Even after graduating from massage therapy school and becoming registered, MTs continue to seek out new knowledge and professional development. Students understand that to become a registered massage therapist in British Columbia, they must demonstrate a mastery of entry-level proficiency. This competency signifies that the RMT is capable of performing in routine situations that require assessing clients, and administering the most appropriate massage therapy treatments. Entry-level proficiency also requires an RMT to recognize when complex situations are beyond their capacity, which could mean seeking consultation from a more experienced RMT or giving the patient a referral to another medical expert. Given the depth of knowledge RMTs require, it is mandatory that graduates take continuing education courses to enhance their expertise and keep up with emerging research. Here are some examples of courses an RMT might pursue during the course of his or her career.
The lower or lumbar spine is a source of chronic musculoskeletal pain for many people. Healthcare providers often encourage their patients to pursue massage therapy as a way to treat the lumbar spine area. The sacroiliac joints which link the lower spine and the pelvis are a common location of musculoskeletal pain for some people due to excessive movement. Massage therapy has been shown to reduce musculoskeletal pain and decrease anxiety which often builds up as a result of chronic pain.
Somatics is an approach that recognizes the body’s postures and movements as a reflection of the patient’s emotional or mental tension. With age, many people begin to stoop forward, which can lead to tension, stiffness, and respiratory difficulty. Over time, gravity takes its toll leading to a compressed abdomen and a hunched shoulder posture. Applied Somatics can help patients develop a finer sense of body awareness, and become active in their own healing.
The appendicular skeleton contains the bones which make up the human appendages, including the shoulder, arm, leg and pelvic bones. The joints in our appendages are common sources of discomfort, and treating joint complications is an essential element of massage therapy education. There are multiple factors that may reduce joint mobility, such as aging, overuse and contracted muscles. Through joint mobilization techniques such as stretching and oscillatory movement, a registered massage therapist can greatly reduce aching in a patient’s joints.
The lymphatic system is responsible in part for draining the body of toxins. The lymphatic system may become blocked due to illness or a number of other reasons, preventing drainage. Lymph taping is a method of lymphatic drainage, which works by applying tape with a similar elasticity to skin onto the body. When placed in accordance with the lymphatic system, the tape constantly stretches the skin and promotes drainage.
Which continuing education courses do you consider essential for your practice of massage therapy?