by Anna Duval of Heart Waters Massage
I’ve been participating in Stephanie Shrum’s massage training classes for almost a year and as I expected, the experience is rich and invaluable. I’m a massage therapist myself here in Ashland and have wanted to find an ongoing training program with an experienced, competent bodyworker for a few years. In my opinion, professionals need mentors for another set of skilled eyes to point out the blind spots we all have. Because Stephanie is consistently engaged with us in every class, tuned in to every moment of what we are each doing, and always focused on how we as practitioners can be more kind to our own bodies in the way we position ourselves for each stroke, I’m learning what physical self-care and the potential for longevity in this field really means. For example, I have hyper-mobile joints and with Stephanie’s help, am in the process of teaching myself how to support my fingers, thumbs, and elbows as I treat clients. It’s so normal for me to overextend; I wasn’t even noticing how I was stressing my body in this way.
Stephanie offers suggestions for class themes as well as creating trainings around what we request. The seemingly endless range includes overviews and detailed techniques – from learning to gauge each body’s unique rhythm, developing exercises to increase palpation skills for perceiving issues in different layers of the body, working with the subtlety of the joints, and personalizing each technique introduced. With our permission, she videotapes her demonstrations so we can access everything she teaches through her Co-Creative Healing YouTube channel.
I also receive helpful and supportive advice from my colleagues in the class. During our mid-class chocolate bar and tea break, we can discuss many professional issues like how to handle client no-shows or cancellations, trades with friends, business visions, and marketing strategies.
These training sessions give me useful feedback on my techniques from other professional bodyworkers and as a bonus I receive excellent massage on an ongoing basis. Since mentoring with Stephanie, I’ve incorporated many new techniques into my repertoire, continue to develop my professional skills and kindness to my body, and am generally more rejuvenated to give more in my own sessions.
In 2015, Stephanie is open to accepting one or two more dedicated therapists into this valuable program. If you are interested in learning more, please call Stephanie at 541-497-0717 or visit her website for more details and video samples: http://www.cocreativehealing.com/continuing-education-classes/advanced-bodywork-mentorship-ce-massageclasses/