An admin on the Massage-Bodywork forum and close confidante, Sue Peterson, made a valuable point MTs would do well to take in that I'd like to elaborate on
She mentioned how too many MTs believe they are fully ready to jump into the "real world" and succeed when they finish their massage school requirements.
Not to say that some do not do this, but actual numbers show that over 90% fail to make it in their practices. Many others suffer and struggle to have the confidence, credibility, and financial returns they had hoped to achieve.
As she mentioned, a major reason is they do not engage in continuing education skills that most practitioners need to become truly successful.
In chiropractic, it's well known and accepted that four years of education (on top of undergraduate requirements) teaches BASIC assessment and treatment skills.
However, to truly advance, most DCs additionally need to learn advanced treatment techniques (or become mentored by clinical practitioners) and learn practice/patient management skills not taught in schools. Not to mention also taking 24 CE hours thaT are required annually.
MDs who graduate from medical school need to spend at least three more years in internships and residency. And even more training for other specialties.
Understandably, most MTs didn't sign up for a chiropractic, PT, or medical education. Instead, they wanted to go through massage school, come out in a few weeks or months (or a couple of years in some Canadian programs) and start practicing.
Most massage schools do a GREAT job providing the primary education required and perhaps offer some electives.
Nevertheless, just like medical and chiropractic school graduates, MTs are no exception to having their practices benefit GREATLY when they take additional courses to advance their skills from being ordinary to becoming "extra-ordinary." It often makes the difference between those who struggle and suffer in practice and those who enjoy satisfying success.
Most successful practitioners learn from others who teach skills that take them to the next level beyond their basic school requirements.
Erik Dalton learned Rolfing, has a Ph.D., and learned osteopathic techniques from Philip Greenman, DO. He teaches a powerful blend that produces highly effective outcomes.
Ross Turchaninov has a Ph.D. and MD education, so he teaches MTs a unique assessment and treatment system from his deeper perspective.
I mention these two because students who commit to learning from them usually have the most successful and gratifying practices.
Irene Diamond has an array of educational skills and runs a health center. She teaches a proprietary hands-on approach, assessment, and client participation and management skillset. She has proven to be quite successful in one of the most expensive and competitive areas to thrive.
These educators take skillsets found outside the massage profession and incorporate them with essential massage skills to teach well-above-average training.
One of my dear friends from the1990s and her husband were both DCs who also practiced in San Francisco. I urged them to learn patient and practice management skills, but they said, "We're good, we're smart, we can do this on our own." Unfortunately, they failed in practice, were forced financially to move out of state, and frustratingly ended up divorcing.
I'm only telling you this to illustrate how a successful practice isn't always about how great you are coming out of school, how smart you are, or how great your hands-on skills are.
With rare exceptions, satisfying success requires other elements not taught in traditional massage education. Fortunately, many CE courses offer them.
A popular saying in grad school was, "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts most."
Those who are impassioned with their work become–for lack of a better way to say it–disciples of it. In other words, they discipline themselves to grow, refine and advance their skillsets.
You can go both deeper and/or broader. But IMO it's better to become masterful at one thing than average in many.
A quote ascribed to the Buddha has been a guiding force in my life: "There are two pains in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of regret weighs pounds."
None of us are perfect. We get tired at times, we slack off some, we look for easier ways out. But in the long run, it's good to model professional athletes who have ups and downs but always strive to improve their skills and game.
The CE courses I offer you roll out client management procedures and other elements borrowed from years as a massage therapist, chiropractor, and practice management teacher. They do not exist in fundamental massage education. They give you a comprehensive system for confidently managing all essential areas of your clients' care, almost guaranteeing you the heightened credibility and success that so many yearn for.
There are many "get rich quick" promoters. Sure, they might jump your numbers through clever advertising strategies. But be careful of the shady clients they draw.
Additionally, a temporary boost in new clients in no way assures lasting success––you also need solid fundamental hands-on and client management skills to keep them returning and referring others. Otherwise, you spend time and money riding a roller coaster.
Ultimately, you're better off investing in well-proven and reliable methods that sustain you. And free keep you from stress and struggle.
You don't have to be a genius to realize that investing a few hundred dollars, or maybe a thousand or more, into a CE skill that gives you practice-changing and lifelong success is trading pennies for dollars. Plus, feeling assured, professionally respected, and happy is priceless!