Why attend a Touch for Health conference? After all, it’s not like the modality has changed. Maybe you don’t use this as your ‘real job’, so it’s hard to justify the travel expense, or maybe you’re afraid that you wouldn’t know anybody. Having just attended my first TFH meeting (I have been to IASK conferences and IKC gatherings before, but this one was new), I thought that I would share a few reasons why it is definitely worth it to attend, regardless of your level of training or experience in the Specialized Kinesiology world.
- Get hugged. A lot. By people you’ve never met before, but who are genuinely happy to see you. TFH conferences are pretty happy places to be for the most part and the people are friendly. If you have ever wondered if you are getting your requisite four hugs a day, this is the place for you.
- Speak your language. Show of hands, how many of you have trouble finding people in your area who really, truly get what your talking about when you go on about the latest class you took or how cool muscle testing is? It is wonderful to be surrounded by people who get it and who are willing to talk to you and share their knowledge on this fascinating subject. And who smile at you when they see you switching on in the hallway or holding your ESR points before a presentation, rather than pointing and staring.
- Get balanced. It had been months since the last time I was worked on, since I’ve moved to an area where practitioners are very few and far between. Many students of TFH or other SK modalities find that they end up working on everyone they know, but never get their own stuff dealt with. Getting worked on by experienced practitioners and having an opportunity to return the favor is great and can introduce you to new modalities and techniques, making you a better practitioner.
- Meet your heroes. In every SK class there are certain names that get thrown around: Matthew Thie, Charles Krebs, Toni Lilly, etc. Guess what? You can meet, listen to, chat with and possibly even receive balances from these people when you attend conferences. (Note: celebrity balances not guaranteed. Talk to kinesiologists at your own risk.) This year I got a chance to meet Sheldon Deal, one of the original ‘dirty dozen’ chiropractors (a group that included George Goodhart and John Thie) who developed the beginning principles of applied kinesiology. We can do the work we do because we have built on the strong foundations of these men.
- Find your enthusiasm. Remember who exciting all of this was when it was new? Has it become a little less shiny recently? Attending a conference reminds you of all the reasons why this work is great and shows off new developments, products and voices in our field, all of which would leave you excited and ready to apply what you’ve learned. Consider it a pep rally for your career.
The theme for this year was Touch for Health for Everyone. While I really enjoyed myself, I couldn’t help but notice that most of the people there are the same people who have been there for the last 20+ years. It’s wonderful that these people are still involved in the association and with the work, but we need more. Let’s see more ‘everyone’, shall we?
What do you think: what would convince you to attend a conference?
As for me, I’ll be at the IASK (International Association of Specialized Kinesiology) conference in Italy in April 2017 and the Touch for Health one in Kansas City next July. See you there!