Zion Massage College is proud to be affiliated with the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education.
The AFMTE offers a wealth of opportunities for Massage Therapy Educators to collaborate, establish best practices, discuss industry trends, find & share resources, advocate for our profession, and to find professional peer support. Staffed mainly by volunteers in Massage Therapy Education, the AFMTE continually looks for ways to support, enhance, and uphold standards in Massage Therapy education. Over the last few years, the AFMTE has stayed true to its mission by working to create a Teacher Certification review process.
As a Massage Therapy Educator and Massage school owner, I am passionate about offering students high quality, engaging learning opportunities. It’s a personal calling for me to ensure that those that I teach emerge from their training as competent, well-educated, and highly skilled professional Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers. For this reason, I was excited to learn about the AFMTE’s Teacher Certification credential, which allows experienced Massage Therapy and Bodywork Educators to demonstrate proficiency through a portfolio review process.
Upon hearing about the AFMTE’s Teacher Certification opportunity, I immediately submitted my application to participate in the Certified Educator of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (CETMB) credentialing process. The review process allowed me to provide my teaching strategies, rationale, lesson plans, and video clips of my classroom lectures and interaction with students. It also allowed me space for self-reflection and the opportunity to verify that I was engaging in the very best educational practices.
I was so impressed with the AFMTE Teacher Certification process that, after completing the requirements, my school, Zion Massage College, implemented a policy that all instructors at the school become CETMB credentialed within the next year and a half.
Previously, the industry of Massage Therapy and Bodywork held an unconventional path to becoming an educator in the field. Typically, highly skilled and enthusiastic Massage Therapy practitioners would apply for jobs in Massage Therapy education. These new Massage Therapy instructors were often unaware that effective teaching requires a different skill set than that of an effective LMT. Often, new instructors lacked both knowledge of what it takes to be an exceptional instructor and formal credentialing as an educator. The AFMTE’s Teacher Certification Credential now provides a way to remedy this issue, to clearly communicate best practices and expectations for Massage Therapy Educators, and to allow school hiring personnel to make staffing decisions that better serve their student population.
The new CETMB credential raises the expectations for educators in our industry. Perhaps you’ve already observed the new teacher training programs which are emerging to serve existing and aspiring instructors in the Massage Therapy field. Seeing this warms my heart. Raising the bar on the education that we provide to students creates a positive ripple effect that ultimately serves all stakeholders in Massage Therapy, including those that seek Massage Therapy services. It ensures that these individuals receive care from a confident, well-trained, highly-skilled therapist, one that possesses technical expertise as well as high interpersonal abilities, healthy boundaries, and the ability to manage the Massage Therapy session to serve the client’s best interests. This ultimately leads the public to a better understanding and respect for the role that we play in healthcare.