High-Quality Continuing Education and the Empowered Therapist, MASSAGE MagazineTo complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Expert Advice,” by Kathleen Gramzay, L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B., in the December 2013 issue. Article summary: Kathleen Gramzay addresses this comment: “I could fulfill my CEU requirements with online classes, but wonder what the benefits of in-person classes are.”

Continuing education is an important component for increasing your skills and value as a professional therapist, and is also a considerable investment. If you’ve ever had a bad learning experience or been disappointed when the class you really wanted was canceled, it can seem like you don’t have much voice in the matter.

But this is not the case. By taking the following steps, you can contribute to improving the quality of what is available, as well as support educators and the massage profession at the same time.

1. Support the educators you value by signing up early for their classes. This helps them logistically and financially, and your early registration contributes to ensure enough attendance for the class.

2. Come to the class ready to participate. In-person classes are dynamic—not just because of a passionate instructor, but because attendees contribute to the dynamic. If you want an energized learning experience, bring your curiosity and be open to learning something new.

3. Take the time to give honest, clear feedback after the class. Most educators constantly strive to improve their classes and get ideas from the evaluations you are asked or required to fill out for continuing education credit. Take time to fill them out sincerely, and you will contribute more than you know. Kind, constructive suggestions for improvement, as well as praise, are helpful and appreciated.

4. If you attended a class you found beneficial, spread the word. Nothing helps substantiate quality more than personal testimonials. You can contribute to a great class being available for others by supporting it through website testimonials, social media likes or posts, or by suggesting it to professional organizations that are looking for presenters.

Your voice can contribute to quality continuing education. Empower yourself by using it constructively, and support your profession in the process.

Kathleen Gramzay, L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B., is the developer and nationally approved continuing education provider of Kinessage® Massage Through Movement and Kinessage® Self-Care for Therapists (www.kinessage.com). Gramzay also presents Kinessage® Self-Care to the general public and is the owner of Knead for Balance Inc. in Scottsdale, Arizona.