It seems as if nearly everyone in the world could benefit from regular massage therapy or bodywork sessions. From stress relief and relaxation to improved circulation and greater range of motion, there are many known benefits of massage therapy and bodywork, and these benefits span the spectrum from mental to physical.

Even though healthy touch is a service that offers advantages to clients of all kinds, there are certain segments of the population you may prefer to serve. For a large number of massage therapists and bodyworkers, one of the most rewarding experiences that comes with doing this hands-on healing is working with those with specific health conditions.

If you are one of the massage therapists or bodyworkers who especially loves to work with clients who have medical issues that affect their quality of life, then consider making this kind of work a greater part of your day-to-day practice. After all, if this is what you find most rewarding, then you would be wise to pursue a path toward practicing such work more often.

The first step for you may be to take a look at the current offerings in continuing education. You will want to seek out those continuing education courses that focus on providing massage for clients with medical conditions. If possible, try to take a general course on medical massage to begin with, and then you can become more specialized from there, as you get a better feel for the specific direction you want to take this new work.

As for those specific niches in medical massage, there seems to be a specialty for nearly every type of patient. For example, there are continuing education classes in massage therapy and bodywork that are geared toward cancer patients, and these courses can even get more specific than that—catering to different types of common cancers, as well as stages of the disease and treatment process.

There also are continuing education classes that have been developed for massage therapists and bodyworkers who wish to work with hospice patients, or people at the end of their lives, as well as their family members and caregivers.

Another example of massage therapy and bodywork for clients with medical issues might be hands-on healing for people with a condition, such as multiple sclerosis. Peer-reviewed research has shown massage therapy and bodywork to be beneficial in easing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and there are continuing education classes that can teach you to work with this segment of the population.

These are only a few examples of the types of massage therapy or bodywork you may wish to pursue, through the path of continuing education, in order to transform your practice into one that serves clients with medical conditions.

As you get a bit further into learning about these niches, take a look at the continuing education classes that will help you pitch your practice at doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals and other medical settings. These continuing education courses can provide you with the professional marketing and presentation skills you need to bring your hands-on work straight to the client.

–Brandi Schlossberg

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