As a professional in the field of massage therapy and bodywork, you are most likely working with clients in a one-on-one capacity, aiming to alleviate aches and pains, increase relaxation, boost circulation and more.

There is no doubt this could be called healing work, but even healing work requires its practitioners to continually stretch their skill sets, expand their knowledge and stay abreast of the latest information and advances.

This is where continuing education comes into the picture. Similar to several other professions that involve close work with other people, massage therapists and bodyworkers usually are required to keep up with continuing education, earning a certain number of credits every so often in order to maintain their license to practice, their membership in professional organizations or both.

Even those touch therapists who do not live in an area where massage and bodywork are regulated and are not members of a professional organization are encouraged to seek continuing education, for these classes—geared specifically toward touch therapists—can be highly beneficial.

For one, attending a continuing education course may allow massage therapists and bodyworkers to catch up on many of the latest findings and developments in the realm healing touch. This information, along with new takes and techniques, may not have been widely available or even in existence when certain long-time practitioners were in massage school.

In fact, in an industry as vibrant, growing and open as massage therapy, there are new advances all the time, so one could be learning completely fresh material each time he or she enrolls in continuing education.

In addition to keeping up with advances in the field, which is a key move for practitioners in nearly any industry, continuing education also allows massage therapists and bodyworkers to renew their enthusiasm for the work. Gaining fresh material, acquiring new skills or finally figuring out how to alleviate a client’s challenging ache all can help boost a touch therapist’s excitement about daily practice.

Fortunately, there is such a wide array of continuing education available to massage therapists and bodyworkers, so it should not be too difficult to find the class that can give you just the right blend of new information and excitement.

During continuing education classes, touch practitioners also have the opportunity to step out of the session room and away from the table, mixing and mingling with peers who face similar scenarios each day.

Networking with colleagues during continuing education classes can be a big side benefit of enrolling in these courses. The exchange allows for the sharing of ideas, challenges, successes and even hands-on healing. Consider finding a study partner who also is willing to swap massages, and you could be getting a much-needed dose of self-care from the continuing education experience as well.

There is a business benefit that can come from earning continuing education credits, and this certainly should not be overlooked. By learning the latest information, revving up your enthusiasm and building bonds with other touch therapists, you could, in turn, be improving your bottom line, simply by improving the services you offer.

–Brandi Schlossberg