Monica Phillips: Hands-On Education for Help-Oriented Careers


Therapeutic Massage ProgramTherapeutic massage

Meet Monica Phillips, Program Coordinator for the Therapeutic Massage program at Gaston College. With a passion for massage and a deep appreciation for education, Monica prepares graduates for meaningful careers. And in her own words, “If the student is successful, our program is successful.” Read on to learn more about Gaston College’s therapeutic massage program through the voice of Monica Phillips.

A Purpose Driven Career

Throughout my life, I’ve been in several rear-end collisions and as a result experienced chronic back pain. I saw doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists, but not until I saw a massage therapist did I notice significant change. My pain was finally eliminated, and it was a life-changing experience. I knew at that time how important it would be to find a job where I could help people. Since 1998, I’ve been practicing therapeutic massage. Although I’m now in education, I maintain a part-time practice. It is important to keep my pulse on the industry so I can give students the most current information.

Bringing Passion to Gaston

Gaston was one of the first community colleges to offer a massage therapy program. After years of helping clients in the field, I thought it would be rewarding to help students, educating them about the benefits of massage and how to find a satisfying career in this growing industry. I began as a part-time instructor, but now my primary responsibility is to ensure our program meets all SACS and N.C. Board of Massage and Bodywork requirements. I also encourage students to become licensed professionals in the state of North Carolina.

Hands-On Education

Each semester, students get to work in a case study clinic with actual patients. We had one patient in a wheelchair who could not turn on his left side in the reclining position. After twelve massages, this client was able to roll onto his left side. It was a major milestone for the client, but very rewarding for the student therapist as well. It is always encouraging to see that massage not only helps with relaxation, but with mobility and flexibility among other things. People are beginning to see that massage is not just a luxury or a treat. It is now looked upon as complementary or alternative to medicine.

A Growing Field

At Gaston College, students receive quality education that can propel them into the nation’s growing fields. If a student is interested in helping people and is not afraid of hard work, the therapeutic massage program is an excellent opportunity. Additionally, if someone is considering a career change, Gaston’s evening program can accommodate that. I’m looking forward to seeing new therapeutic massage establishments, rehab centers, doctor’s offices and spas come to our area, as I know they will benefit from having licensed massage therapists to employ from Gaston College.

Learn More Today

Are you ready to launch your dream career? We invite you to learn more about Gaston College and our therapeutic massage program. Our admissions staff would welcome the opportunity to speak with you and answer any questions you may have. Please give us a call at (704) 922-2270 or begin your application process today.


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