Massage Experience as Preparation for Other Careers
Massage Training – More than a License
Every week, sometimes more often, OSM emails to its graduates information about: employment opportunities, professional space for rent, practices for sale, and professional service opportunities. The quotes below are recent messages from graduates or employers about that service.
Hi Alex (OSM Staff Member),
Thank you very much for your posting of my massage therapist needs. Yes, I did hire a graduate of your school, and I am so pleased with her. I am in need of another on call person. Would you be able to post my add again. It is so much better for me than putting an ad on Craigslist. I know that you have well trained therapists and that is such a help for me.
Thanks so much Alex,
Second Nature Salon Spa
I passed my Practical Exam last Tuesday with flying colors [got a 95%]…I am so excited to have this chapter complete — excited for the future — and also missing my home at OSM. You guys did a great job preparing me for this career path and also to smoke the exams. 🙂
Thank you for being so supportive, kind and patient with me during my 3 + years. It’s been a long and wonderful road.
Erin Muñoz, LMT #20351 (2013 OSM Graduate)
Thanks to OSM for keeping me informed about fun events for finding clients. Also, from your emails I found fantastic places to work out of, and work for. Keeping me updated keeps my business going, and gives me the edge, opening great opportunities.
Robert Ellestad, LMT #14560 (2007 OSM Salem graduate)
Just in case you don’t get feedback on these emails….THANK YOU! I did a chair massage job last weekend that I got through your list and it looks like I’m doing another one next week. It’s keeping some money coming in while I get started and getting me exposure. Thank you thank you thank you. It’s also given me a good idea of what costs and amenities are included in leases, so I knew it was a good deal when I found my space.
Kristina Morano, LMT (2010 Graduate)
” By the way, I love this (“Professional Opportunities”) service that OSM provides. I always enjoy seeing what’s out there and its been very useful in making sure my own posting coincides with the current market and offerings.”
Elisabeth S., 2004 OSM Graduate.
Thank you for posting our massage position, we got many applicants and have hired Amy Gulzow, an Oregon School of Massage grad. Thank you for continuing to be an excellent resource for our hiring needs.
Lorene M. Arias
Laurelhurst Chiropractic Inc.
“The job opportunity emails I’ve received from OSM have been great in helping me to find work as an LMT. Although the first job I got through these postings didn’t turn out to be such a good fit for me, I was able to find another one that’s working out perfectly, allowing me to keep a flexible work schedule so I can continue my education now at the Naturopathic College.”
D. Lockhart, LMT (2006 OSM Portland Graduate)
“After receiving the “Massage Opportunity” email from OSM I sent in my resume to A&D Chiropractic & Naturopathic, interviewed, and was hired part time as an independent contractor for them. I really appreciate the support we continue to receive as graduates of OSM, and am thankful for this opportunity to expand my horizons with this new job!”
Mariah Brink, LMT (2007 OSM Salem Graduate)
I’ve been busy working – hooray! I am working two mornings a week at a wellness clinic in Wilsonville, doing plenty of chair massage and will be taking possession of my new office space in downtown Sherwood next week. All that hard work in school is finally paying off.
I also want to thank you for the excellent education that I received at OSM. After talking to the director at the wellness clinic where I am now working, she practically hired me over the phone. She was impressed with my knowledge, professionalism, skills and the variety of modalities I was familiar with. She said that she had a file of over 30 applicants that she would never consider hiring because of their weak education and lack of professionalism. I totally credit my success to your excellent curriculum and knowledgeable instructors.
I really appreciate the OSM job listings for many reasons. I get info about room rates, leads on other businesses, definitely get chair massage jobs, and it is just helpful to know what is out there. I watch for the listings every day and keep a file of ones of possible future interest. So keep those listings coming! By the way, I found out about the wellness clinic from one of your job listings from about two years ago. They were looking for an LMT back then and I needed to get a professional massage for one of my classes. I liked the sound of their ad so I called them for a massage. I was very impressed with the clinic and thought that I would like working there someday. So about a month ago, I decided to call them to see if they were hiring. They actually were not looking to hire anyone right then, but after a brief interview, they created a job for me and it is working out great.
So thanks again for all that you do to prepare your students to start working as soon as we graduate. I loved my time at OSM and am so grateful for all that I learned there.
L Middleton, Sherwood, OR (2007 OSM Portland Graduate)
March 2007 – response to ad seeking an LMT to work in a chiropractic office
Thank you so much for sending out the job notice email. Not only did we have an LMT by the next day, but she also has a current CA (Chiropractic Assistant) license. You saved us.
Dennis A Nowack, DC
Oregon Wellness Center
March 2007 – response to ad of LMT seeking to sublet her office space
Thank you OSM! I rented the room I wanted to sublet with no problem. This is a great service to offer. Leann Neu, LMT, Portland
“Best thing I ever did! Thank you OSM…Best massage school ever!”
Diane Louise Simik – 2005 OSM Graduate
“Massage therapy is one branch of the healing arts that can bring one back to themselves by alleviating some built up and forgotten tension. This tension, I feel, is an accumulation of negligent motions, like how we become unaware of ourselves and our bodies when we are rushing things; rushing to work, rushing to meet all the modern obligations. After so long of this negligence our bodies, emotions and mental energy are worn out to the point where we just need to let ourselves go into another’s caring hands to start melting away the physical residue of all that we have neglected.”
Kavika Ulrey – New Student Summer 2017
(From a student who, after training elsewhere, transferred to OSM. Addressed to Amy Stark, OSM Student Services Coordinator.)
Thank you so much for the info., and your great support throughout my schooling at OSM. As I went through the course of my study at OSM, it assured me even more that I made the right decision to come to your school because all your staff were super, very helpful and worked with me from the beginning to the end.
I was very impressed with Valerie’s (OSM’s Admissions Coordinator) administrative knowledge, kindness and prompt guidance during my first phone call to OSM. She understood my broken English and odd transferring situation. I couldn’t get the same information anywhere else. I got to meet wonderful teachers, too. You have always been there and available to answer my odd questions and concerns with smiles and great energy.
I also appreciate your and the school’s never-ending effort/support and commitment to work with students and graduates/transfers so that we can grow as wonderful therapists.
I feel wonderful about being in school. I really like the educational philosophy of our school and enjoy all my teachers. I have found the work load to be hard but not impossible and I have been doing well in my classes and this makes me feel great. I love giving and receiving massage and only hope to take classes with even more practice. I feel like I would want my teachers to do good reviews of the tests and make the information easily accessible. I have found this to be the case so far. I really have little problem fitting into this educational model.
David Greenley – New Student Fall 2010
Sports Massage In the Treatment Room was a great class. The instruction was one-on-one, and hands on, working with athletes with real injuries, in a situation in which allows you to follow their progress thru treatment. In addition to learning from the teacher, I also learned a lot from the PSU trainers, and the athletes themselves. I am now working at a sports injury and rehab clinic, doing the kind of therapeutic massage I wanted to do. This class definitely helped me to acquire the skills and confidence I needed to obtain that position.
Ron Patt, LMT #17091 – 2009 OSM Graduate
In the beginning, one of the hardest parts of massage school for me was approaching or touching strangers. I quickly learned to give and receive open feedback and feel that I grew from the experience. I finished school in a year and a half. Taking the the licensure exam was a little intimidating, but I passed and was licensed in August of 2007.
Mariah Brink #14172 – OSM Grad 2007
August 2009 – About OSM’s Shiatsu Massage Program
The ABC’s of Chinese Medicine Classes have given me a solid foundation for the question “What is Health?” in contrast to “What is Disease or pathology?” Our Western minds gravitate toward the disease model or the recovery from injury model while the Eastern (ancient wisdom) illuminates a continuum that leads toward perfect health. You are either on the road to health or on the road to disease.
