Traditional on-site or presential courses in the Spa and Wellness sector are giving way for online massage courses and online Spa management programs. Why is this happening? What are the upsides of this development? How can we as massage therapists, Spa therapists, beauticians, and bodyworkers, benefit from it?
From Classroom To Cyberspace
Traditionally, massage has been seen as a skill that can only be taught in a classroom setting, where a teacher explains and shows the students how to apply a certain massage technique. This is still very valid when we talk about learning massage as a profession, as in order to become a licensed massage therapist (LMT), you do need to study it presentially. This is quite logical, as you will need a teachers supervision and feedback to learn the basic skills; get to know the human anatomy and how to work on it with massage strokes, how much pressure to apply and how, the rhythm of the massage, etc.
Lately, however, the idea of that massage can only be taught on-site, has given way for a broader perspective in which today massage is seen as a modality that can be taught also online. I am sure many of us have noticed the continuously increasing offering of online massage courses, new massage training websites, etc.
Here I would like to stress that there is a difference between what is taught online versus what is taught on-site. On-site massage courses can of course target anyone who is interested in massage but I would say that the classroom setting is specially important for beginners and for those who are looking to learn massage as a profession from scratch. Online massage courses , on the other hand, are often aimed at experienced massage and bodywork professionals who already have the basic skills and who are looking to expand their horizons and add new massage techniques or skills to their treatment offering. For experienced therapists an online setting works well, as they do not feel they need a teachers constant supervision and it grants them much more flexibility.
Why Would I Learn Massage Online?
Let´s take John as an example in order to answer this question…yes those of you who have attended my courses or lectures know how fond I am of examples! John is a 35 years old licensed massage therapist, with nearly 10 years of experience, and he owns a small massage practice together with his wife. They have a regular client base, and John loves what he does! However, now that the kids are a bit older and he has a bit more time for himself, he notices that he feels a bit stagnated in his massage career. When was the last time he took a course to refresh his skills? He had been attending some short workshops in order to earn his Continuing Education credits in massage, but he did not feel that they had enriched him that much as he had to choose the on-site massage courses based on proximity and timing, rather than on the subject itself.
John is specially interested in learning Tibetan KuNye massage, after a colleague of his learned it in India last year. But he knows his limitations; he can hardly travel to Asia and be away for several weeks, leaving the clients unattended and his wife alone with the kids for such a long time, as well as spend a considerable amount of money for airplane tickets, course fees, accommodation, etc.
Then one day he hears about an online massage training website from a colleague, and decides to take a look. A whole new world opens for him; he realizes that, with the solid skill base and experience he has, he can learn almost whatever he wants to online! Tibetan KuNye massage and other Asian massage techniques, sports massage, foot massage, you name it! And the greatest thing is that he does not need to leave home, he does not need to cancel client appointments, and he can study whenever suits him best, and last but not least; for a very good price. So as you can guess, John registers for his first online massage course, excited to learn new skills again!
I am quite sure that this example could apply to many of us who have been in the business for a while but find it hard to find time to register for the on-site massage classes that really interest us, and that often require some travel, time, money, and coordination at the home front.
Personally I always prefer to keep refreshing my skills from as many sources as possible; on-site massage courses, online massage courses, massage books, massage workshops, etc. Usually depending on my availability as I spend many months of the year traveling for teaching and lecturing.
I hope you found this post interesting! As always, I encourage you to share your own thoughts and comments below!
Wishing you a meaningful day ahead,