Within our field of work, the nuances of this practice are really only able to be developed within a classroom or mentorship context. Teachers need to be able to provide moment-to-moment feedback to help unlock the more subtle aspects of a technique. These nuances can make the difference between an “okay” experience and an “incredible” one, and this is the way almost all of our learning happens – in person.
HOWEVER that doesn’t necessarily rule out all usefulness of an online training format. No, you cannot become a deeply skilled practitioner through online training alone, but it most certainly has its purpose.
I was recently questioned for posting a video online about our online trainings, and whilst there were some misconceptions afloat, we actually believe much of the same things (read above). It’s also a good thing to be challenged like this occasionally because it really forces you to step back and ask yourself some important questions about why you’ve done something and if it’s really worth the effort you’ve put in. What I tried to express is how online trainings can be used in particular ways that in-person trainings cannot.
Here are some of the major things that online trainings are good for:
- Introducing people to Thai massage – these people may have no interest in developing a professional practice and perhaps only want a few practical tools to use with family and friends. It can also be a good introduction for those who are not yet sure/certain whether they want to commit to full, in-person modules. It can be a big commitment to make and an online intro can provide more experience and data for the final decision to be made.
- It’s also a great way of giving people a glimpse at the way we teach – you’re never going to jive with all teachers out there so why not get a taste of our teaching first before diving into full-time study with us?
- It reaches more people – this is important for so many reasons. Firstly in a touch-deprived society it’s crucial that more people are given the tools to learn positive and compassionate touch. The more we educate people on this life-skill the better our world will become. On another level it also reaches people who live in more remote areas of the globe who would otherwise not have access to any form of Thai massage education without also having to heavily invest in travel. Again, without either the means or perhaps the motivation to, it’s far better for people to be given a speck of this practice than nothing at all.
This practice is FOR EVERYONE, and so we must use all modes of education available to us to create the greatest impact we can. There’s only a limited time to leave our mark on this world, and we’re doing it in all the ways we know how!