Diane Lake LMT, NCTMB asked me, after I'd made a chat coment. "Gordon, how does paying for continuing education restrict your freedom to learn?" In the past I've made lots of coments in here about how our education system has to change in order for our profession to ever reach its maximum potential. Because our education system is locked into a misleading set of parameters that define it. These various national certification exams and the continiuing education requierments in order to maintain the license limit our potential. I tell you right now, I could not pass one of those exams if I had to take one today. And I have been doing this kind of work for 30 years. When I visit a school and looked at the curriculum I shake my head. Its all set up for the student to pass those tests. But thats fine because once you are out in the massage world working for a living, you really start learning. The real bad part is the continuing education requierments that you are forced to take. They cost money. The seminar cost.. Time off work. and often travel expenses. And there are only certain providers that you can learn from in order to get the credit. Now I was lucky to live in Hawaii many years ago when I turned into a massage therapist. Now Hawaii is a regulated state. But unlike the rest, they had a very smart system. They have a state board. You had to go to a state approved massage school in Hawaii for so many hours. Then you had to serve an apprenticeship under a licensed therapist that has been in business for so many years( forgot the exact years). You had to pay them to do this. You learned how to run a massage business from head to toe. How to greet clients to keeping books to vacuuming the floor besides working on your massage skills. That whole deal took about a year. Then after that you were qualified to take the state boards. Not only was there a written test, there was also a hands on test where you actually had to massage several people and pass their deal before you got your license. But after all that, it was over. Now that kind of regulation makes sense to me. There wrere no continiuing education requierments after that. You were free to study on your own. And thats exactly what I have been doing for nearly 30 years until now. I remember studying cranial work with another massage buddy and a chiropractor. We bought the video tapes and studied. Worked on each other. Little money and no tests were involved. I have spent thousands of dollars on books tapes and DVDs. Very little of that money went to learning massage stuff. Maybe about $200 worth. Because I was not locked into the expense of the massage box of continuing education. I studied chiropractic continuing education, physical therapy books, osteopathic books. MD books, acupuncture books and video tapes. Medical text books on pain. These are not cheap books.. These are $50 to $250 each. I could study and read all this stuff and then try to re-engineer the iformation in order to fit into my massage thing. Never had to take any tests over anything. No pressure to memorize stuff. Never had to take off work. Gosh I read Travells book a long time ago. Now if I ran things, that would be required reading for all massage therapists. But I visited a school a while back and no one, not even the teacher ever heard of that book. It was big money for me when I accidently found that book and bought it many years ago. I read if five times over. I was never stuck in the massage box until now. I was free to go outside the box. Now Im going to be forced to take Myofacial release 1, 2, and 3 or whatever. Or Cranial this and that. And I dont want it or need it. I paid $1000.00 for Cranial lazer DVDs not to long ago. Its not in anyones continuing education thing. Who knows what I will deam from that? Maybe nothing.. But the point is. I was free to spend my money and study outside the massage box... Well I could go on and on. But I will stop now. I want to load some attachments but for some reason I can only attach one thing at a time. So Im going to attach some attachments now, and maybe make a few coments.