Continuing Education for Self-Care, MASSAGE MagazineOne area of continuing education that massage therapists and bodyworkers may sometimes be slow to consider is self-care. In a field where your success is based on nurturing others—and encouraging them to nurture themselves—it is key to “walk the talk” by keeping up on your own self-care.

Intuitively, you may have a good idea already of what you need to do for your own self-care. This might include quite a few basics, such as getting at least eight hours of sleep per night, eating consistent and healthy meals, getting some movement or exercise time in every day, and so on.

However, there are a few more formal ways in which massage therapists and bodyworkers are encouraged to engage in self-care, and several of these may be learned through continuing education classes. One of the main self-care topics that continuing education classes for massage therapists and bodyworkers tend to cover is the topic of proper body mechanics.

At first glance, this may not seem like a black-and-white self-care subject, but staying on top of proper body mechanics in your work as a massage therapist or bodyworker is one of the best ways to care for your own physical health. If you do not practice proper body mechanics, you may quickly find yourself with aching muscles—and much less enthusiasm for your work.

By enrolling in a continuing education class on the topic of body mechanics, you may not only end up refreshing your knowledge of body mechanics, but also learning any new advances in the realm of body mechanics. For those massage therapists and bodyworkers who have been out of school for quite some time, this could be an especially enlightening and beneficial continuing education experience.

Another form of continuing education that can help massage therapists and bodyworkers keep up with self-care could be classes that teach the right stretching techniques. Sometimes, these continuing education classes may blend lessons on how to stretch your clients with lessons on how to stretch yourself.

A continuing education class on the topic of stretching, geared specifically toward massage therapists and bodyworkers, would likely teach you how often to stretch and the proper procedure for each stretch. After completing such a continuing education class, massage therapists and bodyworkers may be much more likely to incorporate stretching into their own daily routines, thereby boosting self-care.

Of course, there are other continuing education classes that can help nurture your own self-care, and several of these may come at the topic from more of an indirect angle. For example, if you choose to enroll in a continuing education class on a certain type of energy work, you could be promoting your own self-care. With a less physically intense technique in your tool box, you should have more opportunities to give yourself a break, physically, throughout your daily work.

When you are ready to enroll in a continuing education class, remember the self-care you try to encourage among clients, and take a bit of your own advice.

–Brandi Schlossberg