Why Choose Accelerated Massage Therapy Programs?

Why Choose Accelerated Massage Therapy Programs?

If you are looking into a massage therapy program, but aren’t sure about putting the next two or so years of your life on hold, perhaps you might consider doing an accelerated massage therapy program. Accelerated massage therapy programs are an excellent option for someone who wants to begin their career in a quicker manner.

Not sure what an accelerated program is or if it’s right for you? We have interviewed Beverley Giroud, a past Director of Education at the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy. Beverley has since retired from her role at the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy. In this article she sheds some light on the educational and logistical aspects of accelerated massage therapy programs.

beverley giroud discusses accelerated massage therapy programsIntroduce yourself and tell us about your role with the school and in the industry.

I’m Beverley Giroud, Director of Education of the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy. I’ve been in the CRSMT family for 10 years – first, as an instructor and then as director. I’ve been a massage therapist for over 20 years, and I remain enthusiastic about the profession and the opportunity to support others in entering the profession. It has been extremely rewarding to have a long-term role in the school’s growth and progress. Our program is designed to cater to students from all over the world and in particular, the United States. That means that a big part of my job is to deliver a comprehensive curriculum that is up to date with enough depth and variety to meet the standards set by the industry and as many licensing boards as possible. I work to stay abreast of trends and requirements by staying involved in the industry. I volunteer as a commissioner for the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation and have served on boards and committees for the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education as well as the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

What are accelerated massage therapy programs?

An accelerated massage therapy program provides a full-time class schedule that maximizes the hours of education within a relatively short time frame. Typically, accelerated programs require undivided attention and full dedication to keep up with the fast pace and intensity required to meet educational objectives and demonstrate competency in a limited time frame. It provides an opportunity to receive an education and start a new career quickly and efficiently. These types of programs can be completed in four to six months, depending on the total hours of education.

What is the difference between an accelerated and a regular program?

The alternative to an accelerated massage therapy program is a slower-paced education that will accomplish the same educational objectives and competencies in a longer time frame. Daily class schedule times and the educational week are typically shortened, and the overall program pace is less condensed. Evening and weekend classes might be the standard. These programs are designed to provide part time options that allow for divided focus between education and other aspects of a busy life. The time frame for these traditional programs depends on the total hours of education, but typically take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years to complete.

Who is the ideal student for an accelerated massage therapy program?

massage educator beverley giroud with a student in the costa rica classroom

An accelerated program is ideal for someone who is able to commit to a full-time endeavor and who needs or wants to complete a program in a short span of time.  The ideal student has drive, discipline, and focus to accomplish short term yet substantial goals. The accelerated program is great for those who love a challenge and are seeking an experience that creates an ideal environment for uninterrupted and unhindered learning.

What are the benefits of an accelerated program? Why are many students choosing this option?

An accelerated program can be the most cost-effective, efficient and practical choice. But, the benefits of an accelerated program go beyond the obvious reason of finishing in a short span of time. Many students choose this option because they desire and/or function best when full focus is required. A choice of immersion without distraction can be where people learn best and thrive. Removing the stress of outside demands and allowing for complete uninterrupted focus might be the best reason to choose the accelerated program.

Do students still get everything they would get from a regular program in an accelerated one?

Every program is different, and I can’t speak to the quality and content of all accelerated programs. Ideally, the answer is yes. One must be careful to consider things such as quality of faculty and facilities, hours, content, quality and breadth of the curriculum, as well as whether the program meets the licensing requirements where one plans to practice. Program completion rates, national licensing exam pass rates, as well as job placement support and rates are also important to consider. It can be ideal to complete a program quickly, but it is ultimately most important to be well-prepared to succeed in the profession. Sacrificing depth of education, quality time in the classroom and/or clinic, or readiness to pass a licensing exam for the sake of speed should not be options.

How many schools do you know of that offer accelerated programs in the US?

Typically, programs in the US are 6 months or more in length. Each school will focus on the local state education requirements and program length and content will be designed and delivered accordingly. Some provide the ability to complete the program under “full-time” schedule, but most offer shorter days and schedules than that. These types of programs may take 9 months or more to complete.

Why is CRSMT such a great option for an accelerated massage therapy program?

CRSMT is an excellent option for an accelerated massage therapy program. It’s what we specialize in and have been doing since our inception in 2006. The length of our program is specifically designed to allow for maximum education in a minimum but appropriate time frame. While we are constantly updating and expanding our offerings, at the core of what we do is an accelerated immersion style massage therapy certificate program that continues to prove itself in many ways. Because of our international location and our mission to equip our graduates with the tools necessary to share massage therapy wherever they may go, we offer a comprehensive and extensive education to meet more than just local requirements. We diligently stay abreast of and meet current industry standards as well as many of the licensing requirements across the United States. We take advantage of our location and import a variety of highly qualified and dedicated instructors from all over the United States. Thus, we are able to provide teachers with specialized experience and expertise best suited for every class we offer.

We value and emphasize our institution’s credentials and are accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA). This a specialized accreditation widely recognized and accepted as a standard of excellence in massage therapy education. Accreditation not only ensures excellence in curriculum, but also imposes high standards with regard to student outcomes such as completion rates, licensing exam pass rates as well as job placement rates. Business practices and financial stability are also closely monitored.

Aside from these “practical” aspects of the advantages of our accelerated program, we provide a study abroad experience in the beautiful rainforest of Costa Rica. Our residential campus provides the ideal environment to allow for full immersion in education and unforgettable adventure.

crsmt director of education teaching in the accelerated massage therapy programs

Still have questions about accelerated massage therapy programs? We encourage you to get in touch with our Director of Admissions, Tammy McGee, at 1-800-770-9893 ext 1 or [email protected] to find out if an accelerated massage therapy program is right for you.

Article written by Margaret Dunn.

The Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy is the world’s premier study abroad program for massage therapy and yoga. We offer both a 600 hour and a 700 hour COMTA Endorsed Curriculum Massage Therapy course which satisfies the licensing requirements for massage therapy in most of the United States. Additionally we offer continuing education for massage therapists and yoga teacher training.

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