If you have ever come across a client with any kind of ongoing chronic pain, then you may have noticed how desperate these folks are to find some sort of relief, especially the type of relief that does not come from a pain pill or an invasive surgical procedure. Their drive to secure a solution to chronic pain is easy to understand — after all, pain that plagues a person nearly all the time tends to have a massive impact on one’s overall quality of life. When a person is in pain, it can be difficult to perform the normal tasks of daily living, let alone fully participate in the activities and hobbies that would bring the most joy.
When you meet one of these clients with chronic pain, you may want to do everything you can to help him or her, but if you lack the necessary knowledge and skills, it can be challenging to provide any kind of lasting solution. Fortunately, this is where massage therapist continuing education, as well as athletic training home study, can come in quite handy. By enrolling in the right CE courses, you can begin to learn the basics of orthopedic massage, and you can choose to take these skills to higher and higher levels with each and every class. Whether you are an athletic trainer or a professional in the realm of massage or movement therapy, getting the best possible education on the topic of orthopedic massage can be crucial when it comes to truly helping people with chronic pain.
Here, we are using the term orthopedic massage, as this refers to a system of manual therapy that deals with functional impairments of the entire skeletal system and especially the muscles and joints. This is far different from the relaxation model of massage taught in many standard massage schools, as orthopedic massage tends to rely on much more detailed assessments, as well as the application of strategic deep tissue massage techniques. Depending on the context, the term orthopedic massage could be replaced with a term such as medical massage or massage for sports therapy.
The common thread is that these methods of massage aim to alleviate specific issues that may cause a client to suffer from chronic pain and also to identify and correct strain patterns before these patterns can develop into chronic pain. Whether you choose to call it orthopedic massage or something else entirely, the mission remains the same — find a way to help clients prevent, alleviate and manage their pain. One form of manual therapy that has a long track record in the area of pain management is Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques (MAT). If you are new to the field of massage therapy and bodywork, your first question may be this: What is myoskeletal alignment therapy? The short answer is that this is a complete system of orthopedic massage developed by renowned manual therapist and educator Erik Dalton.
If you are wondering how effective and reliable MAT may be when it comes to helping clients, consider the fact that Indiana State University offers a minor in MAT and that the MAT continuing education courses taught by Dalton and his team are approved by the NCBTMB, as well as the BOC. This well-researched and thoroughly tested method of preventing and managing pain is the perfect modality for those manual therapists who are looking to earn continuing education credits and gain the skills and knowledge necessary to offer their clients lasting relief from pain.
MAT classes can be taken in person or through online massage therapy training courses, as well as through home study massage therapy CEU programs, which include Dalton’s popular massage therapy textbooks. By completing any one of these approved continuing education classes on MAT, students earn the credential of Certified Myoskeletal Therapist. Those who choose to take all four home-study courses, plus five massage online CEU classes on MAT and 50 hours of live workshops will be eligible to receive the highest credential of Master Myoskeletal Therapist (MMT).
The MMT massage certification program will launch early next year, when the full slate of five massage therapy online continuing education programs become available. For now, practitioners can begin working toward the MMT credential by attending live workshops and completing the four home-study courses, as well as the one online massage training program that’s currently available.
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