“No matter how rigorous or extended, your initial training will only see you through the first five years. Then you will be doing one of two things: subsiding into a rut, or chafing at the bit to be able to do more. “ Thomas Myers
When I read Myers’ comments recently, I was reminded of the years following the completion of my initial reflexology training and later massage program. His statements echoed my experience, for sure. I felt like I had a strong foundation in both disciplines, but recognized that I lacked advanced information that would allow me to be more effective in helping people with very specific challenges. And, today when I read posts from fairly recent grads on various Facebook reflexology groups, my thoughts are confirmed. Most have no clue as to how to create a targeted session for the clients arriving with complicated and serious health concerns.
It’s why I’m a big advocate of advanced certifications, and why when I’m looking for a therapist, I look first to their training resume.
A Specialty Certification indicates, to me, the following:
* Expertise in the field; exceeding entry-level requirements
* Demonstration of proven critical thinking skills, deeper knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, indications and contraindications
* A serious commitment to contributing to the health and well-being of others
* An expanded ability to effectively treat those seeking help
I also agree with Til Luchau’s thoughts stated in a recent national bodywork magazine:
“People often pick careers in massage and bodywork because they require so little training. Although that means we start working and earning relatively quickly, it also means we rapidly get to the limits of our knowledge, abilities and earning power. It might also be part of why so many in our profession don’t last more than a couple of years. But it’s also an explanation for why those who do last, thrive and develop satisfying careers are so often voracious learners who see education as something that extends over their entire lives.”
I love being in classes with like-minded people intent on improving themselves and the lives of others. It’s inspiring to me and renews my interest in what I do. (In all honesty, I also love, that I get to be the student for a change; no responsibility!)
The advantages of investing in one’s career through advanced schooling are many. Here are some that come to my mind:
* your business will grow, both through word-of-mouth and professional referrals
* your practice will open up to new and varied clients, stimulating your intellect and calling on you to work outside your routine
* renewed motivation, enthusiasm and passion
* increased confidence
* professional respect
* STAND OUT IN THE CROWD!
If you are thinking of tackling a certification program, there are important questions to ask when shopping around:
* Is the program content adequately described?
* What is the limit on the number of participants? The student/instructor ratio?
* Are learning outcomes stated? What you will be able to do with this additional knowledge?
* Are the number of learning objectives reasonable for the length and cost of the program? (A colleague just told me about seeing an ad for ‘a fully credited reflexology course online for only $19.99′. Buyer beware!)
* What are the instructor’s credentials?
If you are thinking that you would like to add reflexology to your skill set, I would be thrilled if you would take a look at the Academy’s Therapeutic Hand & Foot Reflexology Professional Certification. The next program begins in April. Contact me if you don’t find answers to all your questions; I’m happy to chat.