Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In Which I Do Not Begin At The Beginning

So today, October 10th, I went to class.  Again.

You might remember that I'm in my first semester of Therapeutic Massage school.  It is awesome.  It is fun.  It is DIFFICULT.  And there are a whole buncha classes.

Mondays are 10-2, "Body Systems for Massage," or "what the body is made of, and what you call it, and how it all works."  Harder than one might think, given that we have been walking around in these bodies for several years at the least.  But yes, it's fun and tough.

Tuesdays (10-2) are Ther. Massage 1.  First half of classes are (up to last week) theory, such as "if so and so is hurting here, what might you do?" or "If so and so has a suspicious, oozing, dripping, stinky sore, what might you do then?"  (Answers: check with their doctor, and OMG RUN AWAY)  The second half of the day's class is hands-on, where we practice our new-found skills (not the running away, though). BEST. CLASS. EVER.  Free massage once  a week.

Wednesdays (10-12) is Pathology.  Here, we talk through all the gross, nasty stuff that can happen to a person's body and/or mind.  Not pretty.  Nobody ever brings snacks to this class, if you get my drift.  The pictures... oh, the pictures.  This is a really tough one, because if you've never had it, you have probably never even HEARD of  hypoparathyroidism.  Etc. (FYI: Even Blogger hasn't heard of that one.) (It's when your parathyroid glands --right behind the thyroid-- underproduce, and because of that, not enough calcium gets taken from your bones into your blood stream and ...bad things happen.)

Thursdays (10-2) have a short-semester class that is super duper practical "how to be a massage therapist" class.  For instance, how to talk to physicians and get them to call you back, or how to handle a client who shows up late.  What to wear, what not to say, how to not get sued.  Where to locate your (future) office, what art to NOT hang on the walls, how to not give yourself carpal tunnel, what to do if you meet up with a client and her boyfriend at the mall.
 (Answers: use accurate medical language, and leave a working phone number; mention the lateness but  don't give them extra time at the end of the session. Wear scrubs or khaki pants/polos unless you're in a place that doesn't make sense; no sex, politics, or personal stuff about the therapist; don't ever date a client and don't give medical advice. In a place on the first floor or someplace accessible by elevator and WITH a bathroom; anything abstract or that could be interpreted as unprofessional or threatening/weird, use good body mechanics, and don't say hi unless she does first.)

There's also an online class called "Medical Elements of Massage," which is basically a medical terminology class with a smattering of "here are some commonly-used drugs and how you might need to change things to make sure you don't kill anybody."  This is actually pretty hard, since it involves learning lots of Latin and Greek terms and word bases.

We're also supposed to do lots of home practice, so I have a personal goal of giving 150 full or partial massages by the time I finish the program.  You see, one of our teachers said that "you don't really know what you're doing until you've given, oh, 150 massages," so I want to get those out of the way before I go out and try to get paid for this.

Whew. It's fun, but lots and lots of time.  But really, what better job could there be?


smalltownme said...

Wow! I bet you'll have people lining up to be part of the 150. I would. said...

Apparently there a number of cues that indicate whether a therapist provides "various extra services". I had no idea how widespread that practice is! (It's a long sad story, not mine, but true). I'm glad I've been naive all these years; I wish I still was. Seems like it would be a good idea to learn all of those--to protect yourself.

And feel free to fly across the country and practice your skills on this old bat. Best wishes on your new adventure!

Kana said...

Yeah, agreeing with smalltownme...I'm feeling a class auditing coming on...

Sanstrousers said...

I've never had a professional massage, and I will absolutely be your guinea pig...if you can give me a massage through the interwebs.