Which course to take depends on your goals, timeframe, resources, and other individual factors. Each course differs in instructional goals, content, length, completion requirements, and methods of learning. Read on for some comparisons.
During the last three decades, almost 5000 MTs have chosen to learn to nurture the births of mothers and their babies in Carole’s four-day Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy Specialization workshop. Highly regarded by hospitals, corporate employers, MT teachers and national leaders, this is THE comprehensive, hands-on training in massage therapy for pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period for therapists who are all into mothers and babies. If you are seeking practice-tested techniques, far beyond the basics, then this is also IT; you will spend 80% of the workshop watching, doing and receiving. There’s also a practicum with pregnant women. Those who attend all 32 hours and actively participate earn a 32 CE hour verification of completion and continuing education credits. If certification in maternity massage therapy is your eventual goal, this workshop is one of three requirements.
At the other end of the face-to-face choices, the one-day Safety Essentials of Prenatal Massage is a great starting place. It’s perfect for therapists who don’t yet want to specialize in prenatal MT (Watch out! You wouldn’t be the first to get hooked!) Don’t let the introductory level of this workshop fool you though. It is rich with lecture and discussion of normal prenatal physiological adaptations and their implications for safe, basic prenatal massage. You’ll come away with an understanding of contraindications and precautions while having enjoyed a meaningful, small segment of hands-on work focused on positioning, draping, and basic technique guidelines. Great as this one day is, we don’t attempt to cover everything; therefore there’s no labor or postpartum work, high risk or complicated pregnancies. Those who attend and participate in all seven hours receive verification of completion and 7 hours continuing education credit.
The two-day Prenatal Spa Massage: An Introductory Workshop covers similar material as the Safety Essentials described above; however, this course is about 50% hands-on. In those hands-on practice segments, you will learn to adapt your own protocols and techniques for pregnancy’s normal demands. This course makes maximum use of therapists’ repertoires of skills, building confidence and safety for working with low-risk expectant women. Even with 14 hours, it’s not reasonable or ethical to try to do everything so the workshop does not include labor or postpartum work, high risk or complicated pregnancies. Those who attend and actively participate in all 14 hours receive verification of completion and 14 hours continuing education credit.
Online and homestudy courses offer many advantages including convenience and flexibility in time and location, cost effectiveness and valuable opportunities for repetition and review- all while earning CE credits. On the other hand, they do not provide the individual instruction and rich kinesthetic learning of hands-on instruction. Choose a distance learning course as a starter, if time or finances are tight, or if you are not sure how far into working with this population you’d like to venture. If you are looking to certify in Pre-and Perinatal Massage Therapy, the only route to that is through the 4 day workshop, but these distance learning options are powerful ways to take your first steps.
The online Mentoring for Mastery groups are particularly potent for advancing your expertise and career longevity because they are tailored to your growth needs. Some groups have a maternity or teacher focus, but others are for any MT, and you don’t have to have been a student of Carole’s prior to benefit. Individualized professional development, from your home or office and CE credits too! Check it out!