If you hope to carve out or add another niche for yourself within the bodywork world, then consider taking specialty courses when you enroll for continuing education. By selecting courses in continuing education that offer training on highly specific techniques, you can gain specialized skills while keeping your credential current.

Examples of niche techniques include massage for cancer patients or other hospital-based bodywork; sports massage, with continuing education that could even be injury- or sport-specific; reflexology; pediatric or infant massage; and so many more.

One niche modality that seems to be growing rapidly in terms of both acceptance and demand is massage for pregnant women. As so many women in our world tend to become pregnant, often more than once, it seems likely that this would be a wonderful portion of the population to cater to in a massage practice.

Add the fact that pregnant women often experience discomfort in their back, legs, feet and other areas of their body, not to mention the possible stress and anxiety of pregnancy, and it’s clear that these clients could truly benefit from the work of a skilled massage therapist.

If you think maternity massage might be a good addition to your menu of hands-on offerings, then begin to research options in continuing education that teach this specified technique. Your selection of continuing education should depend on your budget, location, schedule and other lifestyle variables. You may choose continuing education that is offered in person, online or a combination of both.

It also pays to look into the person who is teaching the class, by doing a bit of Internet investigation on his or her background and expertise, as well as contacting colleagues who have taken the course or people who currently work in the realm of pregnancy massage.

Once you feel comfortable with the quality of continuing education that is being offered, go ahead and enroll in the course, and begin your journey toward gaining the specialized skills of a pregnancy massage. Of course, you will also want to be sure that the class meets the requirements for continuing education as mandated by the board that oversees massage regulation in your area.

Most likely, you will want to begin with a class that addresses the basics of pregnancy massage. This might well include topics such as client positions and touch techniques that are safe and appropriate to each trimester of pregnancy. Draping, precautions and contraindications in the massage of a pregnant client should also be addressed in a foundational course.

As you move further in your continuing education on maternity massage, it’s likely the courses you enroll in will grow in complexity and skill. More advanced classes should further enrich your skill set in terms of hands-on healing for pregnant clients, while also fulfilling any requirements for continuing education in order to maintain one’s massage license.

In the world of massage therapy, bodyworkers are fortunate to have so many options when it comes to continuing education and specialized skills. Each year, as you work to keep your credential current, you could also be adding valuable tools to your bodywork bag.