What Kind of Continuing Education Should You Be Taking? Why do I take classes?Each time I teach a continuing education class, I ask each massage therapist, ” What kind of classes have you taken in the past ?” The typical response: Some forms of energy work, Thai massage, Neuromuscular, Sports, Medical Massage (not sure what that is) and various other modalities. And invariably I ask the million-dollar question,” Why did you take these classes and how much revenue did they produce?’ Puzzled they give me the, “What do you mean look?” Like, isn’t the whole idea of taking continuing education to learn more? Yes and no, so I tell them what I learned early from my own continuing education courses:
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin
When I graduated massage school, I was gung-ho to take any sports-massage related class that was offered. Some of the classes, I received a certificate and for others they were an ongoing programs that required you to take a series of courses, which at the end of the series you were offered a test to be certified in the whole modality upon passing. One program in particular took a year to complete. When I came close to the end of the series, I realized I had forgotten the first one and needed to refresh. Of course I never finished. Most of the techniques I learned were great, but overtime they were painful to apply. And soon I needed massage for doing massage. So, what did I learn from my experience? Working full-time leaves little time to take classes. But I was burned out, injured and feeling trapped in a rut. It was time for me to take new classes that were going to work for me this time and allow me to continue without injury. Oh yeah, I would also like it increase my revenue. What a novel idea? From here on out my continuing education had to meet this new criteria. In 2001, I elected to take three new modalities: Neuro-Kinetic Therapy 5-days, $900., Stones, 4-days $800. and Ashiatsu Bar Therapy, 3-days $500. All promised to increase revenue and two promised to save my hands. All classes were out of state requiring airfare, hotel and food, adding an extra $1000.00 expense to each class. The total was a whopping of $5200. for all three. These expenses did not include 3 weeks without pay. Upon my return I had a renewed purpose and 3 new modalities to add to my services. Let’s start with the Neuro-Kinetic® Therapy. Benny Vaughn is truly a dynamic motivator. No teacher has ever surpassed what I learned from him personally. I highly recommend him. From the class itself, I was able to utilize his methods immediately and it landed me a faithful client I had for years that loved the work. I produced revenue, however it was hard on my hands and this remained an ongoing issue. Then I took LaStone®. I loved this work, but the preparation time, the lugging of the stones and the cleanup were both taxing and time consuming. Later I took two more stones courses from companies that taught different stone techniques. Preparation and cleanup were still a major glitch, so I resolved the issue by developing a 6-stone routine that was suitable for house calls and it became my signature treatment. My clients loved it! The revenue from this stone routine far exceeded my expectations and my hands were uninjured. Last but not least, Ashiatsu Bar Therapy. Wow,when I realized I could do deep-tissue massage all day without hurting myself, in turn, this allowed me to do more services, plus my clients loved it, I knew I had hit the Jackpot! Which is why I teach itCool. We massage therapists’ work hard to pay for our continuing education. Shouldn’t we expect it to do the same for us? What classes have you taken that prevented injury and produced revenue too? Post questions or comments, we would really like to hear from you.