by Brandi Schlossberg

Give Continuing Education an A+ Effort, MASSAGE MagazineEarning credits for continuing education should be about more than checking an item off your to-do list in order to renew your massage license every year or two. Enrolling in and completing these classes should be much more than a means to an end.

In fact, by putting the proper amount of effort into continuing education, massage therapists and bodyworkers may find themselves reaping big benefits, from a longer client list and more money to renewed enthusiasm and increased skills.

Those practitioners of healthy touch who take continuing education classes even if they don’t need them to renew their massage licenses seem to know the value of extended learning. However, as it happens all too often, when a task becomes a requirement, it seems it can lose some of its appeal.

For massage therapists and bodyworkers who live in areas where the field is governed and continuing education is a necessity for practice, don’t let the regulations prevent you from making the most of these wonderful learning opportunities. If you invest your time, money and effort, you should get a return on that investment.

In order to be sure you’re putting the proper amount of effort toward your next continuing education class, start by making sure it is a class you will be interested in, not simply one you think you can complete quickly and easily. Take a look at your practice, its strengths and weaknesses, to evaluate what type of continuing education you should seek.

Once you’ve decided on a course and made sure the governing board in your region approves its topic and provider, the next step is to ready yourself for the learning process. While the course is in session, you may need to juggle your schedule in a different way, to free up time to take the classes and study in between.

If you are taking the class online, bending your schedule should be slightly easier, especially if it is an asynchronous course (this translates to an online class that can be attended at the pupil’s discretion). If you are enrolled in an asynchronous continuing education class, you could log on in the early hours of the morning or in the middle of the day—whenever it best suits you to listen to lectures, complete homework or take tests.

Synchronous online classes, on the other hand, require students to “attend,” or log on to the course at specific times. Given that there is no transportation involved if you have a computer and an Internet connection, even synchronous online classes can be done by busy massage therapists and bodyworkers.

Besides adjusting your schedule to suit your class, you may also want to ready a space in your home or office specifically for studying. This should be a clean and clear space with all the necessary supplies.

As you are taking the class, be sure to make notes about any specific techniques or strategies you want to employ in your own massage or bodywork practice. That way, you will remember all the relevant details at the end of the course.