Are you trying to decide whether to take the online courses or workshops. In the following discussion, Lowe explores the benefits of each and what you gain from each type of instructional setting.
The workshops and online courses each excel at teaching certain types of content and skills. While there is going to be overlap to some degree, these instructional settings mainly compliment each other. The online courses allow the time and medium style that allows for far more in-depth exploration of what is complex and challenging subject matter. The workshops excel at teaching the practical, hands-on skills. Together, they reinforce each other and work to integrate knowledge, content, and skill.
Here are the main differences and benefits of each style of learning. Its less a choice of one or the other, and more a choice of what content and skills you already have and what you need more of. Actual hands-on placement and practice? Workshop. Digging deeper into the rehabilitation sciences and conditions, problem-solving, and assessment/treatment plan development? Online.
Another important point to remember for specifically Lowe’s online teaching methodology, is that he is an interactive instructor. Also, the courses emphasize applied learning, rather than passive reading and test taking. These courses are quite a bit different than the vast majority of what is available online.
- The Orthopedic Massage Workshops emphasize hands-on technique. I instruct you in scientifically-based assessment and treatment methods, explain the physiology behind their use, and then have participants practice those techniques. You learn both assessment and treatment protocols. These techniques contribute to your professional bag of tools. Techniques workshops are best for learning the hands-on skills. However, a skilled craftsman is good not only because of the tools he or she uses, but because of their knowledge of how, when, where and why to use those tools. So, we also cover these elements as much as we can in the 2 day workshop. All of the elements that make up my particular approach as taught in the workshop: anatomy, biomechanics, rehabilitation protocols, problem solving, assessment, critical thinking, treatment planning, physiology of treatments and assessments, and other elements. The difference mainly is the depth of content.
- The Orthopedic Massage Online courses emphasize the cognitive and clinical thinking elements of advanced treatment. We focus on the how, when, where, and why of assessment and treatment. These are cognitive skills – skills that require the clinician to think through their client’s particular representation of symptoms, discriminate between similar problems, and come up with a treatment plan that makes physiological sense. These courses cover the more complex and challenging subject matter in a far more in-depth level, using applied learning methods and instructional methods that allow the participant to truly integrate this knowledge in a real way. I emphasize problem solving and clinical reasoning in these courses as this is how solutions are found for complex and difficult cases. While I offer treatment plans for specific conditions, I challenge participants to think on their feet and learn the fundamentals so that they can discover options on their own and not rely on recipes. We explore in detail the anatomy, biomechanics, rehabilitation protocols, assessment, and treatment physiology and protocols at a level we simply do not have time for in a workshop.
- What kind of training do you need? What kind of massage are you practicing? Pain and injury treatment or spa massage? Do your clients ask you to treat particular problems? Do they have pain that has not gone away and would like you to find solutions? What kind of results are your clients looking for? If you simply want a few more techniques to add to your repertoire but do not really have a clientele that seeks problem resolution, other than stress and tension relief, than doing the workshops offers you a great opportunity to work with Whitney and gain some of his knowledge and learn some of his techniques. If however your clientele needs resolution for the aches and pains of an active lifestyle, a physically challenging job, or an injury, then you will gain the most education in an online course. Of course, doing both is the ultimate choice, especially when you take the workshops after the online courses. The Specialist is the certification that offers both.
- Why do I emphasize clinical reasoning, what is it?
Making clinical decisions and problem-solving is called clinical reasoning. This critical component of making wise decisions is an often neglected in many of our educational programs, but it is an essential aspect of being a skillful clinician. Therapeutic, clinical, or orthopedic massage is as much a cognitive, clinical thinking process as it is hands-on skill. Clinical reasoning – or rather, critical reasoning or analysis – is the cognitive process that takes you beyond rote treatments to being truly connected with your client and able to determine a successful solution to their problem. In reality, every is an individual, and while we do our best to come up with protocols that can work for a wide range of people with the same problem, in fact often we need to find specific solutions for our clients’ particular presentation. Your clinical reasoning ability is what will help you find those solutions, and then be able to evaluate their success or need for adaptation.
- What is applied learning?
The instructional methods and designs that I use emphasize applied learning. What that means is that you are challenged to apply the knowledge and skills you are learning in specific educational tasks and exercises. Rather than relying on rote memorization or simply checking off true/false or multiple choice questions, I ask you to engage your mind and accomplish tasks that function more to integrate the content into how you think. I use a lot of case studies, this way you get to go through practice cases in which you apply yourself all the way from interview to treatment protocol. This sounds challenging, right? Well, it is. However, applied learning methods are in some ways easier. Not only do you recall more, you get the learning advantage working through complex content in a far more efficient and streamlined way. Learning in this manner is more effective for you in the long run, but also less demanding mentally for you. Recall is everything. If you take a great course but remember little of it, how does that really benefit you. I employ instructional methods that cement your education in a way that allows you recover it when you need it.
Whichever you choose, remember this: The best education you can get has you actively using the concepts, not relying on rote memorization. Both my workshops and my online courses emply involved and engaging learning experiences that give you the skills you need to be the kind of therapist that has a waiting list.
If you have any specific questions, please send me an email. I am happy to help you choose what is best for you.