own hours and design their own workspaces. 

That doesn’t mean that being a massage therapist is easy, of course! Massage therapists use both their muscles and their minds to help their clients heal. You will need to be fully engaged and present for each treatment. And being your own boss isn’t a walk in the park; you’ll be responsible for managing the business side of your practice. 

But for massage therapists, those challenges pale in comparison to the benefits of this fulfilling and flexible career. You will have the knowledge and skills to change their clients’ lives—and you’ll get to live the life you want, too. 

Can I have a satisfying career and still have time for myself and my family? 

As educators, we know that one of the reasons that our students choose MH Vicars School is because our blended-learning schedules allow them to balance their education with their other responsibilities. And as RMTs, we know that one of the attractions of a career in massage therapy is the ability to achieve a healthy work-life balance. 

What that balance looks like is different for everyone and will change over time as your needs change. That’s why it’s so important to choose a career that lets you be in control of your professional life and that can grow and evolve alongside you. 

Most of our students want their career to be flexible enough to fit around their demanding family life. For some of them, that means being able to work around their kids’ school and activity schedule.  

What Kind of Schedule Does an RMT Work? 

RMTs can work whatever hours and schedules they and their clients prefer. 

Massage therapists see their clients by appointment, so you can set your availability to whatever works best for you and your family. This can make it easier to manage family or other non-work activities, and you won’t need to ask anyone’s permission to take a holiday. 

As an RMT, you can work evenings and weekends if you need to be around for your toddler during the day, or to make sure that your last massage of the day is done in time to drive your teens to hockey practice.  By planning ahead, you can work part-time or casual hours when your schedule demands it. 

It’s not just parents who dream of having control over their own schedule. Vicars students range in age from their early 20s to the late 50s. For some of our younger students, becoming a massage therapist is an opportunity to work and travel. A lot of our older students are excited to become RMTs in order to set their own full-time hours now, and also to have the option to switch to part-time later on. 

Can I make a living as an RMT? 

Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries in Canada. Canadians are increasingly relying on massage therapy, and doctors are referring patients to RMTs for treatment more than ever before. Also, many health plans now also cover massage therapy services, making it easier than ever for clients to receive massage to supplement their mainstream medical care.  This widespread popularity means that registered massage therapy is an in-demand career. In fact, many Vicars grads are so busy that they have a steady client base booking months in advance, plus a constantly filled waiting list. 

A well-trained massage therapist can earn a very comfortable income, but exactly how much money you make will depend on your type of practice, where you are, and how much you work. 

Massage therapists can work in a wide variety of settings, including: 

  • Dedicated massage therapy clinics 
  • Home-based massage clinics 
  • Chiropractic clinics 
  • Acupuncture clinics 
  • Physiotherapy clinics 
  • Rehabilitation centres 
  • Spas and hotels 
  • Fitness centres 

Most registered massage therapists charge between $80-$110 for a 60-minute massage. Of course, that’s not all income. If you’re running your own clinic, you will have to cover rent, supplies, laundry, marketing, and other expenses. If you work as a contractor in someone else’s clinic, you will either have a fee-splitting agreement (60% to the therapist is a common arrangement) or pay the clinic a fixed monthly fee. In exchange, some of your business expenses and tasks will be covered by the clinic. 

A sustainable full-time workload for a well-trained massage therapist is between 20 and 25 massages per week. In addition to that hands-on time with your clients, your responsibilities will include charting, doing laundry, booking and confirming clients, marketing, and other administrative tasks. If you work as a contractor or as an employee, the clinic might handle some or all those duties for you (except your treatment paperwork, of course). 

Some RMTs work as employees in clinics or spas and earn an hourly wage. They’ll usually work assigned shifts, and they get paid the same amount no matter how many clients they see. They are also paid for the time that they put into their non-massage duties. Compared to working as a contractor or running your own clinic, the hours and income are more predictable and there’s usually less responsibility. For some people, that’s exactly what they need to achieve the work-life balance that they’re looking for. 

There are disadvantages to working for an hourly wage, however. Therapists working for an hourly wage typically make less overall than other therapists. They don’t get to set their own hours, and also have less control over how many massages they perform in a day. So if your version of work-life balance involves flexibility and setting your own pace, you’re better off working for yourself. Fortunately, the Vicars curriculum involves business training and hands-on experience at our fully functional public clinic. You’ll be prepared to launch your own career as soon as you graduate. 

A healthy and relaxing work environment 

Massage is an inherently relaxing experience, even if you’re the one giving the massage treatment. All around you, calming music is playing, gentle scents are wafting through the air and everyone is speaking softly. The best part is that even if that client comes in flustered and stressed, they will be completely relaxed by the end of the treatment. 

After your client leaves, you’ll clean the treatment room, replace the linens, and get set for your next treatment. Experienced RMTs make sure that they allow enough time between appointments not only to get the space ready for the next client, but to perform essential self-care rituals: having some water and a snack, stretching, and doing breathing exercises or even some light meditation to refocus your energies. 

There are a lot of things to love about a career in massage. And the best of them is that your clients are actually happy to see you. Even if they arrive stressed out or in pain, they’ll be looking forward to your treatment, and completely relaxed by the end of it. 

Being a massage therapist is hard work and has its frustrations and annoyances like every other job. We can’t promise that you’ll never be tired at the end of the day, or never get tired of folding laundry!  

But you’ll also finish every workday knowing that you have made a difference, and that you are valued for your knowledge and your skills. And that’s the key to real work-life balance: having a career that brings you as much joy and satisfaction as the other parts of your life do. 

Find Your Work-Life Balance as a Massage Therapist and Start Living the Life You’ve Imagined 

Massage therapy training at MH Vicars can open doors to the rest of your life, starting with our unique blended learning format. Set your own schedule for your online learning, spend four days a month on campus with us and then choose the days and hours you’d like to practice as a full-fledged RMT.  

For more information about our exciting program, call our friendly admissions team toll-free at 1-866-491-0574 today or attend an online open house! 

 

massage therapy has grown in 2021

How COVID-19 has changed things for RMTs and massage therapy schools

When COVID-19 arrived in Canada, none of us knew how it would affect our lives. And as massage therapists, we were also worried about our livelihoods. What would happen to a hands-on profession like massage therapy during a global pandemic? 

Over a year later, the answer is clear: massage therapy isn’t going anywhere. On the contrary, the stress and hardship of the last year has reminded RMTs and our clients just how necessary massage is in our lives. 

“There certainly have been a number of challenges in the past year in my own practice, and the massage industry as a whole throughout the pandemic. But overall, what I’m seeing is that massage is alive and well,” says MH Vicars instructor Lourdes Nunes-Sammer. Lourdes is both an RMT and a business owner. She treats clients in Edmonton and owns a clinic in Jasper that has multiple massage therapists.

Lourdes says that she’s been pleasantly surprised by how resilient her businesses have been during the pandemic. 

“In my own practice I’m as busy as ever, and the clinic in Jasper has been very busy.” 

It hasn’t been an easy year for RMTs, of course. Massage therapy was one of the many professions that had to temporarily close during Alberta’s first shutdown in spring 2020, and again for a few weeks during the second wave lockdown in December 2020. 

But each time it’s had to shut down, massage therapy has bounced right back. Rather than reducing demand, these shutdowns—and the overall stress and strain of the pandemic—have made many of our clients appreciate us more than ever. 

Our clients also trust that we’re taking the necessary steps to keep them safe, including following strict cleaning protocols, doing client screening, and wearing masks and other PPE. Some of the changes we’ve had to make have been expensive and time-consuming, but we know it’s worth it to be able to do what we love. 

“I have some clients where I am literally the only person that they see, outside of the members of their household. People who are seriously isolating,” says Lourdes. “That someone lets me be in that circle of trust and treat them—that’s a huge privilege.” 

