A WELL ROUNDED EDUCATION
Involves the subtle layering of several elements
Education in a formal sense is the act of imparting or acquiring information and developing the power of reasoning and judgement as required by a profession.
Massage education often focuses on technique and hand skills and although manual skills form the basis of training for every Massage Therapist a more rounded education provides much more than just technique.
A full education layers knowledge and skills including safe practices, client-therapist communication, anatomy and physiology, draping protocol, business acumen and encourages ongoing professional development. This layering of knowledge and skill set is two-fold, providing benefit to both the therapist and client.
Massage is an important part of any wellness program as it restores body balance. As such, it is important that the massage professional understand the various components of “wellness.” With this information the professional therapist can explain to clients how massage fits into the overall wellness picture and allows the therapist to implement the most appropriate treatment plan.
Occupational Health and Safety protocols promote conditions that are conducive to health, preventing potential cross infection and maintaining safety of client and therapist. This relates to actions such as hand washing, towel and table cleaning, client position, therapist posture and clean up procedures.
Effective and efficient communication facilitates optimal massage treatment outcomes. Although seemingly simple, it is knowledge and development of effective listening skills and awareness of powerful non-verbal clues given by clients that allows a therapist to see beyond the specific symptoms or trouble spots in a client’s muscle tissue.
Anatomy and Physiology forms the knowledge of what is under the Massage Therapists hands and the treatment effects that the massage session exerts. Segmenting the content into smaller components of bony anatomy, the muscular system, surface anatomy and palpation supports the learning curve. Utilising interactive instructional tools such as DVD’s, photographic manuals, creating cheat cards, repeated hands-on practice and even viewing of cadavers can benefit this process.
Effective draping has three purposes, firstly to maintain the client’s privacy and sense of security, secondly to provide warmth and thirdly to protect the clients clothing from massage oil. Providing safe, respectful touch by using careful, modest draping and positioning is extremely important. Consistent and meticulous draping demonstrates respect for the client’s personal privacy and boundaries foster an environment in which the client’s welfare is safeguarded and protected at all times.
Many Massage Therapists aim to open their own clinic and knowledge gained in training pertaining to creating the ideal session room, financial management strategies, documentation, target market and advertising techniques all form part of developing a keen business acumen or awareness.
Professional development is an important component of most professions, massage included. Membership with a massage association can assist in ensuring the ongoing currency of your industry knowledge. Some professional associations offer annual conferences, local chapters, discounts on publications and a network of like-minded individuals and opportunities to assist an independent practitioner to support their professional development.
ACM’s training is unique. Unlike other massage schools, subjects are not separated and taught as unrelated modules of learning. The curriculum has been designed by experienced educators who understand how people acquire skills and learn best to retain and apply knowledge and skills. Learning is progressive and each subject reinforces and builds on the previous one.
Towards the end of their course, students really start to appreciate the deliberate consolidating progression of learning that took place during their training at ACM. It is this learning process that develops massage professionals who not only have the depth of knowledge required to treat a range of muscular body conditions but who can also respect, nurture and care for their client in a very meaningful and well-rounded way.