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I wish I could say that only one phone call I have fielded in the last year has asked about how much of our training is actually hands-on. Alas, it is much more common than you might think.

In some ways I have always been a bit stunned by the question, but if people are asking, they must be doing so for good reason. It can only mean that they have taken trainings that contain far too much talking and not enough time on the table. These kind of questions refer to one very real concern- "Is this seminar worth my time and my money?" I get it.

Anyone who knows our organization knows that PNMT involves lots of problem-solving and thinking through the strategy of the work. At the same time, therapists must have the palpation skills to execute the treatment efficiently and effectively. There is no substitute for having an experienced instructor guide you through a practice session, helping you to truly master the work in your hands as well as your head. As with any other hands-on skill, you need guidance and feedback. I experience this during my lessons with my cello teacher. He often reveals to me that which I am unaware, whether it is in movement, tone quality, or any of the multitude of physical challenges in playing the cello. I cannot assess myself- I don't know what to look for or how to correct it. I need guidance.

At no point was this more obvious to me than when I had my teacher record a video of a piece I was learning. I played the video at home and practiced many times in (what I thought) was the stylistic nuances he was looking for. Playing it for my teacher at our next lesson, it was pretty clear that what I thought I was doing was far from what the video was actually showing me. With just a few insightful comments during the lesson, I was happily playing Bach with the correct phasing and bowing. There is no substitute for the experienced guidance of a master instructor.

At PNMT, we are looking at more and better ways to deepen the hands-on experience at our seminars. We have always had ample hands-on time in the trainings, but we are looking to deepen that aspect of the training even more. Look for some really impactful changes in the coming months as we strive to be better at every aspect of the educational experience. I think you will love some new additions that will deepen your absorption of the material!

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