For Students: Advice from a Pro

DuplerMeet Laura Dupler from National University of Health Sciences. She teaches ethics for First Trimester students and a portion of the business classes for other First and Third Trimester students. She also teaches an elective class in myofascial release.

Laura is a previous graduate of the NUHS massage program. "I was almost 42 when I came here to prepare for a second career. I had been an office manager, bookkeeper and staff accountant in the corporate world. Not only was my old career stressful, it wasn't what I really wanted to do and I didn't feel happy about going to a job just to pay the bills."

She heard about the field of massage therapy and decided to attend an information night at NUHS. "When I went to the information night, I knew that if I could get through the gross anatomy portion of the orientation, then I could do the rest."

"As much as I dreaded it, the anatomy lab was one of the best advantages to the program. It's an entirely different thing for somebody to show you a muscle in a book versus seeing it on real bodies - how it looks, how it moves. It is an incredible tool."

"I picked National because they had the 'nuts and bolts' program that I wanted, and I had researched pass rates on the national board exams. I wanted to know I was going to one of the best."

After graduating in 2006, Laura went on to work as a massage therapist and chiropractic assistant in a chiropractic physician's office. She initially started teaching just a few nights per week in the business courses at NUHS, drawing from her background in office management. "One of the jobs I held previously was for a high end hiring firm. I know what employers are seeking in terms of resumés and curriculum vitae, so I could share a lot with students who would be interviewing for jobs when they left." Laura is also a member of the University's massage therapy advisory board.

Laura's advice to her students and to those considering a career in massage is this: "Don't look at any educational program as an automatic ticket to making tons of money. It takes a certain amount of work and salesmanship when you graduate to become a successful MT. Just because you graduate from one of the best schools in your field doesn't give you an automatic pass to making the money you feel you want to make. It takes hard work to build a practice and to get clients in the door. You can't sit back and let it happen, you have to go after it! One of my instructors here said to us, 'You might be the best therapist in the entire world, but nobody knows it if you don't tell them.'

"One of my favorite sayings that I really live by is this: 'Stop asking what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and then do that. Because what the world needs is more people to come alive!'"