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 annual aggregate for massage therapy services only; General liability limits are increased to $2 million per occurrence and $8 million 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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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

Massage Therapy Online Continuing Education FAQs

Does Massage Magazine give free CEs for massage therapists?

Massage Magazine does provide an easy path to earn free CE credits for massage therapists. When you sign up for insurance through the Massage Magazine Insurance Plus program, you’ll get one of the most protective and tailored policies available today for massage therapists plus the added bonus of free and unlimited access to online massage continuing education. Insurance and continuing education are both fairly crucial elements for the modern massage professional which is why our therapist-focused approach led us to offer both in one convenient package.

Where can I find massage therapy continuing education workshops near me?

A good source for all things massage continuing education is the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). That extra long title applies to the governing body for the massage industry and they are the ones to set regulations for CE providers. You can see a whole listing of preferred providers on their site and quickly find top tier massage therapy continuing education workshops nearest to you.

Are Massage CE workshops available online?

There are a number of different formats for massage CE workshops these days. Depending on your location you may have a blend of live workshops that are streamed online, recorded sessions of workshops, or a form of distance learning courses from your massage CE provider. As a Massage Magazine Insurance Plus member, you’ll get access to free online CE classes to help fulfill your state board's annual requirements.

What CEs are approved by the NCBTMB?

The NCBTMB maintains strict requirements in order to be registered as a massage therapy approved provider for continuing education (APCE). These organizations or individuals are those who can demonstrate a high level of instruction competency in accordance with some of the highest standards throughout the health and wellness profession. The NCBTMB helps ensure APCEs are giving today’s therapists the authoritative CEs needed to maintain a safe and effective practice. Massage Magazine Insurance Plus provides members with access to free online NCBTMB-approved continuing education for massage therapists. You can also check out NCBTMB’s directory of approved providers to find other CE opportunities near you.

Why is massage continuing education required in my state?

Massage CE was made to make sure that massage therapists have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide a safe and effective session for clients. Continued education helps to provide updates on new laws and regulations in massage therapy, the ability to hone in on specific practice areas such as cupping or reflexology, and refreshers in key knowledge areas like pathology in massage and ethics. State boards vary in the amount of continuing education required and even how continuing education (CE) is calculated. Therefore, your first stop when it comes to the requirements specific to your state is to check out the state board for massage therapy where you live. If you can’t find what you need online—call directly. It’s better to be overinformed on CE requirements than to miss a crucial requirement that may delay license renewal.

What’s the best massage CEs online?

Right up front you should see that the massage CEs education provider is certified by the NCBTMB. From there, the best programs provide a rich diversity of material, as well as hitting on core subjects. You should find classes on professional ethics, massage techniques, the history and development of massage, massage insurance and practice management, and other key areas. A cool aspect of the Massage Magazine Insurance Plus policy is that members then have free access to a full suite of online massage CE classes. Choose from dozens of classes all taught in a self-paced curriculum with cutting-edge video, text, and interactive technology that keeps the information engaging so you’ll retain more of what you’re learning.

How can I check my state board’s guidelines for massage therapy?

Every state board has a different set of specific rules and regulations for massage therapists practicing in the state. These regulations get updated frequently so it’s a good idea to remain well informed. Most state boards do a great job of keeping their websites up-to-date with all the information you need for massage therapy continuing education requirements. If there’s ever anything you’re unsure about, make sure to call or contact your state board to get clear direction. Continuing education can affect your ability to renew your license and legally provide service in your state so staying aware of all the requirements is a necessary element of a successful practice.

What classes do you take in massage therapy continuing education?

The classes you take in a massage therapy continuing education program really depends on the provider. If you’re going with an NCBTMB-approved provider, you can expect to get a diversity of classes covering many different aspects of the modern massage therapy practice. With Massage Magazine Insurance Plus, our free continuing education classes are incredibly diverse to give therapists the most choices when it comes to how they’ll fulfill their state board’s CE requirements. You’ll find classes like: Massage Therapy for PTSD, Clinical Applications and Critical Thinking, Safety and Sanitation in Massage Therapy, Massage Therapy Business Ethics, and so many more.

What is a massage therapy professional ethics CE workshop?

A massage therapist is a trusted professional whose job it is to ensure a high quality of care, attention, and safety at all times. The required ethics classes for massage continuing education look at the idea of running an ethical practice and what it means to be acutely aware of acting in an ethical manner in the field of massage and bodywork. Ethics CE workshops and courses are a requirement  in most states for licensed practitioners to complete as part of their annual or bi-annual continuing education.

How do you get certified as a massage therapy CE provider?

Individuals or organizations wishing to become an approved provider must go through the NCBTMB and meet specific requirements. Up front, the NCBTMB has a list of APCE instructor qualifications that must be met in order to even be considered. From there, you’ll need all the necessary documentation such as course descriptions and outlines, demonstrable and current experience, and even things like feedback forms from participants. The NCBTMB-approved provider is an entity who has demonstrated the highest level of CE instruction possible and who are entrusted with keeping massage therapists informed and educated throughout their careers.

How does CEs benefit your massage practice?

Massage therapy is a changing profession. There’s new laws and regulations, new techniques, and new points of emphasis being continually developed to help massage therapists best serve the needs of their clientele. Obtaining CE helps massage therapists to hone in on specific areas of interest of specialization which can help you stand out from the competition. You may also find yourself learning material that keeps you present in the industry and enthusiastic about your role in helping bring relief and wellness benefits. Another aspect is crucial in that it helps you be more aware around your practice in helping to minimize risks. While you can’t eliminate risk, being more aware, reducing risk exposure, and getting a massage therapy insurance plan to protect yourself from risks is how you set yourself up for long term success in the field.

How long is a massage CE class?

The length of a massage therapy CE class varies significantly based on the material being covered and the format the approved provider uses. Our free continuing education classes that come with a massage insurance policy have durations of one, two, or three hours each. These correlate on a one-to-one basis for CE hours. For example, a two-hour course on foot reflexology earns you 2 CE hours and a one-hour class on human trafficking earns you 1 CE hour.

Why is massage therapy insurance with free CEs a good career decision?

First off, the decision to get a massage insurance plan is your career’s safety net against many different forms of risk. Risks translate into liabilities, i.e., something you have a legal responsibility to pay. Liabilities can be enforced by the courts when an injured party brings a suit against you. It could be as simple as your client slipping on a loose corner of carpet on the way to your table that lands a multi-million dollar lawsuit for injuries. Our plans offered through Massage Magazine Insurance Plus were designed just for massage professionals to provide the best blend of coverage and affordability. That affordability is compounded with the value received from a host of benefits like access to free online continuing education for massage therapists.

Can you start and stop a massage therapy online workshop?

Workshops are provided in a variety of formats. They may be a live, streaming session of a workshop, a pre-recorded session, or a blend of online and in-person learning depending on the education provider. A really convenient aspect of our free massage online CE classes is the ability to start and stop the material and come back whenever you need to.

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

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