We want to send a big thank you to all the wonderful therapists who came from as far away as the United Arab Emirates to the 8th annual Oklahoma City MAT Workshop, which was held on the fourth of July weekend. Over 200 participants left feeling energized and ready to bring their newfound knowledge to their treatment tables and take their practice to the next level.
With the workshop cancelled in 2020, everyone was eager to get back to class. What most people don’t know is that the 2021 workshop almost never happened. With just weeks to go, the Dalton team got the news that the space for the 2021 workshop was ordered by the city to close because of accessibility issues. Undeterred and determined to provide a workshop experience for those who had been waiting patiently for two years, the Dalton team sprang into action. They booked the only spot left in the city: The brand new 40,000 sq foot OKC Convention Center which had never been used before. To make the space work, Erik Dalton arranged to isolate a 10,000 sq. ft space with 30 foot high curtains and brought in a carpeting team who took a full morning to cover the concrete. As an old rock and roll star, Erik understands the need for good sound, so he brought in a sound team to set up the system and ordered two of the largest projection screens the convention center had so that everyone could easily see the techniques as though they were standing beside him.
How do you teach over 200 students? Erik flew in 17 of his educators and trained teaching assistants from across the country. Erik’s senior educator from Ireland, Aubrey Gowing, couldn’t enter the country, but a cutout of his head circulated throughout the weekend so he could be there in spirit and so that participants could have their picture taken with him.
A MAT workshop is a great entry point for any therapist interested in learning more about Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques. Whether it’s Erik Dalton’s OKC or Costa Rica workshop or a workshop taught by one of his experienced educators, many participants suggested that workshops like this are the best way to start. At workshops you get a solid sense of the MAT approach, you learn the important theory that underlies the approach, and you walk away with techniques that you can put to immediate use.
Although many participants come back faithfully year after year to refresh their skills and connect with other talented practitioners, this year’s workshop saw lots of new faces. One of the bonuses of the OKC workshop is getting to learn from the celebrity guest educators who show up. James Waslaski was a featured speaker, but participants also got to meet some of their massage idols, including from left to right: Art Riggs, Dr. Michael Koplen, Diane Matkowski, James Waslaski, Aubrey Gowing’s head, Erik Dalton, Ariana Vincent, Drew Freedman, Charlie Peebles, Eric Brown and Til Luchau.
If you haven’t taken a MAT workshop, be sure to check the list of upcoming workshops that are happening across the USA and internationally. As COVID restrictions are lifted and travel returns to normal, more workshops will be added. Erik Dalton’s Costa Rica “workshop in paradise” scheduled for November is filled, but be sure to get your name on the waiting list in the event that the resort is able to book more guests. And of course, look at other workshop offerings provided by his trained educators that may be closer to home.
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