From marketing and accounting to myoskeletal alignment and massage for pregnant clients, a wide variety of continuing education topics are available to today’s professional massage therapists. Depending on where you are in your career and where you would like to go, taking the right types of courses can help push your practice in a more lucrative and rewarding direction.
Most courses, which are typically delivered either in person or via home-based continuing education, can fall into three categories: business development, touch techniques and other modalities.
1. Business Development
Business development classes focus on the non-touch aspects of a massage practice, such as marketing, accounting, retail sales, public relations, ethics, community outreach and so on. These topics provide valuable information for massage therapists at every level of their career—whether you own your own practice or are just starting out, knowing how to run a business, bring in new clients and keep the ones you have are vital.
Many of these can be taken as home-based continuing education classes, as they do not involve tactile learning. These courses generally involve subjects like how to streamline your accounting procedures, how to market your practice through social media and community outreach, and how to uphold the ethics of professional massage therapy.
2. Touch Techniques
Professional massage therapists know that touch is key to their practice, and staying up-to-date with the latest touch techniques will keep MTs at the forefront of the industry. There is a wide range of classes covering an array of massage methods available to those who wish to learn a new technique or who would like to become more advanced in the ones they already practice.
This kind of tactile learning often happens in person, but advances in technology have allowed several touch-based topics to be covered via home-based continuing education. When deciding whether to take a class in a classroom or online, be sure to evaluate your own learning habits and decide which option would be best for you—remember, that option may not be the most convenient, but improving your techniques will certainly pay off in the long run.
3. Other Modalities
More and more practitioners are beginning to specialize in modalities that may not necessarily fall under the traditional umbrella of massage therapy or bodywork. These modalities, however, can fit well into a massage practice, offering your clients additional services while also improving your bottom line.
For example, you might choose to take a series of classes on aromatherapy or reiki, which could then be incorporated into a new type of massage session or a stand-alone service. Like touch techniques, several of these classes can be taken at home or in person. Choose the right learning venue for you—you, after all, are the one who will need to successfully and efficiently transfer what you learn in the classroom, albeit online or onsite, to your practice.