Life gets extremely busy when you work as a Massage Therapist. Between massaging current clients, connecting with prospective ones and scheduling bookings (not to mention the marketing and day-to-day admin!), it can often feel like we don’t have time to factor in professional development (PD).
Regardless of the industry you work in, PD is incredibly valuable, so let’s take a look at why you need to carve out some time for it, as well as what options are out there for Massage Therapists.
What is ‘Professional Development?’
Professional Development is a broad term that can describe any sort of training, seminar, experience or course that furthers your knowledge in your particular area of practice. When it comes to Massage, this might look like doing a dry needling course or cupping course, or participating in webinars on a variety of massage therapy topics.
What is the benefit of PD to you and your massage business?
Every client wants to be treated by the most skilled and effective Massage Therapist out there, so staying up to date with industry trends and developments, and broadening your scope and abilities is hugely beneficial. Prospective clients are likely to do their research when looking for a Massage Therapist, so referencing your continual upskilling and PD will only increase your professional standing in their eyes.
The ability to offer other services on top of a standard or remedial massage, such as dry needling or cupping, opens your business up to a wider audience. A certain segment of your massage clients will likely also be interested in these supplementary offerings, while an entirely new cohort of people looking solely for these new services will also be open to you. Both markets represent additional revenue streams, so it’s clear to see the value in diversifying your skillset. Advanced Clinical Education offers a huge range of massage ongoing education, so if you’re looking to add more strings to your bow, it’s well worth checking out their options.
Reinforcing knowledge, expanding skills
After you complete your massage therapy course through the Australian Institute of Fitness, you will know plenty about anatomy, and will have covered some basic elements of starting your own business. When you talk with the most successful and longest operating therapists in the massage space, however, you will soon realise that they share a dedication to continually enhancing their knowledge in both areas.
You would expect most PD courses to contain information that overlaps with prior learnings to a certain extent, and that’s still useful because it serves to reinforce your know-how. You will generally find, however, that you’ll also take away some new nuggets of knowledge, or fresh perspectives on topics you thought you knew inside out.
Allied industry perspectives
The more you expand your knowledge, the better you’ll be able to help your clients improve their function or rehabilitation. To this end, it can be beneficial to venture beyond purely massage-centric courses to expose yourself to the perspectives of allied industries, such as fitness. AIF’s professional development platform, Network, offers courses in anatomy, covering everything from the unique ‘body mapping’ and the nervous system, to muscle function and corrective exercise. Network also has a range of business courses created with fitness professionals in mind, but which hold value for any small business operator in the health, fitness and wellbeing sector.
While the benefits of learning certain PD skills will be immediately apparent to you in terms of adding new services to your repertoire, others may be less tangible but still assist you in refining your overall business operations. Regardless, professional development is integral to your career as a Massage Therapist and in addition to expanding your hands-on skills and know-how, it will also enhance your confidence in delivering your services – a quality that clients (and prospective ones) find both reassuring and appealing.
Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.