Since March, I have had several emails from those that recently graduated from massage school under unusual circumstances. Some of you missed out on the last months of school, had to move to virtual classes, and are now finally able to take tEx. Maybe you missed your MBLEx preparation class, the clinical portion of your course, or other critical parts of your massage education.
Not only that, but you are also entering a profession where your job is to be in close proximity to people when all we can hear about is social distancing. Uncertainty and Anxiety are high everywhere. This is why I felt compelled to write today.
Today I wanna talk about some of those concerns, and hopefully put your mind at ease. As you can imagine, when I wrote “Taking the MBLEx in 2020”, I did not see any of this coming. How could any of us imagined massage therapy programs moving online, closed MBLEx testing centers, delayed careers, or state proclamations banning massage therapists from working?
But here we are. We can continue to social distance, slow down from unnecessary business and busyness, but that does not mean our dreams have to end just because of uncertainty.
“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
― E.L. Doctorow
It is foggy right now and most of you can only see just so far into our exam preparations and future massage careers. And that is okay. You can still take steps every day to pass the MBLEx and plan your massage career. You can still make the whole trip that way.
Let’s take some simple steps today to address your questions and concerns.
Are MBLEx or Pearson testing centers open?
Most are now open. Many are spacing out testers, opening more testing centers to allow for social distancing, and running on extended hours.
How do I prepare for the MBLEx during the COVID pandemic?
Maybe you are worried about being out of school too long, things you missed from shortened programs, or are nervous navigating your MBLEx preparation alone.
In March, when all of the testing centers closed, we did not know what to do either. We ended up extending every member’s access for free until the end of June when most Pearson testing centers reopened. Many took advantage of the pause, studied hard, and it showed when testing centers opened.
Members that have taken exams lately have done really, really well considering the circumstances. Most said our plan to pass kept them on track when everything else around them was changing. It can be very hard to study with so many other distractions, but our Plan to Pass will keep you on track throughout your preparation, help you gauge progress, and gain confidence.
Testing will be different. There may be additional cleaning measures in addition to the rather intense security measures that you encounter when you enter the Pearson testing facility. At this time (September 2020), facemasks are required at testing centers. If you plan to use Massage Exam Academy to prepare for your exam, I suggest you try taking one of our simulations with a mask on. The more you can do to replicate the experience beforehand, the less anxiety you will experience during your exam.
What about becoming a massage therapist right now? Should I delay my massage career plans?
If you are having anxiety about starting a new business or career during a time when many businesses are struggling, that is a perfectly legitimate concern. But here is why I have such optimism for most massage businesses.
I run a Facebook group for Florida massage therapists, which is one of the states where I am licensed. poll question asking how everybody’s returned to work went when we were first allowed to go back to work in May. I expected the responses to be about stressful, chaotic, and slow their businesses were.
The responses were overwhelmingly positive. Massage therapists were so glad to be back doing what they love to do. Clients were so happy to have touch, relaxation, and pain relief again. Sure, people are annoyed by having to wear masks, and most people needed to block off additional time to clean up between massages and screen incoming clients. But this proved to me that massage therapy is more essential than any of us imagined then the basic need (yes, need!) for massage will continue.
Massage therapy isn’t going away.
Most of the hundreds of massage therapists I know are wearing their masks, pre-screening clients for fevers, requiring masks, some taking weekly COVID tests. Thankfully, I have yet to hear of any outbreaks related to massage therapy.
What about blood clots, COVID, and massage?
We are still learning more about how COVID affects the body short and long term. As massage therapists, we always need to be cautious about blood clots. COVID-related coagulopathy definitely deserves our attention and we should all continue to monitor advice from experts on this subject.
2020 can still have some really good highlights.
I hope this information has put your mind at ease about testing and beginning your massage career. You likely went into massage because you wanted to help others in one way or another. I promise there are people out there in need of massage therapy and some much-needed relaxation.
Don’t let 2020 have the last word on your dreams and goals. It is time to get back to preparing for the MBLEx and getting your massage license. 2020 can still be the year your dream of passing the MBLEx and becoming a massage therapist comes true (or 2021 if you choose).
If you are ready to start using our MBLEx Prep Program and make your own Plan to Pass, you can learn more below: