Preparing for Success: Study Tips for a Massage Therapy Student

October 4, 2023

The path to becoming a massage therapist is an exciting and transformative experience. Like any other academic pursuit, achieving success in this program requires dedication, strategic planning, and effective study habits. However, in line with the nature of our program, preparing for massage therapy classes and exams can be distinctly hands-on and immersive, in addition to traditional exams and tests. 

Here, we will walk you through the requirements and expectations of a massage student at The Institute for Holistic Health and give you a few pointers on how to confidently prepare for your courses.  


Understanding Course Expectations

As you begin your journey of becoming a massage therapist, it’s crucial to comprehend our program’s requirements, time commitment, and structure. Understanding these program details will help you to prepare for your classes and balance life outside of school.

Course Structure:

  • Start with an introductory course covering study skills, medical terminology, ethics, and communication strategies.
  • Followed by in-depth classes that offer a combination of scientific study and hands-on technique training.
  • The final weeks of the course are dedicated to supervised on and off-site clinics.

Time Commitment:

  • Full-time students complete the program in about a year; part-time students take approximately two years.


For full details on the program and class schedule, please visit the Program Overview page.


Creating a Study Schedule

Creating a well-organized study schedule will act as a guide to keep you on track during the course and will give you a personalized approach to tackling complex class material. It will also help allocate dedicated time for coursework, cutting down on procrastination and strengthening your ability to excel in your classes.  

  • Prioritize and Plan: Identify crucial subjects or deadlines, set clear study goals, and allocate specific time slots for each.
  • Time Blocks: Create a structured daily or weekly timetable, allowing for regular breaks to stay focused.
  • Flexibility and Balance: Maintain flexibility for unexpected events while ensuring a balanced schedule that includes self-care activities.
  • Use Tools: Employ planners or study apps to organize and track your schedule, adjusting it as needed.
  • Mix Subjects: Avoid monotony by alternating between subjects to sustain interest and prevent mental fatigue.
  • Make Adjustments: This program is flexible! You can lighten your load if it is getting to be too much. 


Developing Classroom Skills

Studying starts in the classroom! Mastering an aptitude for beneficial classroom practices can give you an advantage when exam time rolls around, helping you feel more prepared and confident during usually stressful periods.

  1. Effective Notetaking: Use 2 notebooks per class: one for class notes (handwritten for better retention) and another for organized rewriting within 24 hours after class. Repeatedly reviewing your notes improves your ability to absorb the information.
  2. Treat School as Your Job: Figure out what your instructor wants, how, and when they want it. Understanding these expectations can help you align course requirements and deadlines to your schedule.
  3. Active Participation: Engage in class attentively, limit distractions like cell phones, and actively contribute by answering questions and participating in discussions.
  4. Teach What You Learn: The best way to learn something is to teach it. Solidify understanding by elaborating class material to others – reinforcing your knowledge through explaining.
  5. Enhance Reading and Listening Skills: Practice active listening and reading to better absorb and understand the study material. Writing summaries of what is being taught will help you retain more information from the class.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you are facing challenges or having difficulties understanding the material. Our instructors want you to succeed and will do their best to encourage you and help you along in the process. 


Implementing Study Tips

Getting into a rhythm with your courses and study time may be challenging. However, building a peaceful study environment and setting good habits can help you stay on top of your schedule.

  • Create a Dedicated Study Space: Designate a peaceful and clutter-free study environment that is solely for your coursework. Eliminating distractions can boost focus and productivity.
  • Utilize Essential Oils: Use calming oils in a diffuser to enhance your study environment.
  • Consistently using the same scent during study sessions and before tests can help trigger memory recall.
  • Set Specific Study Times: Establish a fixed time each day to concentrate on your coursework. Avoid multitasking, as it hinders information retention – focus on one task and subject at a time. Staying consistent will help you build a dependable routine. 
  • Have Brain-Boosting Snacks Handy: Keep high protein and fiber snacks within reach to promote mental alertness. Hunger can affect concentration negatively, so fueling your body is essential.
  • Take Regular Breaks: If you start feeling overwhelmed, take short breaks to refresh your mind. Consider incorporating meditation or mindfulness exercises to reduce stress and implement a reward system to stay motivated and engaged in your studies.
  • Incorporate Flashcards for Memorization: Use flashcards to help effectively memorize essential information and enable a deeper understanding of concepts.

Working out personalized study patterns and adopting effective classroom practices are key elements for success in your massage therapy classes. Collaborating with fellow students to practice these skills can enrich the learning experience and provide you with valuable perspectives and insights. These habits are important not only for passing exams but also for becoming a competent massage therapist who prioritizes the health and well-being of your clients! 

Need more help with classes? Don’t be afraid to reach out to your instructors personally, they’re there to assist you in this program. To learn more about the course schedule, visit our Program Schedule page.