Massage therapy is an effective treatment for a wide range of injuries and physiological conditions, and Lourdes says that her clients are still coming to her to get help with issues like TMJD, scoliosis, and other conditions. But she’s also noticed a huge increase in the number of clients who are specifically looking for stress relief. 

“I think that more than ever now, people are seeing the therapeutic benefits of a relaxation-type massage,” she explains. “They’re coming in asking for a full-body relaxation massage, whereas before I would have been treating their specific condition. 

“The pandemic is bringing to light the need for connection that we might have overlooked before, and the need for massage therapists and that therapeutic touch. They’re more stressed than they’ve ever been. Our resiliency, our overall mental and physical and psychological and spiritual health is low.” 

How has COVID-19 affected massage therapy schools? 

The pandemic has been hard on massage therapy students, too. But MH Vicars School students have had a significant advantage over some of their peers. The Vicars program has always been delivered through blended learning: a combination of hands-on learning in class, and independent study work that’s completed online and at home. This type of schedule is perfect for adult learners, rural students, and others who can’t attend an old-fashioned Monday-Friday program. 

And though we certainly didn’t anticipate this advantage when the school opened 20 years ago, blended learning has proven to be a great way to learn during a pandemic. We have made additional changes to the program to support our students during the pandemic, but without sacrificing the curriculum standards or overall student experience. 

The 2020-2021 school year was able to proceed with as few disruptions as possible. The biggest difference for our students was that our practicum clinics have been closed to the public for most of the year. This was a difficult decision, but a necessary one. Reducing the number of people that our students come into close contact with on campus has helped keep them and their families safe. It also meant that we were less likely to have to interrupt on-campus classes for our students. Our students have been working on each other at the clinic. They get a dynamic and interactive hands-on practicum experience without increasing their risk of being exposed to the virus. 

The pandemic isn’t going to disappear overnight, but next year’s students can look forward to a much more normal school experience. Thanks to vaccines and public health precautions, we look forward to reopening all our clinics to the public for the next school year. 

Massage therapy students can also breathe easy knowing that they are preparing to enter a career with a bright future. 

“I think the resounding lesson of this pandemic is that massage therapists have job security,” reflects Lourdes. “We’ve seen a lot of challenges in the industry this year—being open one day and closed the next—and keeping up with all the guidelines for how we can practice and what we need to do. But people are still coming. Because they recognize the value of it. I think there’s always going to be that demand.” 

At MH Vicars School of Massage Therapy, you can train to become a registered massage therapist for a flexible, rewarding career in this growing field. MH Vicars students learn the theory and skills to perform effective relaxation and therapeutic treatments.  

Call our friendly admissions team at 1-866-491-0574 or RSVP for the next live online open house to learn more about becoming a qualified massage therapist.

massage therapy classes at MH Vicars

A Career in Massage Therapy Can Provide Many Ideal Job Options

Have you ever said to yourself “one day, I’ll have more time for myself?” If you’re a shift worker or you’ve been stuck in the 9-5 rat race for too many years, it may be time to consider all the benefits of a career in massage therapy. Whether you dream of owning your own business or want to work flexible hours in a clinic, being a massage therapist can take you there. Go to massage therapy school, and you can build the career and the life that you’ve always wanted.

With Massage Therapy Education at MH Vicars, Your New Lifestyle Can Start Right Away

The right massage therapy training will not only prepare you for a flexible career – it will allow you to balance your work, life, and education while you’re a student. At MH Vicars School, you’ll be in control of your own schedule as soon as you register to be a student at either our Edmonton or Calgary campuses. Our full-time program is delivered through an accessible blended learning format. This means you don’t need to give up all your other responsibilities while you train with us.

