Frequently Asked Questions

Useful information about massage and the courses.

The first questions below are general, the latter ones are related to the L3 Massage Therapy course.

Please feel free to get in contact if you have any other questions at all!

Where is the school?
Courses are based at different venues in Ambleside (most courses), Rydal (the residential Level 3 course), Keswick (the Introduction to Massage and Couples Massage Lessons), and Penrith (Couples Massage Lessons). You can find out exactly where each course is held on the main course description page.
Does Deep Tissue Massage hurt?
During a firm massage there can be uncomfortable moments because tight muscles and connective tissue are being encouraged to relax. When the muscles are very tense and it can feel sore having the tension worked out. But the feeling should be a satisfying ‘good’ pain. Communication between the person receiving, and the person giving the deep tissue massage is encouraged to reach the right level of pressure.
What should I wear to a massage workshop or course?
Wear comfy clothing that you can move easily in (and that you don’t mind getting oil on!) Please wear respectful clothing- no cleavage showing for example or very tight garments. What you would wear for the gym is ideal such as a t-shirt, joggers and trainers, or comfy sandals. You will receive a detailed letter with information on how to prepare for your training after you book your place.
What are your booking policies re payments?
For private tutorials (such as couples lessons): Full payment in advance is required to book, there are no refunds, but you can defer the date if you need to up until 48 hours in advance. If you need to defer the date within 48-24 hours in advance, you may do so at a surcharge of £50. For group workshops and courses: You can pay by deposit or full fee. Any remaining balance is due 21 days before the course date. Course fees are non refundable, but you may defer your place up until 14 days before the course date. See the T & Cs page in the yellow footer on the website for more info.
What qualifications do you need to become a massage therapist?
In order to gain insurance to carry out massage therapy in exchange for money as on a self employed basis, you need a level 3 qualification in massage. Certain workplaces such as spas require that you have a level 2 qualification.
Does massaging hurt your hands?
Massage therapists get asked this a lot and the answer is yes, it can do, if you use your hands all the time! But if you use your forearm and elbow to perform deeper movements it doesn’t! Massage movements using the hands like kneading should be gentler, whereas when a serious knot needs attention there is nothing more nifty than the sustained pressure of an elbow. Massage therapists must avoid using their hands all the time if they want a long standing career. Wrists and fingers are small joints and a lot of pressure at frequent intervals can cause pain.  A huge surface area can be covered with a swoop of the forearms compared to lots of hand movements. Therapists should employ hands free movements to bring easy-to do powerful techniques to the table. Otherwise their career might be over in a few years (3 years is the average lifespan for massage therapy careers when therapists don’t use hands-free methods). The methods learnt at Lake District School of Massage help protect your hands from overwork.
What is deep tissue massage? Is it the same as sports massage?
Deep tissue massage really helps to break down tension in the muscles and fascia (layers of connective tissue) by applying slow, firm movements. It reduces pain, as well as dissolving stress and boosting endorphins. Compared to a gentle ‘spa’ type massage, it is a firm version of massage which really hits the spot. Deep tissue massage techniques are the same as the majority of sports massage techniques. So when someone is after a really effective or strong massage they would benefit from either deep tissue or sports massage. However, if you are keen to work specifically with professional athletes rather than the general public, then opt for a sports massage course instead as these also cover massage for pre and post sporting event, and how to treat sporting injuries
I don’t live in Cumbria, where can I stay to be near the course venue?
You can see the accommodation guide here: Please be aware that Ambleside is a popular tourist location so booking your accommodation asap is advised. The retreat style course at Nab Cottage is all inclusive so you don’t need to book accommodation:
How much do massage therapists earn?
This depends on how much you charge and how much you work, if you work for yourself or for a company. Lake District School of Massage teaches really effective deep tissue massage, the most sought after treatment which clients will happily pay for (especially after they may have had so many massages in the past which never hit the spot, since you with your brilliant training!) The school advises that you charge a minimum of £60 an hour for your treatments.
Can I start working as a massage therapist after the L3 Massage course?
Yes. After the week of practical lessons, and once you have completed the online learning modules, plus completed the case studies, you will be sent your Level 3 Massage Therapy certificate. You can then apply for insurance to be legally covered to start working.
What work can massage therapists do? What work can I do after the Level 3 Massage course?
What work can I do after the course? Massage therapy is extremely popular, and its popularity is rising with an increased awareness of wellbeing practices; the importance of taking care of physical and mental health. After this course you can start your own business working for yourself from a home (or garden) treatment room, by home visits (mobile massage), or by renting space in a centre. On the course you learn all about how to set up your own massage business. Alternatively, you could work for a company, or work abroad. In addition, the NHS is starting to prescribe massage therapy to patients and staff, meaning there is an increasing demand for this service. Other options including setting up your own therapy centre and managing a team, or applying for government funding to carry out wellness workshops in your community.
Are there any entry requirements to the L3 Massage course?
