education vacationMany of us put off taking our required continuing education workshops to fulfill our state board and national certification requirements. It is time consuming, costs us money and there are usually slim pickins’ for workshops close to home. And if we are lucky to find a workshop that really interests us, it usually involves traveling some distance, and probably going to a city or town that is less than appealing. Then there are the hotel reservations to consider, and the workshop space itself.

I remember going to a Cranio-Sacral therapy workshop in Charlotte, N.C., one year, and it was held in cheap hotel conference room. The massage tables were fashioned out of conference tables with inflatable swimming pool mats on top that we had to blow up ourselves. The rooms at the hotel were uninspiring and smelled bad, and there were no restaurants within walking distance, let alone in the hotel itself. While the workshop material proved to be interesting, like so many of us, I waited until the last minute to register for “something.” The overall experience was grueling, to say the least, costing me more than $1,200 for workshop fees, hotel accommodations, meals and a souvenir massage tool or two.

I started a massage school back in 1998. One of my visions in creating an education center was to change the CE experience into one that would be much more appealing and all-inclusive. I thought about what would be important to me in attending a required workshop. Well, how about one that is like an educational vacation? One where I could show up and have all of my needs taken care of, and one where the setting was extraordinarily beautiful? And located in a city of great culture and interest? That was it. That was what would make taking CE’s something to look forward to, rather than dread and resent. A continuing education retreat vacation, located somewhere fabulous. And that is exactly what I created.

Our education center is in Asheville, North Carolina, which was named the #1 adventure town by National Geographic, and one of the top 10 places to live in the world, according to many critics. The campus is located on a private 24-acre campus in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The center itself is spacious and new, and there is a holistic retreat center on campus, with mountain views. The retreat center hosts anyone interested in a holistic retreat vacation or health retreat package, and is also home to our student housing for our six-month massage therapy certification program.

I also created my dream CE scenario: an all-inclusive CE retreat vacation. For much less than it cost me for my CST workshop experience in Charlotte, one can take a wonderful vacation while taking care of her education at our center.

Explore your many options when shopping for continuing education workshops. A variety of choices are available for location, duration, teaching style and subject matter.

Peggy M. Huff is the owner and Executive Director of the Center for Massage & Natural Health in Asheville, North Carolina. This COMTA accredited school is celebrating its 10th year of educational excellence and innovation in continuing education experiences. For more information, contact the Center for Massage & Natural Health, 530 Upper Flat Creek Rd., Asheville (Weaverville), NC 28787, call (828)658-0814, e-mail, or visit

EDITOR’S NOTE: A listing of current CE events is available at For more continuing education resources, visit