How to Find the Right Massage Home-Study Course, MASSAGE MagazineOptions abound online when it comes to choosing a home-study course in massage therapy, and the decision to choose which course to take can feel overwhelming.

But it doesn’t need to be that way. Ask yourself a few questions to help alleviate some of the stress and determine what you’re really looking for in a course. Some of those questions can include:

1. What do you want to gain from the course?

Visit the websites of your national or state licensing organization to see what courses are acceptable for continuing education credits. The websites of major massage associations such as the American Massage Therapy Association and Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals may also be of assistance with the start of your search, as these sites can provide information on what is acceptable or offer contact information for someone who can answer your questions.

2. Why do you want to take a massage home-study course?

Answering this question helps you determine what kind of clientele you want to attract and deciding which course is best for you.

If you are looking to expand into a niche market and gain new clients, however, you can opt for one of many online courses. If your interest lies in helping pregnant mothers, check out a course on pregnancy and prenatal massage. In those courses, you can learn acupressure and reflexology techniques; proper body positioning; anatomical, physiological and emotional progression; appropriate practices; and types of massage oils to use during treatments.

Or, if you like working with athletes, you can take a course in sports massage or sports taping. Through sports massage, you can learn a blend of Swedish massage and shiatsu, or techniques like lymphatic massage, trigger-point massage, compression massage and cross-fiber massage techniques, which all apply to athletic injuries.

Keep in mind that massage techniques aren’t the only home-study courses available. There are a wide array of business management, ethics and marketing courses to grow your practice and hone your business skills.