Massage Therapy Continuing Education Online

The massage continuing education resource center is designed to provide massage and bodywork therapists information about continuing education guidelines and regulations, as well as factors to consider when choosing a continuing education product.

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Where Can I Get My Massage CE Hours?

While there are a number of places that provide continuing education for massage, it is really in your best interest to find the most reputable program(s) available. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) has a database of preferred providers that you can search.

Make sure you conduct your search well in advance of your renewal deadline, giving yourself plenty of time to discover who is providing which piece of the coursework you need and when. You may have to piecemeal your schedule together to get exactly what you need.

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Six Reasons Why You Need Massage Continuing Education

1. To meet state requirements

Understanding your state guidelines is the first step on your journey to earning CE credits. Even if your state does not require you to obtain a license or CE credits, knowing the basic guidelines set by other states in your region will give you a better comprehension of the standard curriculum that many other massage therapists are pursuing. View your state's requirements >

2. To best serve your clients’ changing needs

As your career develops and your client base grows and changes, you want to meet the new demands of your clients to the very best of your ability. CE hours can provide a wealth of information on how to make adjustments to your practice to ensure that your clients can have a consistently great experience.

3. To differentiate yourself from the competition

To stay competitive in your field, keeping in touch with the massage industry trends and best business practices is essential and will help you become an industry expert. As massage is a multi-faceted industry, CE courses offer new learning opportunities to help you become more marketable.

Continuing Education Online

4. To stay inspired and enthusiastic about your work

Continuing education courses for massage therapists cover a wide range of topics to help you develop in every aspect of your career. From new massage techniques to creative ways to market your business, CE courses can also help you reconnect with and re-energize your passion for massage and bodywork.

5. To reduce exposure to risks

Many CE courses will help you prevent injury and other risk factors. By learning to use good body mechanics, you will be able to reduce these risks and know how to answer important questions when they arise.

6. To network with others

CE courses give you the opportunity to interact with others in your field. This networking can lead to new career connections, clients and contacts for your practice.


State Guidelines & Professional Ethics

Each state holds different rules and regulations for massage therapists that are always updating and improving, that is why it is so important to stay up to date with your state's laws. Making sure each massage therapist refreshes their memory regarding state laws are in not only the state's, but in the clients best interest.

Due to the literal hands-on nature of massage therapy and the potential issues surrounding sexual misconduct, yearly continuing education classes on business ethics and maintaining professional boundaries with clients are also strongly encouraged throughout the country. That is why, some state's dedicate hours of education to their state massage rules and regulations, professional ethics or communication, and to professional boundaries and roles. This is to show how committed the state is to maintaining high integrity among its massage practitioners.

Some states restrict the number of hours that may be completed online versus in the classroom. When fulfilling your continuing education requirements, make sure you follow up with your local governing body to ensure that the number of hours you complete will be successfully applied toward your renewal.

Find Out Your State's Requirements

Reading your state guidelines is the first step on your journey to earning CE credits. Taking courses is a great way to stay competitive in the ever-changing marketplace, and the benefits of learning something new and challenging yourself are well worth the investment.

*For customers in the state of Indiana professional liability limits are increased to $2 million per occurrence and $6 million individual annual aggregate for massage therapy services only; General liability limits are increased to $2 million per occurrence and $8 million individual annual aggregate for massage therapy services only.

What Kind of Classes Should I be Taking?

Most states require training in state law and regulations, as well as coursework regarding what is needed to avoid medical complications or errors, and will often recommend additional training courses.

Classes you may expect to find will be in areas such as the following:

  • Professional Ethics
  • Massage Techniques
  • History of Massage
  • Massage Insurance
  • Effective Communication

Coursework in other areas relevant to the individual therapist may be included, based on the practitioner’s background and career aspirations.

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Continuing Education Online Catalog

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Choosing the Right Courses for Your Lifestyle

Massage CE hours are offered in a variety of formats and are available through many different providers. Most commonly, CE hours are earned through:

  • Home study courses
  • Live/classroom courses
  • Distance learning courses

Each format has its strengths and weaknesses, and you should consider which one will work best for you based on your learning style, schedule and the type of class(es) you need. Depending on your state's rules and regulations, make sure to achieve the right balance between online and classroom coursework.

Your best bet is to refer first to the state guidelines, then to the number of hours needed, and finally, to double-check the type of hours required to make the most informed decision before you commit your time, money and effort. The last thing you want is to complete a class that will not be applicable to your renewal when you're counting on it. While you’ll have the satisfaction of achieving some personal development, it may not comfort you that much when you can’t get your license renewed.

Why Are CE Providers Regulated?

Nationwide, massage therapy is a popular career choice—and an area that’s growing. However, since massage therapists may operate independently, and since massage itself is so diverse, the massage industry has struggled with creating uniformity in massage therapist regulation. This includes the areas of training, education and licensure—all of which will help ensure the credibility of the field as a whole.

Regarding continuing education, the NCBTMB has moved to the forefront of the charge in trying to create some basic guidelines for massage practitioners and massage instructors to follow. As such, they started to evaluate both what should be required of massage therapists as they advance in their careers, along with what CE providers should have to offer their students.

In 2011, after facing criticism that they had not been stringent enough with their standards in evaluating massage education providers, they determined to redesign their approval criteria. As of 2013, they now have an upgraded continuing education provider evaluation process.

If you’d like to become a continuing education provider or instructor, it’s a good idea to visit the NCBTMB website to get a baseline understanding of what they look for in an approved provider. While their benchmark is not law, it does suggest that at minimum, you’ll need:

• Some prior teaching experience with a small group
• A class description and objectives
• A syllabus outlining coursework

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*For customers in the state of Indiana professional liability limits are increased to $2 million per occurrence and $6 million individual annual aggregate for massage therapy services only; General liability limits are increased to $2 million per occurrence and $8 million individual annual aggregate for massage therapy services only.

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