A variety of massage therapy home-study courses are available for a therapist to take. While there are several that are mandatory requirements to keep your state and national licensing requirements current, there are many others to choose from that you can tailor to your specific interests.

So why not take one that will benefit you and your clients–more specifically, one that already reinforces the modalities and techniques you already use?

Unless you are looking to take a course in a specific modality, like massage for cancer patients, it is sometimes more practical to choose a general topic like pain management. A variety of pain-management courses are available through home-study instruction.

Treating chronic pain can be learned through a variety of techniques. Some courses offered include those for orthopedic disorders, sports injuries, trigger point therapy, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, migraines, arthritis and myoskeletal alignment, to name a few.

For orthopedic disorders, home-study courses include topics that cover the treatment of subscapularis tendonitis, tennis elbow, lateral ankle sprain, patella tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis. The courses also delve into teaching about massage techniques and musculoskeletal disorders, along with thermal modalities, treatment aids and the physiological effects.

Sports massage techniques can reduce the chance of injury to the client by using proper stretching, preparation and deep-tissue massage. Massage can also shorten recovery time between activities, improve the athletes’ range of motion, break down scar tissue, increase blood flow and tissue permeability, improve tissue elasticity, and reduce pain and anxiety.

Trigger point therapy can be used to treat headaches, stiffness in the neck, bursitis, tennis elbow, back pain, sciatica, shin splints and other injuries that occur from accidents, sports, occupations and disease.

Some of the benefits of pain management include released chronic muscular tension and pain, improved circulation, increased joint flexibility, reduced mental fatigue, reduced stress, improved posture and reduced blood pressure.

Make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.

–Jeremy Maready