Reasons to take continuing education

We’re well past that pesky New Year’s resolution time of the year.  Right now, we’re just about at that place in time when ambivalence begins to set in, when we start to think, “Hey, I still have MOST of the year left to kick my butt into a higher gear“, combined with a creeping sense that, “Geez, I guess I better get rolling on that personal strategic plan.”

Never fear, we found a little inspiration/motivation for you procrastinators (includes just about all of us, right?) that we’re happy to share with you on one item that may be on your annual resolutions list – continuing education.

Don’t just take our word for it, read what guest contributor Allissa Haines of Writing a Blue Streak has to say about the reasons to factor continuing education into your personal strategy stream!  Excerpts below courtesy of the AMTA Massachusetts chapter

There are a dizzying number of choices when it comes to continuing education courses. . .

Consider starting with the reasons you take continuing education to begin with. In addition to simply racking up hours in order to maintain your license, there are a number of excellent reasons to take continuing education. While ALL of these reasons will influence any massage therapist to one degree or another, deciding on your primary motivations will help you figure out which courses are right for you.

1. Market your practice.

This is often one of the first benefits of continuing education that massage therapists think of, probably because it’s one of the most frequently touted to students by their instructors. If a competitive edge in your marketing efforts is what you’re after, consider taking courses in massage for a particular population, like athletes, the elderly, or people with psychological trauma. Taking courses like this allows you to effectively focus on the special needs of a small group of people. Everybody wins!

2. Keep abreast of the latest knowledge.

Much like everything else in the universe, the massage world keeps on changing. If you’re feeling a little out of the loop with what’s new, you might want to take a course focused on the results of current research. Sometimes this takes the form of a panel discussion, or a lecture led by a researcher. Other times it could be an article to read, with online questions . . . all of these will, one way or another, help keep you in touch with the latest developments in the massage therapy world.

3. Remember what you learned in school.

Do you really believe you’re the only person who forgets people’s names after meeting them once at a party? Of course not, it’s a completely normal thing for people to do. Similarly, there’s no shame in taking a refresher course and getting back to basics. You might be surprised how well things stick in your brain when you learn them the second time around!

Get the ball rolling . . .

4. Make your practice sustainable.

It’s great to get the ball rolling in your practice, whether your focus is on pampering, rehabilitation, or somewhere in between. But just as important as a strong start are the skills that will enable you to stay in the business in the long run.

5. Keep things fresh!

If you’re a newer therapist or a student, you might not be able to imagine being bored while giving a massage. But if you keep using the same basic set of tools, never trying anything different, over the course of many years, boredom is bound to set in eventually. To spice up your practice, try out a new technique. Check out something you’ve always been curious about, but never studied, whether that’s myofascial release or Thai massage. Learn to use a new tool, like massage stones or aromatherapy oils. If your background is primarily Eastern, try something based in Western medicine. If you do short, muscle-specific work on injured patients, pick up a relaxation technique or two.

Take a look at the full-length article by clicking here