By Erika Kruger The fact that the majority of massage therapists work on their own in private practices, combined with the delay in the introduction of an official professional development programme, increases the danger of becoming professionally isolated. This not only leads to occupational tedium but the therapist’s knowledge also begin to lag behind. Fortunately the phenomenal growth of the Internet has placed every therapist at the centre of a World Wide Web and within reach of the largest single source of information in the world. Just type in the word massage and within 23 seconds no less than 102 million sites are instantly available for your perusal. And that in the comfort of your own practice, at your own pace and at your own time. Use of the Internet is changing the way we do research, the way we teach and the way we learn. Now there is no excuse for not investing in ones own lifelong learning programme. Admittedly not everything you find on the Internet is useful, valid or reliable but if you know where to look you can discover an array of resources beyond belief – from information for the general public to scholarly works including the latest research reports from all over the world. Most importantly so much of this information can be accessed free of charge. Self-acknowledged Internet addict, Erika Kruger shares her list of favourite therapeutic massage-related sites in a three-part series. How to use the Internet effectively Advances in information technology enable the practising massage therapist to keep up-to-date with new developments in therapeutic massage therapy. However, therapists’ proficiency in using a computer and the Internet does not always keep up with technology. It really takes skill and experience to effectively wade through the many commercial sites, the inappropriate and meaningless ones and the really weird ones. The important things to remember when using the Internet are to: Don’t get frustrated! Give yourself time to explore. Find a mentor to help. Use an ADSL line Off course you can also use the Internet to learn how to effectively surf the Web. The following sites might be useful: UC Berkley offers a really comprehensive and informative on-line tutorial that includes a glossary of important terminology. This tutorial grew out of the university’s teaching library staff’s conviction that in order to have confidence in ones search results it is important to invest time to learn to effectively and efficiently find information on the Internet. It teaches you to use complex search strategies and ways to refine and focus your searches. This site is available atwww.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/About.html Another helpful site is http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/558/01/. It explains the difference between finding information on the search engines and exploring the invisible or...