You will have four full in-class days per month (you can choose the schedule that will work best for you). When you’re on campus, you’ll work closely with your instructors and classmates as you learn hands-on skills in the lab and hone all the skills you’ll need to become a successful RMT. Then you’ll spend an average of 30 hours per week on your independent-study work from the comfort of your own hoome. You’ll still be connected to your classmates and our expert instructors, but you’ll have complete control of your schedule.massage therapy classes at MH Vicars

You can even get a head start on your education, to give yourself extra time during the school year. As soon as you register for classes, you can start work on our core science courses online.

Massage Therapy School Provides a Variety of Career Opportunities

Our therapists choose MH Vicars because they want a career where they can truly help others, while working in an environment that suits their needs. Many of our graduates work in dedicated massage therapy clinics, either by themselves or with a team of other RMTs. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: you will find our graduates in a variety of settings across Canada and the world. Here are some massage therapy settings you might not have considered:

Home-based business

Say goodbye to rush hour traffic – your new commute to work could be walking down your hallway! When you consider the advantages of a home-based massage therapy business, it’s no surprise that so many MH Vicars graduates choose to set up a clinic in their own home.

When you have a clinic in your home, you have complete control over your schedule and your space and reduce your overhead costs. Your clients will appreciate the calm atmosphere, privacy, and convenience. And because you can offer appointments outside of standard office hours, you can attract clients who work shifts or have 9-5 jobs and struggle to find a massage clinic open when they need it.

Of course, this option doesn’t work for everyone, or for every home. In order to have a successful clinic from your home, you need to have a dedicated treatment space and appropriate bathroom and laundry facilities.

A mobile massage clinic

The only thing better than a massage, is a massage that comes to you! If you want to be able to treat a wide variety of clients in diverse settings, being a mobile massage therapist could be the answer. As a mobile RMT, you pack up your massage table or massage chair and treat your clients where they are. The options are endless: you could set up a clinic room at an extended care facility once a week, visit your clients in their homes, or be hired by a business to give chair massages to their employees. And because it’s so flexible, you can offer mobile massage therapy services and still have a regular clinic space for your clients to visit.

Physiotherapy clinics

Physiotherapy and massage therapy are both incredibly effective pain management and recovery practices. The two therapies have a lot in common. Both massage therapists and physiotherapists have an in-depth knowledge of the body and its systems, and use specialized hands-on techniques to treat their clients. But there are also some big differences between physio and massage, and they aren’t interchangeable. The two professions have different training, and use different techniques – which is why they complement each other so well when combined in the same clinic! By partnering up with a physiotherapist in a shared clinic or wellness centre, you will be able to provide your clients with comprehensive care to help them prevent and treat injuries, and maintain peak physical and mental health.

Chiropractic clinics

Chiropractors and RMTs frequently work side-by-side assisting clients with recovery from physical strain and injuries resulting from auto accidents, postural dysfunction, and more. A chiropractor performs the physical adjustments, and the massage therapist works on the soft tissues that have been working overtime to compensate for any misalignment.

Multi-disciplinary wellness clinics

Chiros and physios aren’t the only professions that sync up well with massage therapy. One way that many massage therapists find success is by working out of a multi-disciplinary clinic that offers a wide variety of therapeutic services. Practitioners that partner well with massage therapy include doctors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, midwives and doulas, osteopaths, and more.

Your clients will appreciate the opportunity to have so many of their health need met under one roof. And for you and your colleagues, having shared practices means that you’ll have a constant source of referrals, plenty of professional support, and the ability to share the space and equipment costs.

Long-term care homes and extended care facilities

A lifetime of wear and tear takes a toll on the human body. So it’s no surprise massage therapy is in high demand with older adults. Geriatric massage is an adaptation of relaxation and therapeutic massage techniques to meet the specialized needs of elderly clients. It lowers stress, improves sleep, reduces the symptoms of arthritis and chronic pain, improves circulation, and more. Massage has even been shown to help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Not all of your elderly clients will be able to visit you at your own clinic. But you can go to them. Many long-term care homes and seniors residences will have an in-house massage therapist, or have a mobile massage therapist visit regularly.

