Massage therapy is a rewarding career with the satisfaction of knowing you can help and make a difference to so many people. A career as a massage therapist offers many other benefits including meeting many interesting people and the opportunity to travel and work in exciting new destinations. However, to become a skilled massage therapist, you must undergo rigorous training from an accredited massage school.
There are several excellent massage schools in London, with a wide variety of classes, training approaches, and philosophies. With so many to choose from, it can sometimes be difficult to choose a course which delivers the training you need to reach your goals.
This article will help by sharing some useful tips for choosing the best provider of massage training in London. It will help you:
- Evaluate different types of massages courses in London
- Choose a massage school in London which is right for you
- Check if a massage school is offering a recognised qualification
- Determine if a massage training course offers good value for money
- …and much more
What to consider when choosing a massage course in London
Your Personal Goals
Before you enrol on any massage course, it is important to spend some time reflecting on your personal goals. Ask yourself why you need to train with a massage school in the first place. Is it to obtain a qualification? Are you looking for an introductory course or something a little more advanced? Do you need to increase your knowledge in a specific form of massage? What do you expect to know at the end of the course?
Next, consider your personal preferences. Do you prefer to learn via one-on-one sessions or are group sessions better? Do you prefer to focus on hands-on training or technical knowledge? These questions will help you find massage training in London that you enjoy and find useful.
Traditionally, massage courses were taught in a classroom environment with students learning directly from one or more tutors. Some literature would be involved, which shared important information on topics including human physiology, client interactions, and massage techniques. Massage techniques would be practiced regularly in the classroom.
The way that massage training is delivered has changed to now include more technology. Most massage classes now deliver lessons using a variety of learning methods including:
- Reading material
Study guides, books, and manuals are very useful for learning the fundamental aspects of massage. However, they are not the best for learning the finer points of massage therapy, like how much pressure to apply or how to interact with clients.
Videos are an improvement on books in many respects. A tutor can share a video of them explain certain concepts or performing a massage. The disadvantage of this form of learning is that the student can’t communicate directly with the tutor.
- Online/Virtual training
Online/Virtual training courses offer more interactivity between tutors and students because there is usually a dialogue involved. However, there is still no hands-on aspect, which is a problem when learning a topic like massage therapy.
- Classroom training
The traditional method of teaching, with one or more tutors instructing a group of students. Students learn the theoretical aspects of massage and get to ask questions directly of their tutors. The downside of classroom learning is that students must travel to attend lectures.
- Practical training
Most massage schools use classrooms training for technical aspects of learning and have separate sessions for practical training. Practical training is the hands-on practice of learning how to give massages. If you enrol with a high quality massage school in London, they will place an emphasis on practical training in most courses.
You may have a preference for a particularly learning style. If you do, confirm that the massage course focusses on that type of learning. In general terms, classes with more hands-on interaction and contact with tutors deliver the best results — simply because massage therapy is a hands-on discipline.
There are many full-time, part-time, and fast-track massage courses in London. A full-time class will typically involve several hours of learning each day, on 4 to 5 days a week. This approach gives students a chance to fully immerse themselves in the class. Of course, the downside is that you must devote a lot of time to the course. There may also be less time to practice your skills individually between classes.
Part-time courses are useful if you have other commitments like work or school. There is more time between classes, so you can read the study material on your own and practice massage techniques at home.
Fast-track and intensive courses are appealing to anyone who is severely time constrained. However, there are a few major downsides to learning this way. You may find yourself rushing through the important material being taught during the class or you won’t have enough time to learn techniques correctly. As a result, you may earn a qualification, but not be a truly qualified practitioner.
Credibility of the qualification
It’s important to understand that not all qualifications have the same level of credibility within the industry. Providers with a well-defined syllabus that complies with government standards, more in-depth standard of training, and more independent oversight will have a better reputation.
Before you register with a massage school in London check that they are certified with the appropriate bodies and have a strong reputation in the industry. At Richdales Institute, we offer accredited ITEC Diploma Courses and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses. Download a copy of The UK Guide To Complementary Training to learn more about course accreditation.
It’s perfectly normal to have many questions when becoming a qualified massage therapist. The amount of support that is provided by the learning institution will determine how easily you obtain the answers to those questions. Before enrolling, find out if:
- Tutors are available before or after class to answer additional questions
- You can email tutors with questions
- There are schedule times for phone contact with tutors
If you have easy access to tutors, you should have no problem answering those tricky questions and qualifying as a highly skilled massage therapist.
Course fees and the value-for-money that a course provides should always be a factor when comparing massage schools in London. When it comes to cost, there are several factors to consider:
- Total cost
Is the course expensive? If it is, does it provide a better experience or better qualification than other schools?
- Fee structure
Can you pay course fees over time using a payment plan? Can you get some of your money back if you cancel your enrolment or stop halfway through the course?
- Payment methods
Do they offer PayPal, credit card, and cheque payments? Will you attract any additional fees when paying?
Will you get your money back if the institution fails to provide the full course?
Will there be any additional expenses for uniforms or massage therapy equipment? What about textbooks?
- Practical training
Will there be costs associated with taking part in real-world training events?
Consider Student Numbers
There are two aspects to consider when thinking about student numbers — how many students receive qualifications from the school each year and how many people will be in the class with you.
If the school qualifies hundreds of students each year, they will probably have a strong administrative system in place, which is a good thing. However, you also need to consider how many other students will be enrolled in your class. If you have a large group of 25 or 30 students with only 1 tutor, it may be difficult to interact with the tutor and receive the assistance you require.
The qualifications, real-world experience, and practical knowledge of tutors will play a major role in determining how much value you obtain from a course. Reputable schools are proud of the quality of their teaching staff and more than happy to share the details of their background.
To learn more about choosing the right massage school in London, Download a copy of The UK Guide To Complementary Training. It includes a useful checklist of questions to ask training providers. If you want to learn more about Richdales Institute and the courses we offer, contact us on 020 8900 9005.