I love to travel for my continuing education.
For some reason the Arkansas State Board of Massage Therapy’s requirements for providers are so stringent that none of the internationally acclaimed, nationally certified teachers can navigate the paperwork.
Year after year I saw the same local teachers teaching the same material, and the same posts on group sites by massage therapists looking for cheap, convenient classes so that they could renew their licenses.
I discovered that if I wanted different, high quality continuing education, I was going to have to travel to get it. Bonus!
I can cross the border into Missouri, Oklahoma, or Texas, take a class for continuing education, bring my certificate to ASBMT and get credit for it. I can go to Mexico, Thailand, or Costa Rica and get credit for it. But those same teachers can’t get clearance to teach in Arkansas. Too many hoops to jump through.
So this year I went to Boston for the Somato Emotional Release class with the Upledger Institute. Well, I also went to Santa Monica for the Raw Food Chef Certification that Ani Phyo taught, but that wasn’t really bodywork.
The Upledger class was amazing. It’s the 3rd in a series of CranioSacral classes. The first two classes were amazing too, but they were full of protocols. This third class took all the info from the first two classes, added dialogue work and the results were remarkable. I find it difficult to describe this work to people. It’s very physical, but also very intuitive. It’s technical, but relies on letting go of outcomes. It relies on the precept that ‘The Body is Self Healing.’
Of course it is. If a virus gets in my body, my body sends out an army of white blood cells to seek and destroy. If my body gets too hot, my body decides to sweat. My brain doesn’t tell my body to do these things. My body is most often smarter than my brain. I’m very glad that my brain doesn’t have to tell my heart to beat, or my lungs to breathe. I would most certainly die. Pretty quickly too cuz I have a short attention span.
To that end, with somatoemotional release, the job of the therapist is to facilitate healing, and to get out of the way, mentally, to let that healing happen.
It’s so cool to go to a workshop and have 4 therapists working on one body. Really amazing. One of the sessions we did, my ‘client’ went through the whole birth process. Just by doing positional release and following her body where it wanted to go, we held her in the fetal position, applied pressure on her head as she required it, and without presuppositions simulated her birth until she physically
emerged (we had to move her onto the floor).
My arms were trembling for 2 days after that. I had no idea that this subtle work could be so exhausting.
Not all sessions are so remarkable, obviously. Sometimes the work simply feels like floating. Sometimes revelatory, and sometimes just relaxing. The body on the table decides what direction it wants to go.
Why do I travel for continuing education? I want to learn from people who have studied their modality intensively. No, that kind of education is not available here in Arkansas. Do I have to pay more for it? Yessirreebob. But it’s worth every penny.
And besides, I get to go (and sometimes my family comes with me) to fabulous places. Like Boston.