Among other important habits, the perfect recipe for health calls for receiving regular massage – for relaxation or for moving energy. As wellness practitioners and massage therapists, we are the perfect preventative medicine. We may never know what we prevented but we help our clients to stay in balance, maintain their health. The ABC’s of Chinese Medicine has reinforced my confidence in my chosen profession.
The classes have given me plenty of information; I will continue “digesting” this over many months.
Kris Bluett Woolen L.M.T. OR LIC. #7651
Shuna Morelli was a delight to learn from. Her enthusiasm, consistency and dynamic approach to PNF demonstration with every muscle was a refreshing and quick way to learn. I walked away from the weekend course feeling confident to integrate all that was taught in my massages to come.
Denell – OSM Student
As a massage therapist who has been licensed for seven years and maintains two successful massage practices, I can very strongly recommend the Sports Massage class offered by Molly Verschnigel. I’ve taken many hours of continuing education, traveling for classes lasting days, led by nationally recognized therapists, and spending the big money required for these classes. Without a doubt, the education and experience provided through the PSU internship stands above them all.
Molly’s vast knowledge and kind, respectful manner makes for a very positive learning experience.
The student athletes at PSU are wonderful to work with, very motivated and compliant, and grateful for the therapist’s time. The Sports Medicine staff at PSU is welcoming and helpful, interacting with the massage therapists to provide the best therapy for the athletes.
Taking two hours out of my work week each week was the best investment of my continuing education time and money. I was sad when the last week arrived. I learned an amazing amount about REAL sports massage, on REAL college athletes who truly need sports massage. I can absolutely recommend this class!
Bridget Raach, BA, LMP, CSCS, USA-W
I worked in Association Management and was ready to retire. I was looking for something steady but not physically taxing. I had always had an interest in massage but came from a generation that didn’t think of it much. The healing aspect appealed to me as a way to help people feel better.
Location was a primary factor in choosing a school. Oregon School of Massage was in Salem where I lived. I investigated two other programs that didn’t seem as professional. I knew Oregon School of Massage through the Chamber of Commerce and also worked with a graduate who recommended them.
I began training in my sixties and was older than many of my classmates. When I hear “test,” my mind usually goes in reverse. I had to be disciplined and work hard to learn material, but I was well prepared and passed all the exams including the National, which was not required at the time.
I was impressed with how much Oregon School of Massage cared about the individual. High quality instructors are willing to bend over backwards for you and the camaraderie among students was very special.
Hal Sweet – 2002 OSM Graduate
Why I chose Oregon School Of Massage:
Before deciding on a massage school, I had the following criteria:
1. Quality of education and reputation
2. Flexibility of class scheduling and time to completion
3. Variety of courses offered
I asked a lot of massage therapists what school they recommended. All of them said Oregon School of Massage was the best, even if that is not where they attended.
In mentioning that I was planning to attend massage school, ordinary people would volunteer information they had heard and recommend OSM. I was most impressed that medical professionals, who had an opinion, all recommended OSM. Even an instructor at one of the other massage schools I visited agreed it was a very good school and understood why I might choose the flexibility of OSM over his school.
In checking out the schools, I discovered that OSM has the most flexible schedules with the most class offerings. I am able to fit the course work into my personal and seasonal life style. I can decide what courses to take each term based on prerequisites and how much I can handle. While it does not have the shortest time to completion of all programs, it does seem to have the most flexibility as to the length of time to complete the program.
The list of electives is almost overwhelming. There is a wide variety of modalities. The quality and professional experience of the instructors is impressive. I feel the goal is to thoroughly support the students in obtaining the massage license, prepare them for a successful career and support them in maintaining a dynamic career, long term. As far as I can tell, this is where many LMTs look for ongoing training and support. Some of my elective courses have included LMTs from WA, ID and elsewhere.
For the above reasons, I decided not to pick the school closest to my home. However, I’ve been pleased to have a choice of either the Portland or Salem Campus of OSM for many courses. The Salem campus is wonderful and worth the drive.
