getting started in NJ/NYC

Interested in a particular curriculum or just want to find more information about a certain institution. Looking for colleagues from your alma mater? Gather 'round, we've got a place for you.

Moderator: stonegirl

Post Reply
kimflys
Fresh Hands
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:08 pm

getting started in NJ/NYC

Post by kimflys » Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:25 pm

Hi,

Just beginning the research process for this field and the best schools to attend. I am a flight attendant which I enjoy very much, but have been feeling the desire for a more fulfilling secondary income. I've always been told I'm good at massages, and I enjoy giving them so I'd love to earn the proper knowledge.

As far as schools, does anyone have experience in the tri-state area? I'm just outside of NYC in Bayonne, NJ. I looked at the Swedish Institute in NYC but I'm sure there are great schools that aren't as costly. Someone on this board recommended Healing Hands in N. Jersey, but according to their latest update on the website, it appears they recently shut down (this past fall).

Anyone have experience with Cortiva or the Institute of Therapeutic Massage? The later offers a specialization in Oncology Massage, which interests me. I am interested in dual-liscensure for NY and NJ. There are so many schools out there, I want one with a more personal feel that cares about the people/program and not just how many students they can bring in.

In your opinion, what is the outlook like for this field? Growing? Increasingly competitive? Is getting enough clients ever an issue? Is working part time or using this as a supplemental career fairly easy to do?

If you can point me in the right direction on any of this, I'd be very grateful!

User avatar
akashafive
Registered Member
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:59 pm
Location: NH

Re: getting started in NJ/NYC

Post by akashafive » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:29 am

Hi kimflys! Welcome to the board. I went to Swedish Institute, so unfortunately I cannot comment on the other schools. However, I can recommend that you be sure to look at the courses offered and make sure that the school you like has classes that you are specifically interested in. You mentioned you had an interested in oncology massage; some schools will offer classes in specific areas like that while others may not. If I had not attended SI, I may not have known that they provided any instruction in oncology massage. The "Swedish" I, II, III, and Advanced Western Techniques covered all the basics and gave a very thorough education in techniques to perform all types of sessions from sports and deep tissue, to chair and prenatal, but if one wanted more training in one of the areas, a course outside of the regular program would be needed. So you probably will want to look into a school offering a class just on oncology massage (I chose SI because of the courses they offered in Asian modalities).

As for the outlook of the industry, I personally feel it is still good. I feel that your massage career can be anything you want it to be. I never had to start a practice in NYC as I am from upstate (near Albany), so considering the number of schools and massage businesses already in the area, I would be surprised if you didn't find it competitive. But it doesn't have to be! When I first started my practice back in upstate NY, and even now that I am in NH, I am making use of the massage techniques I have learned that aren't as common. You can make a niche for yourself by finding other therapist that don't offer what you can, and networking. If they offer only deep tissue and sports massage, but receive a referral who's looking for oncology massage then that therapist doesn't have to turn the client away; instead they can send them to you and visa-versa.

I think getting enough clients is based largely on marketing techniques that work for your target group and area and how much you do. Networking, too. Working part-time in massage is definitely doable once you have built a client base, but at the beginning you may need to work another part-time job to make ends meet.

What ever school you choose, be sure they provide business classes. This will be a great foundation to help you when you first get out there, even if you start out in a spa. You're already ahead of the game since you found this board. I am constantly amazed at how much great info is here and wish I had found it when I was still in school!

Sorry, but I've gotta run now. Good luck and keep us updated! :)
-Akasha
"Happiness is a journey, not a destination."
-Nancy Giles

kimflys
Fresh Hands
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:08 pm

Re: getting started in NJ/NYC

Post by kimflys » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:26 pm

Thanks so much for the insight! So far I am leaning toward the Institute for Therapeutic Massage (without having visited yet) because they offer several specialized degree options (including oncology) the opportunity to earn enough hours for a NY license as well, plus the ability to go part time, 2 night/week.

I appreciate the reassurance that it's still a viable career. Although I wouldn't necessarily be doing this for money, as I do alright at my other job, I would want to have regular business, otherwise what's the point? Other online forums seem to have a lot of MTs expressing frustration at a saturated market, places like massage envy and asian spas competing.. But like you said, I am still hopeful there's still a niche for more specialized clients -- elderly, hospitals, athletes, ppl with chronic pain or injury, etc.

Anyway thanks again, I'll keep reading here for more guidance!

Post Reply

Return to “School & Curriculum Discussion”