It has been a long time coming, but I am very excited to announce the launch of the Academy of Clinical Massage. This is the next step in the evolution of my efforts to bring high-quality learning experiences to the massage and manual therapy professions. So how did we get here?
In 1994 I packed up all my belongings and moved from Atlanta Georgia to the coast of Oregon. Not only was it a tremendous geographical change, it was a major paradigm shift for my work. At that time there were limited educational materials for massage therapists to learn about assessment and treatment of pain and injury conditions. I saw a huge need and that drove me to start OMERI (the Orthopedic Massage Education & Research Institute). Initially, the idea was to create a teaching and research facility that would help train high-quality soft-tissue manual therapists to serve the burgeoning need in the healthcare system.
It soon became apparent that the primary way to encourage better training of massage therapists was through continuing education courses and that meant the primary activities of OMERI would be centered around courses in many locations nationally (and internationally) and not at one central facility.
In the ensuing years I was fortunate to work with thousands of dedicated practitioners who really wanted to learn more about helping people in pain. However, I constantly felt that our educational ventures were shortchanging them because it was so difficult to train the skills they really needed to learn in a weekend workshop.
In the late 1990s I was introduced to online education as it was just beginning to unfold. I saw the potential for a model that could train a much larger number of people who are often geographically isolated or financially unable to attend weekend workshops. For several years I immersed myself in learning all I could about educational software platforms, multimedia learning theory, instructional design, and a whole world of new concepts that are at the root of high-quality online learning experiences.
Those efforts have now culminated in the launch of the Academy of Clinical Massage. Our focus remains producing the highest quality learning experiences to help train practitioners treating pain and injury conditions. I will continue to offer a small number of on-site workshops, but our primary goal is to push the envelope in creating exceptional quality and highly affordable online learning experiences for soft-tissue manual therapists.
Many people in our field don’t understand the great potential for online learning because the landscape is still clogged with a large percentage of very rudimentary “text and test” courses. Some practitioners are also still under the impression that they have to be learning a new technique with their hands in order to have a valuable learning experience. We plan to change that mindset and in our upcoming blog posts will explore some of the key benefits of high quality online learning experiences.
Please join us on our Facebook page, my Twitter feed, or through our website here and let us know what we can do to help deliver the most captivating and enticing learning experiences that will help you be highly successful in reducing pain in the world.