Even if you do not live in one of the many areas where massage therapy and bodywork are regulated professions, there are very good reasons to enroll in continuing education courses on a regular basis. However, for the majority of people who make their living in the field of hands-on healing, this is a regulated industry, which means earning continuing education credits often is a requirement.

Either way, the bottom line is the same. Learning new skills and techniques, as well as soaking up fresh ideas and making peer connections, through continuing education courses can be a wonderful boon to your practice—and your own daily satisfaction.

For those professional touch practitioners who do happen to live in places where continuing education is a requirement in order to maintain one’s license to practice, it is essential to begin your quest for classes with a call or a visit to the regulating board or its website.

By reaching out for this information first, before you begin looking into specific classes and providers, you can save yourself quite a bit of time and energy. Your state or regional massage and bodywork board should be able to tell you if there are specific topics you must cover in your continuing education classes, or if there are certain providers who are—or are not—approved.

Armed with these details, you then can begin your dive into the deep waters of continuing education for massage therapists and bodyworkers. This should be an exciting prospect, as there is such a wide array of classes that cover all kinds of concepts, modalities and more.

One big plus about taking continuing education classes is these learning experiences can truly help you stay fired up about the field of massage and bodywork. In every profession, it is not only possible, but probable, that a person will hit plateaus or lose a little bit of passion for the work at one point or another.

By continuing to learn new information in the world of touch therapy, you can continue to grow as a hands-on healer and stay enthused about the important work you do each day. After all, your commitment to the practice of massage and bodywork tends to come through in each session. A touch therapist who believes in and is excited about the work he or she is doing likely will leave clients with a better overall feeling about the session.

As you begin your foray into enrolling in continuing education, allow yourself to think outside the box a bit, and try a class that might bring a totally new skill or idea into the mix. For example, if deep tissue and injury specific bodywork is your mainstay, perhaps try taking a class on a modality like reiki, which is based on energy rather than deep touch.

On the other hand, if much of your practice focuses on basic relaxation massage, consider learning more about deep work or modalities for specific aches and pains. You may find that one of the best ways to stay excited and vital in the world of massage and bodywork is simply by expanding your horizons.

–Brandi Schlossberg

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