Sunday, March 30, 2008

The road to massage...Part 2

Meanwhile, the A&P classes were getting torturous. Did I really need to know the structure of arteries and veins to give a good massage? Did I need to know what the fourth layer of skin was called, and how its characteristics differed from the second and fifth layers? My head was caving in with information overload.

While racking up my practice hours, and relieving the stress and improving the wellbeing of my clients, my own stress levels were soaring as the exams loomed. I’ve done exams before – years of them – but never anything that involved the assessment of a practical skill. Well, not since I did my driving test....and let’s not talk about that incident with the pedestrian...

The big weekend came – 2 days of exams, one for ITEC, one for BTEC. Each day contained a theory and practical exam. ITEC was first, and we were assessed with military precision on a 45-minute full body massage. The multiple choice questions were fairly straightforward. I was feeling confident.

The BTEC practical exam was pretty straightforward too – we’d been assessed continually throughout the course, so more or less knew where we stood as far as our techniques were concerned. The BTEC theory exam was another story. It was truly one of the scariest exam papers I’ve ever seen. Some 35 pages thick, the monster written paper tested our understanding of the 13 body systems...inside and out, as it were. Looking back, I can’t even remember the questions. I just remember they were excruciatingly detailed and hard. I was sure I was going to be re-sitting that exam! We all felt the same.

Four days later, in a completely unexpected flash of efficiency, we received our ITEC results – we’d been told not to expect them back for 6-8 weeks. I passed. One down, one to go.

Qualifying under ITEC meant that I could arrange my full professional insurance and begin practicing. I was so elated about getting through the ITEC exam that I had all but forgotten about the BTEC results.

When I received the call from the EfH office to say that I’d passed the BTEC exams, I laughed, screamed, then cried all in pretty quick succession. I realised at that time how much I wanted to get through that exam.

I was asked often throughout that course whether I intended to do massage full time. Up until the end of last year, I’d always thought that it would be a part time interest, but a few more advanced courses later, and some twists and turns in life, and I am now clear that it is what I want to do. Whole heartedly!

Did this course change my life?


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