I once spoke to a massage therapist who worked in the field for around 9 years, but has since retired. She had the strongest opinions about how many in-class or hands-on hours were now required. Basically, she felt that as soon as you were done with school, as long as you were working regularly, you didn’t need in-class training, that it was a waste of time and a racket for making money.
I disagree. In-class and hands-on continuing education is one of the most important things to do as a professional in your chosen field. And here # reasons why:
- Helps you get out of your routine. – As a Massage Therapist, you can’t help but have a certain routine when working on someone. I’ve probably done about 1000 massages, and although every body is different a lot can have similar pain patterns or I even start the same way on every massage. Learning new stuff helps me with boredom as well as challenges me to make my work more interesting.
- More tools in your tool box. – Learning a new way to approach an overall issue or just a different stroke can help keep you regular clients happy and assist with those clients who’s issues you’ve been working with but have only come so far.
- Keeps you humble – It reminds you that you only know a fraction of knowledge in your field. Learning again and again about how little you know creates a sense of caution when working with risky situations.
- It teaches you the right questions to ask. – If you don’t know what your missing or not getting, how can you know the correct way to ask a peer or leader in your field for advice?
- Networking – Meeting other professionals in your field is so much fun! Don’t think of your peers in the field as competitors. They can help you.
Its so easy to put these things off because you think they aren’t important, or that you don’t need to learn anything else. However, Continuing Education is one of the most important things about being a professional and a leader in your field.
This year is a renewal year for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists. Next year is a renewal year for Licensed Massage Therapists. And I couldn’t be happier to step back into the role as student!