If you’re a practicing massage therapist or bodyworker, there’s a good chance you’ve had to earn continuing education credits, or will need to do so in the near future. That’s because the majority of states and regions tend to regulate the field of bodywork, and these regulation boards usually require practitioners to earn a certain number of continuing education credits in order to renew and maintain their credentials to practice.

Even if you’re a practitioner of healthy touch who does not live in a place where the industry is governed, it’s likely you’ve at least considered taking a few continuing education classes, if you haven’t done so already. Such courses offer a wonderful opportunity for practicing massage therapists and bodyworkers to refresh their skills or gain new skills altogether, in such areas as technique, business, ethics and more.

One of the best parts about current continuing education offerings is many of these courses can be taken online, from the comfort of your own home or office. That means no travel time to and from a campus and relatively little limitation in terms of accessing the courses and teachers that best fit your needs.

Another perk to the availability of continuing education on the Internet is these courses tend to be cheaper than on-site continuing education, especially in comparison to those classes held on cruise ships or in faraway locales. Although blending a vacation with your quest to earn continuing education credits can be fun, it’s not always feasible for the busy and budget-conscious massage therapist or bodyworker.

For these people, taking a class online can be the perfect fit. Quite a few of these Internet courses even give pupils the option of “attending” the class and doing the homework whenever it suits their schedule, so long as everything is completed by the end of the course term. These types of Internet classes, with flexible schedules, are typically known as asynchronous online classes.

If you’re one of the large number of massage therapists and bodyworkers who has decided to enroll in continuing education online, there’s a few things to remember and get ready for as the start date for your class approaches.
First of all, it will obviously be important for you to have access to an Internet connection, preferably one that is high speed. A speedy Internet connection will be a big benefit, as most online courses require students to download material ranging from video and audio lectures to articles and even whole books.

It also may be a good idea to prepare a space in your home or office specifically for “attending” your online class and working on continuing education assignments. This should be a clean, quiet space, where you can concentrate on the work at hand without interruption or distraction.

Make sure to find out if you need to purchase any specific books or software in order to fully participate in your Internet class. Once you’ve got your tools lined up and your space in order, you should be ready to make the most of the convenience of online continuing education.

—Brandi Schlossberg