Continuing education is a licensure renewal requirement for most massage therapists and thankfully there are quite a few options out there to choose from. There are short form and online courses that make it somewhat easier to carve time out of a busy schedule for learning. And there are also immersion courses in modalities like Thai Massage and Ashiatsu that require a more notable investment of time, energy and resources to learn deeply.
No matter what CE course you sign up for we hope that you are planning out your education so that you are learning something that is new and interesting to you. But, even if you do have a year or two where you're scrambling to pick up CE credits at the last minute, you can still use these tips to make the most of whatever class you may find yourself in.
Five Tips for CE Courses : How to Get the Most Out of Every Ashiatsu and Thai Massage Training
1. Cultivate an openness to learning and become a teachable student. Learning is an artform. Learners must be present, alert, aware and receptive. Most preparation for learning actually happens OUTSIDE of the classroom with activities such as getting enough rest before, during and after training, organizing personal and professional life to accommodate for your absence and gathering all of the supplies needed to effectively participate in class. Once class starts it is important to be engaged in the learning process by taking notes, asking questions and interacting with other participants in a professional manner. Also, please show respect to your instructors during class by not challenging or attacking them in front of other students in the class. If you have some constructive criticism about the course then leave it on the feeback form or approach the instructor after class.
2. Maintain physical health and a calm, relaxed state of being. Yes, we are teaching you energy saving techniques however, Thai massage and ashiatsu are still physically demanding practices. A gentle stretch routine and some light strength training will help you, especially in the beginning as you learn. Eating fresh foods and drinking plenty of water before, during and after the training can help significantly to reduce the onset of fatigue and frustration during training. Also make sure that you have all of your personal affairs in order to the best of your ability prior to the start of the training so that your attention isn't being pulled in multiple directions. Strive to create a calm and relaxed state of being so that you can absorb as much of the information being presented to you in the CE course as possible.
3. Be willing to practice, make mistakes and accept feedback. Performing the recommended number of practice sessions for each class you take is one of the most important parts of your training if you want to use what you learn and keep going with it. Practice sessions are your opportunity to smooth out the application of your new techniques in preparation for offering them to paying customers. These paying customers may not always feel comfortable with giving you the feedback you need to make
your Thai massage and ashiatsu sessions as great as your current skill set. Practice on non-paying customers helps us to learn from our mistakes and makes those mistakes less of a burden on us professionally. We are our own worst critic and therefore, have to realize, that mistakes are inevitable and practice is ethical.
4. Develop a sincere commitment to turning new skills into practical experience. We train newly licensed massage therapists and seasoned practitioners and can tell you that there doesn’t seem to be an advantage in the Ashiatu and Thai massage classrooms when it comes to the length of time a student has been in the field practicing massage. Everyone starts their training on a level playing field. It’s up to you how quickly you want to move through the training and develop your skills. Once you’ve decided you are going to do it you’ve got to keep going. Make it a point to USE what you are learning immediately and plan to continue your training indefinitely.
5. Create an adequate support system – on both personal and professional levels. You’ve got to think things through before you start your training. Really take a look at the courses you want to take and map out a plan that can be realistically integrated into your personal
and professional schedule. Share your intentions with your friends, family, clients and colleagues who will help to hold you accountable and keep you excited about learning
When you dedicate yourself to study in this way you become fully absorbed with the learning and sharing of these modalities. You learn how to use your entire body and BEING, not just your hands (and brain), to deliver effective massage treatments without burning yourself out. Your chances for repetitive overuse injuries decreases and your stamina improves. Therefore, you are able to help more clients, make the money you need to meet your goals and enjoy being a massage therapist even more than ever before! The time flies by while you are engaged in the learning process and you soon realize that you’ve cultivated a new set of skills that make you feel like you’ve started your practice of massage therapy all over again, just like many of our students report.
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