An array of massage oils set against a backdrop of flowers

All Posts by Joe Lubow

About Joe Lubow

Joe Lubow is the Owner/Director of SSMT.

Farewell Leon Chaitow

The announcement of the death of Dr. Leon Chaitow is news of the passing of a giant. The British Osteopath was a leading voice in manual therapy for decades. He was the first osteopath appointed by the British government to a medical practice and he was the Editor-in-Chief of our profession’s only peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. He wrote more than 70 brilliant books and spoke around the world at schools and conferences of osteopathy, chiropractic, physical therapy, and massage therapy.

While SSMT has hosted some top names in our continuing education program, I am sorry to say we never brought Dr. Chaitow to Sarasota. I did see him speak in 2007 at the first Fascia Research Congress, which he helped organize, bringing the world’s top fascial scientists to Harvard Medical School to present their research to bodyworkers. He was an inspiring, eloquent, educated voice for manipulative medicine.

SSMT instructor and continuing education provider Chris Dux was fortunate to study Muscle Energy Techniques with Dr. Chaitow. While I never completed any formal training with him, I feel like I know and learned much from Dr. Chaitow through his writings and that brief moment in Boston sitting in an auditorium listening to him speak. I wonder how many others who never met him also credit him as one of their teachers. Thank you Dr. Chaitow, for a life of tremendous contribution.

Ongoing Massage Therapist Shortage

“Can you send us more graduates?”

This is a constant refrain coming from employers, and happily has been for many years. Large spas and all of the massage therapy franchises have not been able to find enough qualified massage therapists to meet the increasing demand. It has even been described as a “talent war” in the press. But it goes so much deeper than this.

Demand for Licensed Massage Therapists (LMT’s) is projected to continue to outpace supply for the foreseeable future, and the US Department of Labor and Statistics projects continued rapid job growth. In Florida, the need for massage therapists is projected to increase by 29 percent through 2024. The job placement website Indeed.com reports that massage therapist jobs often go unfilled for more than 30 days. This shortage has contributed to an increase in approximately 20% in average entry-level pay for an LMT, from about $33,000 in 2013 to nearly $40,000 today.

Massage Envy-Sarasota employs 120 LMT’s between their 3 locations, and there has not been a moment in the past three years when they were not actively looking to fill open positions. Elements, Massage Heights, and Hand & Stone are all hiring right now. Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Wellness Centers, 5 Star Hotels, Day Spas, and many small businesses are all hiring…right now.

More than 17 million Americans received massage last year for relaxation or stress reduction; more than 26 million Americans received massage for medical or health reasons. 89% of Americans agree that massage can be effective at reducing pain, and research is beginning to show that massage therapy is not only effective treatment for pain; it may compare favorably to other medical interventions for pain. This is really big news, given the damage wreaked by the opioid crisis. (We will explore the research on massage therapy and pain in a future post.)

A population more educated about massage therapy, a crisis of pain, an increasing need to disconnect and recover from a society that is moving at warp speeds, and an aging population, have all combined to create a demand for massage therapy that is outpacing the supply.

For the right person, massage therapy can be an incredibly fulfilling career. In another post we will examine what makes a great fit.

“Can you send us more graduates?”

We’d love to!

Hurricane Irma Notice

Update Saturday September 9, 10:15 AM

It looks like we are likely to end up in the worst-case scenario, or close to it. If you have a place to go, there is still time to leave. If you are staying, and the forecast continues to be this bad by this evening, go to a shelter. Please be safe SSMT community! We love you!

The school will be closed Monday, and may be closed for longer. We will continue to post updates here.

Original Post – Sept. 6 2:43 PM

SSMT will be closed Friday and Saturday, September 8th & 9th. Though the storm is still more than 5 days out, everyone should make preparations in case it’s needed.

The school and clinic will remain open through Thursday evening.

At this point there is better than a 50% chance that we will experience no severe weather at all. There is a 15% chance that we will experience hurricane force winds, and a small – but not insignificant – chance that we experience a direct hit from a major hurricane. We encourage the entire SSMT community to make preparations to be out of harms way in the event that becomes necessary over the weekend.

This post will be updated throughout the weekend. At this point the plan is to have class Monday, but students can check this post for updates as conditions change.

Stay safe!

Our Website is now Complete on Mobile

In 2015 we unveiled a new mobile site that contained some of the most important information about the school. Last year we launched a full new desktop site, and quickly realized that the more limited mobile site needed to include everything the desktop site did.

Today we are pleased to announce that everything works everywhere. The complete website, including this blog, continuing education registration, the online application, student/alum login area, and every other feature of the desktop site is now available and optimized for every device.

We hope you like it!

A Special Message For Heritage Institute Students

Welcome sign with rose hanging on doorThe faculty and staff of Sarasota School of Massage Therapy extend our heartfelt support to Heritage Institute’s students and staff during this time of transition. Community is important to us at SSMT. We have a deep passion for the massage therapy field and are saddened to see so many affected by this closure.

We invite Heritage students to a caring and supportive phone call (941-957-0577) to explore the possibility of completing their education.  You can also schedule a tour or complete an online application.

A Highly Recommended Read!

Forward Facing Trauma Therapy by Eric Gentry, PhD

trauma-homeStress is a physiological phenomenon, and trauma is stress that hasn’t been worked through. This is for everyone. Robert Scare taught us that trauma is a spectrum. From PTSD at one end to the mild unresolved stress we all experience that can lead to reactivity and misery, this fabulous book by Dr. Eric Gentry takes a somatic approach to healing trauma along the entire spectrum. It is an amazing book; I can’t recommend it highly enough!

How to Learn Anything – Part 1: An Introduction

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”                                            –Mahatma Gandhi

There is nothing in life quite like the “eureka moment;” that instant when something that previously made no sense comes into perfect focus: “I’ve got it!”

How do we prepare ourselves to have more of those moments? Continue reading

SSMT Website Has A New Design!

It’s been an absurdly long time coming. We admit it. We’ve been working on this (slowly) for years.

The old site was designed in 2002 and has been showing it’s age for some time. We hope you find the new site more informative, easier to navigate, and more pleasant to look at.