Hawaii, massage therapy jobs, and avoiding being deleted!
October 8, 2010 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Hawaii, massage therapy jobs, and delete avoidance: How can I stand out from dozens of inquiring students seeking a massage therapy job on the Hawaiian Islands?

In February, I'll graduate and become certified as a Licensed Massage Therapist. I want to study under experts in a couple of different massage modalities for an "internship" period of time (6 months to a year).

I found a clinic (in a cottage -- even better) in Hawaii with several practitioners, including a homeopath and an oncology massage specialist, and this interdisciplinary environment is what I am most interested in. A holistic approach to empowering people to get on a path toward healing, including diet and exercise, massage, recovery, etc.

I've had experience working in a complementary medicine center, so I'm primed for this team approach. I'm receiving excellent reviews from instructors and practicum clients, and don't want to end up as an email or voicemail in someone's deleted box.

I need ideas from my new MF friends for approaching this (and other ones) clinic in a way that will spark a response, but is not overboard. Any thoughts? Thanks, in advance!
posted by sleeping beauty to Work & Money (7 answers total)
I would suggest going in for a massage and seeing whether the place has the same environment in real life as it does on paper. Talk to the therapist who sees you about your goals and ask if they ever have interns. Does HI have a provisional status, where you can work under supervision before you are licensed? Some states do; that's how I got started and I learned so much that way.) Whether they do provisional/internships or not, you can then follow up with a letter that explains what you like about their practice, and what you think you can bring to it.
posted by headnsouth at 9:01 AM on October 8, 2010

Are you currently living on the islands? There is a big stigma there against hiring people who aren't local.
posted by rickim at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2010

If you have a target group you serve, be sure to advertise that. For example, if you specialize in physical therapy or emotional work with your bodywork, you might be able to work with some of the vets coming back from overseas.

Also check in with the other practitioners- you might be able to work out a package deal for clients where they come in for 2 or 3 modalities in a row. Spas package their thing on facial, massage, mani/pedi, etc. so it's a nice set of things - you might find complementary but different work that goes well with yours as well.
posted by yeloson at 11:19 AM on October 8, 2010

I should have mentioned, I am currently living in Tennessee. I am aware of the stigma against "foreigners" and that's why I'm asking for advice here, rickim, so let me know your tips.

I'm still in school, developing my skills in clinic, but have an interest in helping people, in particular, who have reached their thirties, forties and fifties and are burning out. Moms who have neglected their health while raising kids, professionals who have shelved their bodies and souls while building their careers. Many of them are getting cancer and other chronic illness diagnoses, and with this wakeup call, are on a new mission to "take care of themselves." Sometimes for the first time.
posted by sleeping beauty at 2:50 PM on October 8, 2010

Ah, since you are not in Hawaii now I guess you can't actually explore the place, so ignore my earlier suggestion. Relocating as a massage therapist is easier than it is with some other professions, because you can start your own business pretty easily. So you could relocate once you graduate, then take Hawaii's licensing exam (they don't use the NCBTMB test, they use their own) and establish yourself, build a clientele, and network with other bodyworkers there. Lots of people have enthusiasm, but the clinic you are interested in (and others) will be more interested in you if you bring something unique to their practice. Good luck.
posted by headnsouth at 5:05 PM on October 8, 2010

Check ahead and see if Hawaii accepts your schools' hours. I work at a bodywork school in California and do the transcripts for students- the last couple of students who relocated to Hawaii let us know there was a TON of extra steps they had to do as out of state folks.

It's not so much local drama as much as the state laws are set up to favor folks who get their education in Hawaii, so get the info now. You may find you need additional education to meet their requirements.
posted by yeloson at 8:15 PM on October 8, 2010

Yeloson, THANK YOU for this information. I will look into this. This could make a huge difference.

Keep the ideas coming, everyone.

Visiting would be pretty difficult at this point, especially if I have to spend more money on CEUs to get the Hawaii requirements. So any ideas for how to get the door opened (should I email? Call? Send a "letter"? A Video?)

I have a friend there with whom I can stay who might be able to scout out a bit, but he's not an MT.

sleeping beauty
posted by sleeping beauty at 7:33 AM on October 9, 2010

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