Since beginning courses a year ago, I have come to appreciate another factor about OSM. It has a special atmosphere of inclusivity and acceptance. Everyone is working to help students get the training they need AND maintaining their own health. Understanding that healing is a process of body, mind and spirit permeates everything. It’s a peaceful place. Eastern and Western traditions are taught and integrated with medical science, which is much respected. The bookstore is a great resource for many things related to the practice of massage and healing. The students come from a wide variety of backgrounds. I’m not the only “older” student. I’ve also noticed that some of my fellow classmates have transferred from other schools and wish they had started out here. I know I am very happy that I chose Oregon School of Massage.
C. Giebenhain (current student)
My time at OSM has really been a life changing experience. I loved being surrounded by such talented and enlightened individuals. I feel really empowered by the way OSM incorporated the Body, Mind, and Spirit into an educational curriculum. The staff has always been tremendously helpful and supportive of my growth not only in becoming a Massage Therapist but also growing as an individual. I have made many great friends here and really feel like part of a family. Even after graduating, I know my roots are here and I will continue to be involved with OSM as there are so many electives I’d still love to take and so many friends I will be keeping in touch with here. I have absolute gratitude for all the teachers and staff here. It has all really been an amazing experience.
Anie Watkins (current Portland student)
I am a former teacher/administrator of special education and currently a showing artist. I have been a consumer of massage for six years since I moved to OR and have received many physical and psychological benefits from the work. I decided to embark on massage training because of the possibilities of helping others through massage and for personal growth.
I have finished my first quarter at OSM, taking three courses: Communication, Massage Fundamentals, and Anatomy and Physiology I. I have appreciated the nurturing and supporting atmosphere created by the staff and faculty. Being a former teacher, I’ve been impressed with how the courses are structured to address differing learning styles. And always the staff is available with support and encouragement to help the students achieve.
The holistic way the classes fit together and overlap in content help reinforce the material. For example, learning the bones and muscles in A&P I was difficult for me but this information was reinforced in Massage Fundamentals class. Communication techniques learned in communication class were reinforced in massage fundamentals. From these basic classes, I feel they have prepared me well for even my student practice massages.
I particularly enjoyed the communication class and found the skills learned to be practical for both my future in massage but also in my daily life. Many of us found ourselves using these skills with family and friends.
This first quarter at OSM has taught me many new things and I look forward to many new adventures in massage. It has been a great experience which I love telling others about.
Nancy Freeman, Portland
My time at OSM has been both fulfilling and rewarding. With the tremendous support from the staff, I was able to complete my massage education in three terms. The convenient class scheduling also aided my short tenure as a student.
During my schooling I was introduced to Chinese Medicine and the Chinese form of bodywork known as Shiatsu. It was this modality that changed my career outlook altogether. In no other massage school will you receive such an informed insight into this wonderful avenue of massage.
A terrific side effect from being an OSM student was that I formed friendships with wonderful people that I know will be in my life for a long time to come, some staff members and some being other students that I share common career goals and interests.
Having just received my license, I know first hand that the education I received at OSM had me completely prepared for both the Oregon State Practical and National exams. I know I’m prepared to take on any job, be it a hospital or spa. The success rate of OSM made it the obvious choice for me as the place to receive my licensure from.
Lisa Matyasz, LMT
Hello, my name is Jacob O’Lennick. I have recently graduated from the Oregon School of Massage and have started practicing at the Dolce Skamania Lodge. I have discovered in massage a way of life that brings true fulfillment to myself and to those around me. Through the support and encouragement of the compassionate facility at OSM, I have grown and developed mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The Oregon School of Massage provided me with a magnificent foundation on which to build a great practice. I encourage anyone who is interested in massage to consider OSM for their education. I would also like to extend the invitation to personally contact me with any questions regarding my experience at OSM and as a massage practitioner.
