Home Study Massage Courses Address Therapists Reported Needs, MASSAGE MagazineA recent survey of massage therapists showed that home study courses are in high demand among practitioners.The findings of the Massage Profession Research Report were released this month by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

The study asked numerous questions of massage therapists practicing across the U.S. In the 2010 report, massage therapists reported receiving 660 hours of training and that the average massage therapist earned $41 per hour.

But when it came to educational wants, massage therapists reported they wanted more access to business courses, more specific modality training and new, low-cost ways of reaching more clients. The study reported that nearly 40 percent of massage therapists said they would like to have had more specific modality training in school, with more than 33 percent expressing the greatest interest in continuing education in new modalities and techniques.

With massage home study courses, formal schools aren’t always needed to learn these courses. Home study courses can address a number of modalities, like athletic, craniosacral, prenatal and orthopedic in the comfort of your home–ad that also includes business classes, which 55 percent of therapists reported wanting more knowledge in this subject area.

Some of the topics in business home study courses include massage therapy as a low-cost, health-care option, product sales, product integrity, expense cutting, ethical marketing practices, beneficial business habits, legal marketing restrictions and ethical representation of advertising.The courses cover a broad swath of what massage therapists face in the business market and what is available to them to implement in their practices.

Another wanted aspect of the massage business sector is the increase in the use of digital technology in massage therapy practices. The study showed that massage therapists increased their use of digital technology in 2010. The study’s results showed that nearly all therapists surf the Web and are increasing their use of Internet technology including using social media, managing social network profiles, building websites, uploading video clips, booking flights and sharing iTunes playlists.

It was also reported that massage therapists are using technology in their businesses, with 28 percent of therapists using social media to stay in touch with clients. One of the emerging and low-cost ways of marketing yourself is through the Internet and social media. Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, YouTube, Meetup.com and other social media outlets are simple ways for a massage therapist to network and promote their practice and personality. Home study courses are now tackling these subjects to address the changing digital marketplace for massage therapists.

When you decide what courses might be right for you, 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