You must be a minimum age of 18. If English is not your first language, your level needs to be at least B2 (the European Framework of reference for languages). Apart from this, there are no requirements other than a passion for wellbeing! And due to the nature of a week-long course and working together closely with classmates, having a friendly, kind personality is essential. The course can be quite physical too; giving and receiving lots of massage, so having a reasonable level of health and fitness is important. There will, however, be plenty of breaks and time spent sat throughout the day to recharge.
Who is the L3 Massage course accredited with? What awarding body?
The Level 3 Massage Therapy course is accredited by ThinkTree who are an International Professional Association for complementary therapists, practitioners of all modalities including sport, courses providers and the public seeking professional health treatments, CPD and Accredited courses. (I have this information on the ‘About’ page on the website). Thinktree are similar to VTCT in that they accredit courses, ensuring that the course meets industry standards. There are various awarding bodies and Thinktree and VTCT are two of them. The elements required for a massage course to be Level 3 are:Practical lessons in massage and an assessment on this.Theory lessons in topics related to health and safety such as client care and contraindications.Anatomy, physiology and pathology studies and assessments on this.Home case studies (practice treatments). The L3 Massage Therapy course at Lake District School of Massage has all these elements plus therapy business advice. I also provide videos and online resources to help you learn/progress in your own time.
Is it easy to pass a L3 Massage course?
Provided that you attend all the days on the course, carry out the case studies at home, and spend some time on the online modules, you will pass the course. In addition, there is no need to memorise any massage routines on the course, you are just required to practise some techniques. Lake District School of Massage cares about your needs and requirements as an individual, and aims to make your learning experience as straightforward, stress-free and supported as possible. Upon booking, you will be provided with a student intake form which is useful for the teacher to work out if you require any extra help. You can always get in touch to discuss any concerns. The school aims to make sure your learning experience is as fulfilling as possible.
I don’t need a qualification, just some training..
If you already have a level 3 massage qualification, or if you are doing the course to learn massage for friends and family (and do not require insurance to work on the public), then you don’t need to pay for the online Level 3 modules in anatomy & physiology, health & safety & business. These modules are necessary for you to gain Level 3 qualified status so that you can become insured as a massage therapist. But if you don’t require Level 3 status then book your place as usual by paying the deposit.
Is one week enough massage practice to become a massage therapist?
The week is spent practising hands-on techniques. The first half is spent learning how to massage the full body, and the second half is spent revising what you have learnt with more hands-on practice. You then spend time at home carrying out case studies to further consolidate your practical skills. You are also provided with detailed videos to aid you in your practice. Other longer duration courses involve lots of time studying theory work in the classroom, whereas, on this course you complete any theory work at home, in your own time, bit by bit. This means less pressure, and more time for practical work in the classroom.
I’m already trained in Swedish massage but just want to learn the techniques on the course, do I have to do the whole Level 3 course?
The L3 Massage Therapy course is ideal for therapists trained in Swedish massage because you learn a deep tissue massage routine, including learning hands-free massage techniques. Alternatively, you can take the 2 day Hands- Free Deep Tissue course to boost your existing skillset:
Are there any practical tests on the L3 Massage course?
On the final day of the course you get to carry out a massage treatment on someone other than students on the course to simulate a real life client – therapist situation. You will have had lots of practice before this, so the assessment will just be an extension of what you have already been doing. You do not need to memorise any routines, just to demonstrate a selection of the massage techniques you have learnt.
Are there any written tests on the L3 Massage course?
There are no timed written tests. When you complete the online modules, there are questions after each section to test your learning. In addition, there are two written assignments. They are straightforward and are based on exactly what you have learnt. You complete all of this in your own time and have a 12 month deadline
How long does it take to complete the L3 Massage course?
On this course, you could become a professional massage therapist in a minimum of three weeks, depending on how much time you spend on the home study work. Aside from the week of practical lessons, you complete the massage treatment case studies and online modules in your own time. The minimum advised time for home study is 2 weeks. But you have up to 12 months to complete it. If you complete your online modules in advance of the practical lessons, and complete your case studies straight after your course, you can be up and running a week after the course finishes.
Money is a bit tight but I really want to take the L3 Massage Therapy course
The school understands that your resources might be low at the start of a new career venture. Which is why you are offered the option to pay the course costs in instalments. You pay the deposit to book, and the remaining course fees 21 days the course. You can pay for the online theory modules after the course. There is also a buy now, pay with Klarna option. Once you have your certificate you can get insured (which costs around from around £60+ per year), then you can start charging for your services. If you price your treatments starting from £60 an hour for example, you will soon pay off the course costs.
What kind of people take the courses?
All types of people are incredibly welcome on the courses, providing that you have an interest in massage and being kind to others! On the Level 3 Massage course so far, here are some examples of past learners: -Ages 26-63 -Mix of male/female -Work life history/current jobs have included ex police person, ex veterans, nurses, beauticians, IT specialists, additional needs facilitators, hospitality staff, unemployed, farmers.