Jacob O’Lennick L.M.P.
I have two more quarters of school left and so far I really love the people, teachers and classes. I feel as though, for the most part, this program is beneficial to everyone! I love that you can go at your own pace. I don’t feel rushed to finish. The 10 week quarters work really well. The two week or month vacations always seem to come at the right time.
I feel as though the instructors are very knowledgeable in material as well as experiences. They all try to cater to each students learning styles. Most of them are overflowing with applicable information that can be used in everyday life and massage.
The Breitenbush experience was a fantastic first experience in Massage I. So fun, safe relaxing and validating. I wish it was required to go more often.
The staff is very friendly and enjoy what they do. I have made wonderful friends here. I always feel like I have so much support from everyone.
Jamie Mintzer* (Student)
I started school at the Oregon School of Massage in the Summer of 2001. I graduated this Summer of 2002.
My experience at OSM has been a true adventure. It was a great learning experience. With each new path came more challenges, but they were all rewarding with the knowledge that I gained.
The modular program made it very convenient for my schedule. It was the main reason for signing up with OSM in the first place. I work as a medical assistant during the day and was able to take night classes
Oregon School of Massage has an excellent selection of elective classes in different modalities. It great to be able to explore and find out what works best for you and for your clients. My favorites were the deep tissue classes.
The Instructors at this school are very knowledgeable and there is a huge variety of teaching styles. What I think I liked about them the most was that things were taught to you in a way of compassion for bodywork. Taught in a way of understanding what you are trying to learn, as opposed to a traditional college where information is often times taught to you in a professors language with no compassion towards you succeeding.
I’ve learned at OSM that ?it’s what you make of yourself in this field to truly stand out and succeed.?
I made some great friends while attending here. Lifelong friendships and partnerships that I will never forget. The family oriented atmosphere here makes it easy to establish friendships.
The weekend at Breitenbush during Massage I class was probably one of the best times in my life. What a great weekend. You find out so much about yourself and if massage bodywork is truly for you. How beautiful this place is, guaranteed fun time!
The staff as OSM has always been great to me, always smiling faces, always helpful at answering any of my questions on the phone or in person.
OSM is always growing in all the right directions. Always looking for new ideas and ways to best suite the students needs. It’s all about how you are treated as a person and what you can make of yourself that makes OSM a great place to attend.
Thank you OSM & Staff
It took me 5 quarters to complete this program. I feel that the modular program is very beneficial to students. It allows students to focus on their areas of interest and provides flexibility in scheduling.
There are very many classes. The Kinesiology, Pathology and Anatomy and Physiology were very interesting and informative.
The people at OSM are very nice and sociable. The staff has been very helpful and provide personal assistance. They are all very friendly and seem to all know my name.
I liked the Breitenbush weekend very much. That was a great idea. It got me some experience with the public in a very comfortable and supportive environment. Plus, it was a lovely place to be!
OSM clearly wants to turn out competent and caring LMT’s. I have seen them taking great care to treat students fairly and be flexible in response to students needs.
I am glad I chose OSM for my LMT training and I feel quite confident that I will do well on my board exams.
Dear OSM Staff, Faculty and Students,
I wish to share a huge heart felt thank you to each and every one of you who has touched my life.
Attending OSM this past year has been a blessing in many ways, as your expression of compassion, support and love has been an integral part of my life journey. The challenges presented in classes to expand and learn on many levels have supported my personal growth, enhancing my life in all areas. I appreciate the attention paid to the individual and unique needs of each student.
Knowing that you have assisted me in building confidence, expanding my limits and exploring my true character, I feel well prepared to enter the world as a Professional Massage Therapist.
I look forward to the variety of continuing education courses that Oregon School of Massage provides and seeking out a group of peers to network with.
My advice to new students would be to enter each class and each new day with an open heart and have some fun as you discover all that OSM has to offer!
