In my opinion, continuing education is a huge factor in our industry’s continued progress and growth. Encouraging therapists to participate with continuing education requirements ensures professionals will acquire updated skill sets and knowledge.
As science discovers more about the human body, it is imperative massage therapists learn these new discoveries to better understand who they treat in their practices. Therapists learn new innovative tools, techniques and approaches as they further their education.
Clients benefit from therapists who seek to advance and improve their practice of therapeutic massage. Ultimately, we attend continuing education to better serve our clientele.
It is my hope that states which do not require continuing education requirements reevaluate why they have chosen to not require this key aspect of industry growth.
Where Will the Massage Industry Be in 5 Years?
In five years, I foresee many more innovations in continuing education regarding the usage of tools to aid manual therapy efforts. I also foresee a greater trend that more educators will hold courses on the integration of mental and physical health with massage therapy efforts.
As “trauma informed” is slowly becoming a buzzword in education, we will surely have more continuing education classes touch upon this topic. This necessitates we massage educators work with other mental health professionals to ensure our content is accurate and elevated.
Many entry level massage programs in the past decade have adopted courses traditionally reserved as continuing education:
As entry level education elevates, a wise program director will ensure the foundational skills will not be rushed in the first set of classes in order to fit the advanced content later in programs.
Allopathic Care Sectors
Therapists with advanced education with a specific focus will also have greater opportunities with allopathic care sectors.
An example is seen when therapists learn advanced education in lymphatic drainage training. Therapists completing over 60 hours of training in this field have access to work with advanced lymphedema and similar patients. These patients need an exquisite clinical treatment plan which a normal entry level program does not offer enough insight towards lending assistance.
Therapists who seek longer education programs will be able to work in hospital and clinical settings otherwise not afforded to the average massage therapist.
I see many therapists now working in hospitals. This will lend towards greater credibility of massage in the eyes of allopathic medicine. Here in Arizona, I often speak with doctors and nurses who hold a great respect for massage therapy.
Longer Programs & Acupuncture
In five years, I foresee many more professionals having completed longer specific programs in:
- lymphatic drainage
- oncology massage
- cranial sacral therapy
- medical massage
- and other clinical skills to further work in hospital and allopathic settings.
I also foresee on the eastern side of our field, more therapists becoming acupuncturists to further integrate Chinese medicine practice into massage related work.
A Greater Appreciation of Massage Therapy
As massage therapy makes gains in varying professional arenas, more members of the general public will garner a greater appreciation of massage therapy.
Many more people realize massage can aid in the treatment and recovery of many clinical conditions such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- and numerous others.
I foresee mainstream massage coverage in a more positive light as our professional gains in other health care sectors highlight our value as massage therapists. I also foresee more successful massage and integrated wellness facilities being showcased as healing havens as we heal the planet one body at a time.
The future is bright for massage therapy. Entry level education is strengthening, continuing education is broadening, more therapists are working in allopathic sectors, and more general public members are benefiting from the healing power of our work. These will only continue to trend upwards in the next five years.