Hospice facilities

Hospice care isn’t always at the top of mind for potential RMTs. However, when you consider the long list of positive effects of a professional-quality massage, it makes perfect sense. In a hospice, the goal is to provide comfort and serenity as the patient transitions into end-of-life stages: providing a gentle soothing massage to complement any pain medications, keep the muscles relaxed and help to reduce physical and mental suffering.

Rehabilitation Centres

Massage therapy has been gaining attention for the role it could potentially play in assisting with detox and addiction programs. Remarkably effective in calming the mind and relieving tension, massage stimulates the skin, which results in the body’s central nervous system sending out dopamine (the happiness hormone). This dopamine release can help with stress and anxiety for a patient who has been admitted to a rehabilitation centre, provide an increase in self-awareness and allow the person who is working on kicking their addiction a peaceful time where they can passively receive positive stimulation.

Massage therapy training at MH Vicars can open so many doors, no matter where and when you’d like to practice. For more information about, call our friendly admissions team toll-free at 1-866-491-0574. or book an interactive virtual tour today!

RMT career in massage therapy

Train for a Career in Massage Therapy and Begin a Successful, Rewarding Career

A career in massage therapy can change your entire life. If you’ve ever felt trapped in a dead-end job, wishing you could work in a real career where you could help others, be paid well, and work flexible hours, becoming an RMT could be the ideal career for you. At MH Vicars, our industry-recognized two-year program can provide you the confidence and knowledge needed to build a reliable, truly satisfying career.

Here are nine reasons why a career in massage therapy just might be the career you’ve always been looking for.

  1. Graduate with the skills needed to start practicing right awayRMT career in massage therapy

With training from MH Vicars, you’ll graduate with the experience and high level of skills you need to start working immediately. You’ll have spent two years working with some of the best massage educators and RMTs in the province and gaining real experience in our massage clinic. With hundreds of hours of hands-on experience in the classroom and at our supervised student clinics, you’ll have the confidence and knowledge to enter the profession and start right away. In many provinces, you can even start working part time as a student while you’re in your second year of the program.

  1. Make a difference in others’ lives

When you know that what you’re doing is making a positive difference in the world, you’ll always be excited to get up for work in the morning.  Being a massage therapist can provide you with a great sense of purpose, since you’ll spend your days helping to make others feel better. By promoting relaxation, reducing muscle tension and pain, and even treating specific medical conditions that affect your client’s quality of life, you can help your clients live their best lives.

“Even after a busy day, I leave work really happy because I know that I’m helping so many people. I also learned so much about myself while I was at MH Vicars. Between when I started school and when I finished, I gained so much more confidence: not only in my work, but in myself.”

Emma Johannesson, 2017 graduate

Whether your clients are looking for relief from physical pain, emotional ailments like anxiety, stress, or low energy levels, you’ll be able to help them using your comprehensive training and knowledge.

  1. Become a licensed health care professional

As an RMT, you’ll experience the real sense of pride that comes with being a recognized health care professional. MH Vicars School is an MTAA Approved Program and our thoughtfully designed curriculum meets the highest Canadian massage therapy education standards. This means that after graduation, you’ll be a trusted practitioner with the skills and knowledge to work anywhere in Canada.

If you live in Alberta, Saskatchewan, or the Territories,  you’ll be able to become a valued member of one of your local professional associations, like the Massage Therapists Association of Alberta or the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada, right away. If you live in a regulated province like BC, you’ll be able to apply to take the exams set by their regulatory College.

You’ll also get to develop a strong network of like-minded colleagues in other medical and wellness professions. Even when you’ve already landed a great job or opened your own business, this network will help you build your practice, develop your skills, and provide well-rounded care for your clients.

  1.  Be your own boss

According to Statistics Canada, 62% of massage therapists are self-employed. (That number is even higher for MH Vicars graduates: 66% of our 2020 graduates work for themselves).