Thank you deeply for all you share with us. I honor each of your spirits….. Shanti
From Those Who Have Gone On to Other Careers
As I move on to new careers I am prompted to look back over my massage career and wanted share some of my reflections with you.
I started massage training at OSM in 2001 and got my massage therapy license in 2004. I am now in training to become a dental assistant with a goal of continuing on to become a dental hygienist . My decision to move into a new field was prompted by several factors, but primarily because of my new status as a single parent. I felt I needed the financial security that a salaried position would provide. While I know a massage practice can generate a substantial income, a steady practice usually requires energetic marketing which, frankly, was not one of my stronger skills.
While I look forward to my new career I am also deeply appreciative of what I have learned from massage training and practice. It changed my life in many ways. The Communication class, and communication emphasis throughout, at Oregon School of Massage has been very valuable for me both personally and professionally. It supported and added to my personal growth and it will pay huge dividends in my new career. At OSM I learned and practiced listening skills, boundary setting, and other communication techniques. I am grateful that OSM did such a great job of teaching this subject as it is not only extremely important, especially in the field of healthcare, but it is something that largely has not been addressed in the other professional training programs in which I have been participating.
The health science classes I had in massage training have proved quite an asset to me as well. In addition to being essential for practicing massage, those classes provided me with a foundation for my current healthcare training programs and it has helped me to direct my own well-being, making me a more informed health care consumer.
I love practicing massage and and as I go on to other jobs will probably continue to do so on a limited basis. I value working in a field that helps people maintain their wellness rather than treat their sickness. Doing massage seems to have inherent in it a fundamental human connection which is often overlooked in other healthcare disciplines and may well be a critical component of wellness.
The personal growth that was facilitated through OSM was pivotal and invaluable to me. Even though I am moving to another career, I feel that the time, energy and money that I have spent in massage training were a great investment.
S. Sonoda (2004 OSM Graduate)
MASSAGE TRAINING – MORE THAN A LICENSE
While training at Oregon School of Massage is much about acquiring the knowledge and developing the skills to become a successful massage professional the training involved often goes deeper. We frequently hear from students who have found the training impacting many other parts of their life.
Here are stories from students and graduates giving us their version of how training is much more than getting a license.
Good to hear from you. Thanks for following up.
I have been studying like crazy to take my Oregon massage practical exam. Hopefully I’ll be ready to sign up in another month and a half. For the sake of brevity, last year was a rough year in other parts of my life and I’ve only just put the pieces all back together in the last month or two.
This isn’t to say I’m not using my massage training and that I’m not practicing. In fact, I actively use my massage knowledge almost every day. Certainly no less than four to five times a week I come across questions or situations that I can only respond to because of my training at OSM.
Unquestionably, the material I use most often has been from the ethics and communications class I took in my first quarter. I would rate that class as the single most important class I have ever taken in all my years of education and training. Of course, the culmination of all my writing or all my math classes has been more important, but no other single class has had such far ranging impact on my life. Just today I had a conversation with one person directly about the material from that class and had conversations with four others that were more successful as a result of the application of material learned from that class.
Aside from communication and ethics I use almost everything I learned regularly. It seems as if I could provide endless examples of how my knowledge is applied, though I will only share one more now. I’m still dancing regularly and my knowledge of the body dramatically increases my ability to improve my dancing as I run into increasingly more sophisticated challenges and subtleties in the movement of my body. I was able selectively identify and engage sets of muscles in conjunction with principles of reciprocal inhibition to reduce rigidity in my neck while still maintaining a solid frame. This is totally transforming my dancing and I couldn’t have figured it out without my massage training.
I keep up on my massage application skills by working on my family and girlfriend but without a license I’m obviously unable to practice more than that. I continue to evolve my knowledge of the body through the aforementioned practice and through controlled study of my own body awareness.
Hopefully I’ll be able to open a practice to the public in another few months though in the meantime I’ll continue to value what I’ve learned.
(While going through training Samuel continued to work full time as a professional analyst for a local insurance company. He graduated from OSM in 2014.)