Curiosity may be ill-advised for cats, but for professional massage therapists and bodyworkers, maintaining a healthy sense of curiosity about the broad field of touch is a wonderful way to ensure a long and satisfying career. In fact, that which most piques your curiosity can make for an excellent continuing education adventure.

For many massage therapists and bodyworkers, it is possible to use one primary modality day in and day out for years without ever tiring of the techniques. After all, there is much to discover about most methods of professional touch, and how these techniques can affect different clients in beneficial ways.

Even within the boundaries of one modality, there seems to be so much to explore and so many levels to reach. For example, a basic shiatsu practitioner may find that he or she has mastered the foundational techniques and is ready to learn more advanced methods of providing shiatsu to various clients. When the practitioner feels this urge—this curiosity about what else the technique has to offer—it is time to look into continuing education classes.

The huge array of continuing education classes offered to today’s professional massage therapists and bodyworkers is a blessing for those who wish to take their career to the next level or in a different direction. The shiatsu practitioner, for instance, would likely be able to find a high-quality continuing education class on the topic of more advanced shiatsu techniques.

Curiosity and continuing education go hand in hand in other ways as well, not just in terms of those massage therapists and bodyworkers who are ready to learn more advanced skills within their current modality. A large number of touch therapists already possess the most advanced techniques their modality has to offer, and they have been using these techniques for years.

Among this group of advanced massage therapists and bodyworkers, who have typically been in practice for a number of years, a sudden or gradual sense of curiosity can lead to a whole new skill set. Whether it is time spent on the table of another touch therapist, an article in a massage therapy trade journal or simply something you pick up in conversation with a colleague, a different modality could spur your interest.

Instead of shrugging off this curiosity, consider following its lead and look for continuing education classes on the topic of this new and different modality. As an example, a massage therapist or bodyworker could have a long history of successfully practicing methods myofascial release, then find himself growing curious about Thai yoga massage after experiencing a session or hearing a colleague rave about the work.

By pursuing a continuing education class in Thai yoga massage, the practitioner could find out if this modality meshes with his own style and goals as a massage therapist. If so, the continuing education class could lead to an expansion of his existing massage menu. In turn, this could bring a completely new set of clients into his practice.

When it comes to continuing education, consider signing up for a class that will satisfy your curiosity.

–Brandi Schlossberg