How to Succeed in Massage Therapy

Brian Beard’s tips for massage therapy students and graduates.


Brian Beard with son at Globe Night at the Loggers, June 2012

You’ve seen him around campus. Massage therapy students all know his name; he’s aptly named Brian Beard. Now whether he is bearded because he likes it or because it’s his name, I’m not sure we will ever know, but what I do know is that Brian is passionate about Massage Therapy and making sure each and every student is successful! Sean Bedard-Parker, Globe-La Crosse’s Dean of Faculty, praised Mr. Beard, “He is gifted in Reiki Massage and his approach to that and teaching is hands on, non-threatening engagement.”

For current students Brain’s advice is simple: Come to class! Massage therapy is a hands-on field. If you miss class you are missing important techniques and practice which will make you better at your future career. Another thing he thinks is very important for students is for them to begin exercising and staying active. Take a walk around the building or to Allergy Associates. Run to Home Depot and back. Do Yoga or something else. He doesn’t think it matters so much what activity a person chooses, but that he or she choose something. His belief is that physical activity increases the brain’s capability. “If your brain is sluggish, you need to move your body. It will fix that.” He went on to explain that by getting up and moving around the brain gets more blood flow, and more blood flow means more oxygen.

For students who struggle and may need to retake a course, Brian’s advice is to not take the failure personally. Massage therapists and teachers alike only see a sliver of a person’s life. He or she needs to assess him or herself and be open and honest with him or herself. Retaking a class is an opportunity to become a better massage therapist, by relearning or better understanding the techniques.

For you graduates or soon-to-be-graduates, don’t think that Brian would forget about you. He wants you to make sure that you keep up on the important paperwork for the job. Make sure you are signing up for the exams you need to be certified. Also, don’t feel like studying for the test is a waste of time. Studying is only going to make it easier to meet or surpass the expectations. There are great study guides that can be checked out from the library or purchased on the internet for little or no money.

In addition he wants to stress the importance of networking. I asked Brian how he got his job here at Globe-La Crosse, and he told me that it was through the great network of massage therapists and clients he knew. He had been working in bodywork for fourteen and a half years when a client of his mentioned that they were looking for a massage therapist to teach classes at Globe-La Crosse. The rest is history.

In Brian’s own words, “It pays to be nice to everybody.” And that he is.