Education and Training Requirements
Science, health, and math classes are useful for future myotherapy work. Gym classes are also critical for understanding coordination and fitness. Be sure to take English and psychology classes as well; these will help improve your communication and listening skills, which are essential for working with clients.
A bachelor's degree is not required to work as a myotherapist, but it can be useful in providing a well-rounded education. Take anatomy and physiology classes if you are interested in a career in myotherapy. This will help you understand how the human body works. Also, creative classes such as drawing and sculpture, especially of the human body, will foster good hand coordination skills. Physical fitness classes and dance classes are helpful in developing a strong and flexible body. This is important because myotherapy is physically demanding on the therapist. If you are interested in setting up a private practice, take business classes, such as marketing, accounting, bookkeeping, and computer science.
Other Education or Training
The American Massage Therapy Association offers online and onsite continuing education opportunities on topics such as effective business practices, ethics, and massage techniques. Contact the association for more information.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
There are other schools offering classes in myotherapy, but the Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy School is considered the most reputable program available. The school offers a certification program for mytherapists, in three phases, consisting of 28 hours of instruction during phase one, treating five different patients with five different problems for at least three sessions each in phase two, and written, oral, and practical board exams in phase three.
Certification is also available from other massage therapy schools, usually requiring completion of a series of workshops or seminars. In some states, you must also become a licensed massage therapist before practicing myotherapy.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Aspiring myotherapists should obtain hands-on clinical experience with clients while in school. Additionally, any volunteer or part-time experience in the office of a myotherapist or massage therapist will provide a useful introduction to the field.
Patients, many of whom have been suffering pain for some time, may be grouchy and in a foul mood. Sometimes a good sense of humor is enough to erase a patient's crankiness.
Questions arise during treatment. For example: Should pressure be kept a few seconds longer? Is the patient ready to end his or her sessions? Are these exercises challenging enough? Good intuition is another important quality you will need in order to answer such questions on the spot. While you will learn the basics of myotherapy in school, you'll need instincts and intuition to help you in actual practice.
Because of the repetitive movements used in myotherapy, many practitioners often run the risk of self-injury. It's important to be aware of your body's limitations and not overuse your own muscles and joints. Sometimes, myotherapists need treatment for their own repetitive stress problems.