Most massage therapists and bodyworkers pursue this hands-on career path because they hope to help others and wish to work one on one, providing the healing service of healthy touch. It is quite unlikely many massage therapists and bodyworkers chose to enter the field in hopes of sharpening their marketing skills, mastering accounting software or learning to manage a team of employees.

However, the truth is a large number of massage therapists and bodyworkers do end up doing just that—taking on the business aspect of touch therapy—out of necessity. For example, a massage therapist who needs to bring in more business is often going to attempt to market her services to the community. A bodyworkers who is having trouble keeping track of payments and tax information may find himself turning toward accounting software to streamline the process. Another touch therapist might see her business growing to include other employees and begin facing the challenges that come with personnel management.

Each of these scenarios, and so many more, present perfect opportunities to take advantage of continuing education. For the majority of people who practice professional touch, earning credits in continuing education courses is a requirement of the industry, mandated by a state or regional governing board, a professional organization or both.

In these cases, it makes even greater sense to get the most “bang for your buck” when it comes to racking up these required continuing education credits. It seems like a win-win situation when a massage therapist or bodyworker not only completes a requirement to maintain his or her license to practice or membership within a professional organization, but also gets a chance to learn more about a subject he or she really needs to master, or at least improve.

Of course, if you are taking the continuing education course in order to meet the requirements of a governing board or professional organization, it will be important to first find out if there are any specific guidelines or rules when it comes to the kind of classes you can take or the providers of those classes. Once you are aware of any such guidelines, you can then find the continuing education class that meets all your needs.

For the massage therapist looking to bring in more clients, signing up for a marketing course geared specifically toward this industry may be a great bet. During one of these courses, students are likely to learn a variety of methods for reaching out to the community and informing prospective clients about the benefits of massage and bodywork services.

There also are continuing education classes focused on the topic of accounting in the business of massage therapy and bodywork, so those professional touch therapists who need a hand crunching the numbers should consider these course offerings. Whether the continuing education class is focused on a specific type of software or on proper accounting procedures in general, you should be able to find one that meets your personal needs.

Even though business practices most likely are not what drew you to massage and bodyworker, brushing up on them through continuing education may be the key to doing what you love with a lot more peace of mind.

–Brandi Schlossberg