When perusing websites in search of that perfect home-study course, do you really know the quality of what you are buying? A quick Internet search of massage home-study courses will return a host of results for you to choose from in your educational endeavors.

Home-study courses have advanced significantly in recent years. With that in mind, remember not all of them are created equal.

One of the biggest advantages of massage home-study courses is they are offered from a variety of top experts in their respective fields, giving students the advantage in deciding which is best for them.

When making your purchase decision, don’t let meaningless frills sway you in your selection. Just because you see they might have multimedia presentations, message boards and fancy DVD packaging doesn’t mean it is right for you. Do your research.

While many quality programs use technological teaching tools, you have to sift through the many faceless continuing education companies that might offer little. Unfortunately, the latter of these programs offer poor-quality content and seem to be designed more for making money than imparting useful knowledge.

In some cases, choosing the big name experts aren’t always the way to go. And by doing a little research into the instructor’s background and the nature of the programs, you can make an informed decision in your continuing education needs.

Instructor experience

Checking the credentials of any instructor who calls themselves an expert is essential.

Many of the most qualified instructors will have 10 or more years of experience in their field both practicing and teaching massage therapy. And it’s nearly always better if that instructor has studied with other bodywork experts to launch their own careers.

When an instructor continues to practice and teach, it helps keep them more in tune with the latest techniques and methodologies facing today’s massage therapists.

Workshops and seminars

Before an instructor embarks on developing his own educational curriculum, he typically begins by leading seminars and workshops around the country.

Many times, these home-study courses evolve from their seminars, which allow those who aren’t able to attend the workshops in person the same access to the educational materials.

While offering live seminars doesn’t necessarily translate to quality home-study education, it is a good indicator on who the most qualified instructors might be.

Published articles and trade journals

The top educators in the massage field will often attract the most attention by media outlets. These instructors are the innovators in their fields.

Through Internet searches, you should be able to easily find the publications they are mentioned in and what they have contributed to their field of expertise.

Many of the top experts also will be contributing columnists and have their own websites and blogs that discuss the latest innovations and current issues facing today’s massage therapists.

–Jeremy Maready

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