Weekend Courses vs Ongoing Training – Which Is More Effective?

Many Massage Therapists look at continuing education and training as something that should be scheduled around their busy work schedule. Unfortunately, this can lead to missed opportunities, and the quality of education often isn’t what it should be.

Massage therapists have two options when it comes to training, in person, or online. 

Is one method of training more effective than the other?

We live in an era of never-ending information overload.

In our field, it’s especially true.

There are hundreds of books on how to be a successful Massage Therapist and hundreds of continuing education programs that Massage Therapists can attend at their convenience. The challenge is most of these courses aren’t very well organized, making it difficult to know what to do next. If you want to stay up-to-date in our field, you’re going to need to find the most effective way to keep learning new skills and concepts.

Some Of My Best Learning Experiences

Two of the best courses I have taken throughout my career were one delivered by Greg Lehman, and the other is the San Diego Pain Summit. 

Here’s why those were great. 

With Greg’s course, while he is a great presenter, he did something I had never seen in a continuing education course before. After the course, he sent out an email with a link to his google drive. 

There were tons of research papers in that drive all divided into different categories, which the course was based on. He continually updates the research, and you always have access to it. I was so impressed by this that it’s something we do in our live courses now. 

Greg went out of his way to provide extra support after the course was over, and that support continues as long as he updates those research papers. Support in our continuing education is crucial because if you’re anything like me, you take a course and then think “how can I implement this Monday morning?”. Then by the end of the week, you’ve forgotten most of it, and you’re back to the same things you were doing before. 

Now for my favourite conference (I’m sure you’ve seen me mention it on here before). 

Yes, the content is always great at the conference, but the community makes it really special. Every year I go, it feels like a family reunion. 

No one ever cares what kind of therapist you are, and you’re rarely ever asked. But when you get there, EVERYONE is excited to see each other again. 

There is even a private Facebook group where all the attendees can communicate, ask questions, and leave comments. Since I started going to this conference, there have been times where I’ve reached out to other attendees for help on certain things, and every time I’ve asked, the answer has always been a resounding yes!

That community truly makes a massive difference in the ongoing learning experience. 

So what I take from both of these experiences is: 

More Support + community = Better learning outcomes. 

Comparison of Ongoing Training and Weekend Courses

Going to a weekend course to get our continuing education is not always convenient. It is usually tough to take off work to attend such a course.

However, Ongoing Training is a great way to learn new information and to stay up to date with the latest research.

When Covid hit, it made a massive shift in continuing education. We were super stressed about how we were going to service all the great therapists who had signed up for our courses, so we decided to take them online. 

I’ll be honest the first iteration of this was not as good as our last and we are continually improving. 

The reality is, I think most education is starting to trend this way, even HUGE companies are doing it, and they’re doing it for a reason. 

I have been a first aid instructor for 11 years now and I’ve watched a huge company like the Red Cross change their approach… they’re going online!

When you look at a company like this one, they certify thousands of people a year in first aid courses. But they took a step back and realized they were usually (if not always) helping working professionals. So they transitioned to make it easier to get access to courses. In addition, other companies who had to send their employees wanted change because they were paying employees to go spend entire weekends in courses. 

Why were they complaining? The cost. 

Time is money and these companies didn’t want to have to put out the added cost of paying overtime, days off, plus the addition of the course costs. So, Red Cross transitioned. 

It’s the same thing for us. Time is money! 

If we aren’t in the clinic working, we aren’t making money. And since we don’t have employers paying us to take our continuing education, we are even more in a position where TIME IS MONEY. 

However, there was another result of a big company like this making a shift in addition to all of this. Better support and better outcomes. 

You see, there is a reason you have to re-cert your first aid every three years. This is because new research comes out and things change…much like our massage therapy practices. 

So what happened was the students were given an online program where they still had access to the information after the course, and the information was continually updated. So if they had questions, they could go back and review it, giving them more confidence if they had to face a medical emergency. 

Another benefit is the students and companies were saving money. 

What I take from all of this is: 

Community + Support + Consistent Updates + Cost Effective = Better outcomes for us professionally and for our patients. 

This is why we created theMTDC Community. 

We wanted other Massage Therapists to have a supportive community, access to consistently updated information, and make this cost-effective so you can spend more time helping your patients, less time worrying about what your next CEC course was going to be. We will do this with consistent monthly presentations that you will always have access to (so you can come back and watch them when you need a refresher), research reviews, and of course, that supportive community that we all need.

Click on the image below to join us and learn why online, ongoing training is the way to go for Massage Therapists today.