Massage therapy is not a static art. Like any career/vocation, we need to stay up to date, well-trained and excited about our work. Training doesn’t end with graduation from massage therapy school. In fact, the learning is just beginning with an exciting array of knowledge to be absorbed at continuing education seminars. Keeping our knowledge up to date and maintaining our skills is what separates the good massage therapists from the best massage therapists.
I have a love/hate relationship with my continuing ed requirements. Nothing excites me more or refreshes my dedication to massage therapy than learning new techniques and gathering with other massage therapists. The only down side for me is time, travel and cost. It’s hard to schedule time away from clients and my family. Life is a huge juggling act and keeping all the balls in the air can be a challenge, but like everyone else, I manage to pull it off successfully.
In February, I’m taking time to become certified in geriatric massage to better serve my elderly clientele. Over the last few years, I’ve discovered that I really enjoy working with seniors but I realize I need more training. Seniors are such a diverse group because overall they don’t categorize as “typical” in a given age range. Some are quite robust while others of the same age can be frail and wheelchair bound. Cognitive abilities can range from alert to dementia and Alzheimer’s. The healing power of massage is amazing in its ability to revitalize and nurture this specialized group.
“Clients of geriatric massage report sleeping better, a reduction in stress, relief from arthritis and chronic pain, increased recovery time from surgeries, better circulation, lower blood pressure and relief from some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.” (Sharon Puszko, Geriatric Massage A new face for the future, 2009-2010)
For more information on the benefits of geriatric massage, read this article by Sharon Puszko http://www.massagetherapycanada.com/content/view/1551/ . She is teaching the cont ed class I’ll be attending in February.