Many massage therapists choose to take classes in various massage-related disciplines to keep their current skills sharp and learn new techniques that they can use to help their patients. While some therapists automatically gravitate toward brand new disciplines—such as learning Thai massage when they've previously been trained in Swedish massage—you don't necessarily have to look to complementary therapies. Instead, it can be advantageous to find classes that focus on specific techniques that you can likely stand to improve. This investment can improve your aptitude, which can keep your patients happy and even expand your business. Here are some different courses that are worthwhile to take.
While massage therapists learn about draping when they take their initial training, mastering this skill can be something that remains a challenge to even those who have been working for a while. Being able to confidently cover their patients' body parts in sheets, while keeping the patient comfortable and still being able to access the part being worked on, is something that can often stand to be improved. Many draping courses will give therapists hands-on training, allowing them to practice with other massage therapists to feel more confident with the draping process.
Use Of Props
While you might commonly treat patients lying on their back or stomach on your table, you can occasionally encounter someone who has an injury and requires a different posture. This is where props come in. Things such as padded bolsters and cushions, folded blankets and more can all be used to support a patient's body in the necessary manner. This is often ideal for pregnant women, who cannot lie on their stomach, as well as those who have acute injuries for which lying flat can be painful or even impossible.
Therapists can also benefit from taking a course in self-care that focuses on their own body mechanics during the massage. These techniques are taught in massage school, but should always be refreshed. For example, therapists will learn how to hold their posture while working on a patient. Using the incorrect posture could easily lead to muscle strains and repetitive use injuries, but enrollment in this type of course will teach the therapist how to position his or her body whether standing or seated. This can keep you healthy and productive, rather than facing an injury that could cause you to have to cancel your patients' appointments as you recuperate.
Check out the continuing education classes like those offered at Bright Education Institute and see how you can improve your massage therapy skills.