Today’s clients have so many choices when it comes to relieving pain, relaxing, reducing stress and taming tension. They may choose to book a day at the spa, for a facial and a pedicure. They may choose to meditate for an hour each day. They may choose an over-the-counter solution at the local drug store, or they may see a doctor for prescription medication.

These are only a few of the examples of the options consumers have when it comes to securing the benefits that massage therapy and bodywork are known to bring. As you can see, people have many more choices than booking an appointment with a massage therapist or bodyworker.
In addition to this ompetition from other arenas, massage therapists and bodyworkers also face competition within the field, from their fellow colleagues.

The bottom line is that practitioners of healing touch need to make sure they stand out above all the other options for relieving pain, relaxing, reducing stress and taming tension.

One of the best ways to draw the right clients to your door—and keep them coming back—is by becoming an expert provider. That means you are the massage therapist or bodyworker who has developed a niche of working with a certain segment of the population, or a specific issue or condition.

In order to become that expert who clients choose above the other options, you need to first secure those advanced skills. In most cases, this means more education. Fortunately, there is a vast array of continuing education classes available to massage therapists and bodyworkers when it comes to gaining expertise in the field of hands-on healing.

Before you enroll in continuing education classes, however, you must first decide what type of niche you want to create. Think about the clients you most enjoy working with, or the issues and conditions you feel the most passionate about addressing in the session room.

Once you have created a short list of the kinds of clients you are hoping to draw, and the touch techniques that spark enthusiasm in you, then it is time for some more consideration. You may want to speak to a fellow massage therapist or bodyworker who already works within this niche, to find out if it is truly the direction you want to take your practice.

Pick the niche you are most passionate about right now, and sign up for a continuing education course. You should be able to further determine, throughout this first class on the topic, whether you made the right decision. The beauty of continuing education for massage therapists and bodyworkers is that you typically can take it as far as you want to go.

That means if you find you do not enjoy the class, you can move on to a different topic from your list next time you enroll. Plus, you will have gained at least a few basic skills or aspects of knowledge by taking the basic course.

Once you do find the specialty that resonates best with your own practice and personality, you can keep on taking continuing education courses until you have reached that expert level.

–Brandi Schlossberg