Massage & Bodywork

March | April 2014

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TELL ME … ❱❱❱ ❱❱❱ How Can Continuing Education Help Me? @ABMPmassage Make sure you connect with us to get your voice heard in next issue's Tell Me … mp REAL-WORLD LEARNING In the massage and bodywork profession, graduating from school is only the beginning of your education. "Practicing in the real world confronts us with situations that demand knowledge and skills not taught in our primary education," says Michael Koplen, DC, MT, in California. While your initial schooling gives you the foundation to start your professional practice, it's impossible to cover everything you will need to know to succeed long term. Continuing education fi lls those gaps. MEET YOUR PEERS One of the benefi ts of continuing education is being able to network with colleagues who can give you valuable insight into how they run their practices, including new ideas about marketing and client outreach methods that have proven effective. If you work in relative isolation, it can be easy to fall into a routine, and meeting other therapists will give you a fresh perspective. Therese Schwartz in Oklahoma fi nds that continued learning after school "keeps us fresh as therapists and helps prevent burnout." SET YOURSELF APART In massage school, you likely didn't have much time to explore in depth any specialized aspects of bodywork that most interested you. Continuing education is your opportunity to get involved with modalities and areas of specialization that you didn't have time for during your formal education. These can help set your practice apart. One of the keys to running a successful business is fi nding a niche market for your style of work; continuing education lets you explore different areas of bodywork so that you can decide what interests you the most, and turn that passion into the focus of your business plan. Even if you've already found a niche, it's still important to continue learning. As Xavier Beba Hart in New Jersey suggests, "Keep it fresh for repeat clients by offering a few new moves and techniques." STAY UP TO DATE Finally, it's important to remember that our current knowledge isn't infallible. "Theories change, new research shuts down old ideas, and new methods develop," says Kat Champenois, a therapist in Texas. The things you learned in massage school, even if it was only a year ago, may change as new scientifi c discoveries bring about a different understanding of the human body and how our work affects it. Lifelong learning keeps you up to date with the latest developments in any health-related profession. How often do you take new classes, continuing education, or webinars to further your education? 71.8% Multiple times every year Once a year Every couple of years Almost never 16.6% 8.3% 3.3% 20 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a r c h / a p r i l 2 0 1 4

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