As part of our extensive curriculum, we explore all aspects of opening your own business. If you choose this path, you’ll be ready to dive into the world of entrepreneurship and create total career flexibility. Work for yourself, set your own hours, and enjoy the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. You can work full time, part time or casual hours — whichever you prefer.

You can even work from home or as a mobile massage therapist and go to your clients. The possibilities are endless. With your comprehensive training from MH Vicars, you’ll be able to realize your dream of leaving the 9-5 behind, set your own schedule, and be your own boss.

  1. Massage therapy is a respected and valued profession

We often joke that massage therapists are the only health care professionals that people actually look forward to spending an hour with! Your clients will come to your clinic excited for their appointment, and they’ll leave feeling calm, happy, and in less pain. You’ll get the professional satisfaction of knowing that you’re improving their health and quality of life, and the personal enjoyment that comes from working with happy and enthusiastic clients.

Gone are the days when getting a massage was a treat reserved for a Mother’s Day pampering session or the only enjoyable part of an otherwise painful physiotherapy appointment. Today, clients from all walks of life seek out RMTs who have extensive therapeutic training, for everything from reducing stress and anxiety to treating TMJD and fibromyalgia. The two years of training at MH Vicars covers everything from anatomy to treatment planning to ethics, with hundreds of hours of hands-on training in class and at the supervised practicum clinic.

  1. You can combine your passions to build your dream career

Massage therapy is an extremely flexible career – and we don’t just mean the work hours. With a well-rounded massage therapy education, you can build a career that reflects your interests.

Once you’re an RMT, you will keep learning in order to keep up with the latest research and techniques. You can add to your RMT skills by learning related modalities and treatments, like cupping or advanced manual lymphatic draining techniques.

But your career options aren’t limited to just hands-on treatments. Massage is a wonderful career upgrade for personal trainers, yoga teachers, and anyone else who already works with the body. There are so many ways to combine your skills and passions under one roof!

  1. Massage therapists are always in demand

From runners to ranchers to teachers, more and more people are relying on massage therapists to keep their bodies working at their peak. The profession has shown steady growth in the past two decades, with no signs of slowing down. At the same time, massage therapy benefits have become a standard feature in most health care plans. So while demand for well-trained RMTs has increased, regular massage treatments have become more accessible.

This means that there are many opportunities for massage therapists to work in many different settings, including chiropractic clinics, rehab clinics, fitness centres and even in mobile settings.

“When I applied for jobs after graduation, I got several phone calls from employers just because they liked that I went to MH Vicars. Graduates have a good reputation among clients, and with other therapists. I am proud to be a MH Vicars graduate. Thank you!”

Ryan Kim, 2018 graduate

  1. Work locally or globally

Do you want to work halfway around the world, or do you want to count your commute in steps rather than kilometres? No matter your preference, massage therapy can take you there.

Massage therapists are as essential in small rural communities as they are in big cities. Because wherever there are people who are stressed and sore, there will be a need for massage therapists. With the right massage education, you’re able to set up shop in your own neighbourhood or in another country. RMTs can choose to work in clinics, from their own homes, in resorts, spas, and everywhere in between.

  1. Say goodbye to the desk job

We’ve all heard the experts say that sitting is the new smoking. The typical desk job would have you sitting more than seven hours a day. Multiply that by five days a week, and that’s a lot of inactivity.

Once you’re a massage therapist, the days of sitting hunched at a keyboard for hours on end will be behind you. Giving a massage engages all of the muscle groups in your body. Since massage therapy is a very physical job, we’ll teach you the proper body mechanics and self-care methods for this hands-on career. This will keep your body healthy and strong as you provide care to others.

 

Massage Therapy is a truly rewarding and valued career. At MH Vicars, we’re proud to offer the highest quality education in massage, while offering small class sizes so students receive plenty of one-on-one attention and education. Recognized by industry experts, we meet the national standards for massage therapy education, and are dedicated to the success of our students. Are you considering a career in massage therapy? Our admissions team would love to hear from you. Call 1-866-491-0574, send us an email, or learn more at a virtual open house.