An experience that is rich with multiple layers tends to be a more memorable one, and this certainly holds true for massage and bodywork sessions. From linens and lighting to music, massage cream and, most importantly, the hands-on modality, receiving a bodywork session is made to be a nearly unforgettable experience.

When it comes to enrolling in continuing education, it may be a good idea to consider learning how to add more layers to your skill set, so that each session on your table contains several different facets.

Adding an extra angle to your practice does not necessarily mean learning a new massage modality or technique. In fact, it may mean learning the basics of a skill that is outside the realm of massage, but serves as a fitting complement to your hands-on work.

For example, you may wish to enroll in continuing education for aromatherapy. In this course, you should be able to learn the properties of a long list of essential oils, so you know what effect to expect from each.

A continuing education class on aromatherapy should teach you how to select high-quality essential oils and also how to blend them into carrier lubricants. Such a course is also likely to teach you about mixing several essential oils for a variety of effects.

Another layer you may consider adding to your current skill set is reiki. This energy work involves the hands hovering just above the skin. Reiki can not only have profound effects on your clients, but it also can help give your own hands a break during and after deep massage sessions.

In order to engage your clients mentally, in a healing and positive way, you might wish to learn the ins and outs of guided imagery through continuing education classes. Guided imagery is a powerful complementary technique that can be added to your massage or bodywork sessions to achieve a different level of effect.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of complementary work, outside the realm of massage therapy, that may be learned about during various continuing education classes and later layered into your session plans.

Before you sign up for a course, such as those mentioned above, be sure to check first with the board that regulates massage in your particular region or area. If you are one of the many massage therapists or bodyworkers who lives in a place where the realm of touch therapy is governed and regulated, you will want to be sure the continuing education courses you choose are approved by the board for credit.

Typically, a certain number of continuing education credits must be earned during a specific period of time, usually one or two years, for massage therapists and bodyworkers to maintain their credentials for practice.

Once you have seen the specific continuing education requirements for your region, you can proceed with confidence in selecting those classes that will help add rich layers to the client experience in your session room.

–Brandi Schlossberg

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