As a professional manual therapist, you probably are well aware that word of mouth referrals can be a powerful boon to your business. When one client tells a friend or family member how much your hands-on services helped alleviate pain and improve function, there is a good chance that positive review will spread and bring new clients through your door. The same holds true when it comes to referrals from medical experts—health care professionals who hear about the efficacy of your services may be more open to begin referring to you as well.
Outside the realm of professional practice, odds are you have experienced the power of word of mouth referrals from the consumer’s side of the table. For example, you might ask your friends if they know a good primary care doctor, house painter or dance teacher. When it comes to continuing education, this can be a smart strategy as well, especially if you have colleagues you trust, who can offer you their opinions on particular continuing education teachers and courses. However, you may not always be able to find a colleague who has taken the continuing education class you are considering. In these cases, it can be important to find other ways to determine whether a continuing education course is going to be worth your investment of time and money. This is where the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) can come in quite handy. The NCBTMB already has a process in place for determining the quality of continuing education classes. Those classes that meet the standards of the NCBTMB then receive approval from this organization, which lets prospective students know that they can count on a particular continuing education course to deliver a worthwhile learning experience.
If you are considering a home study massage therapy CEU—whether you are looking to learn sports massage techniques or enroll in a more general form of fascial therapy continuing education—searching for NCBTMB approved online CE courses can be a great way to make sure the online massage therapy training you choose has met certain standards for quality. This is because NCBTMB approved online CE courses have been through the organization’s vetting process, which includes several detailed steps. For instance, NCBTMB approved online CE courses must first be offered to a group of at least five people, each of whom fill out an evaluation survey, as part of the approval process.
Providers of NCBTMB approved online CE courses also are required to submit specific documents to the NCBTMB prior to approval. These documents include a description of the class, targeted outcomes for the learning experience and an outline of the overall course. With this vetting process in place, massage therapists and bodyworkers can feel much more confident about enrolling in NCBTMB approved online CE courses. Even if you do not have a colleague who can offer his or her word of mouth opinion about specific classes, the fact that these are NCBTMB approved online CE courses means that a professional organization has held the curriculum to its own high standards.
When it comes to finding NCBTMB approved online CE courses, this can be as simple as going to the NCBTMB Web site or using your favorite Internet search engine and a phrase such as “find an approved CE provider NCBTMB.” Of course, if you already have a specific continuing education class or provider in mind, you can also begin by checking out his or her Web site. The page that shows the details of the continuing education offerings should make it clear whether these programs are NCBTMB approved. That way, instead of crossing your fingers and hoping a certain class will teach you valuable skills and information, you can go into the CE experience knowing that you will be reaping rewards.
For those manual therapists who are interested in studying Erik Dalton’s Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques (MAT), rest assured that the Freedom From Pain Institute is an NCBTMB approved provider for continuing education. Whether you sign up for a home- study CE program on MAT or decide to take one of the online MAT classes, the fact that the NCBTMB has approved the curriculum means that you can count on the quality of these classes.