There are certain choices in life that can be looked at as investments. For instance, if you choose to buy a home instead of rent, that typically is seen as a good investment. If you decide to take out a loan to obtain a higher degree of education, this usually is viewed as an investment as well. Investments tend to be defined as those actions that require a certain amount of money upfront, with the promise of earning back all that money—and most likely even more—when all is said and done.

A great way to look at continuing education in the field of massage therapy and bodywork is as an investment. Although you will have to invest money and time to enroll in and complete any continuing education class, there’s a good chance you’ll make back your initial investment, perhaps in renewed enthusiasm for your daily work, an increase in business or both.

As with any investment, it’s important to sit down and think about your choices before you take action, as you want to make sure the continuing education class you choose is a worthy investment of your time and money. The first step toward making a decision will be finding out what, if any, requirements are in place for massage therapists and bodyworkers in your particular region or state.

A high number of states and regions now regulate the field of massage and bodywork, and earning a certain number of continuing education credits during each license-renewal period is a part of that regulation in most places. If you live in an area where massage and bodywork are regulated, find out exactly how many continuing education credits you need to renew your license to practice. In addition, find out of there are certain types of continuing education classes you must enroll in, such as safety or ethics, or if any particular providers are necessary.

Once you’ve got these initial details squared away, the rest is up to you as a practitioner of healthy touch. Grab a sheet of paper and a pencil, and simply start writing. Jot down what you think are the strengths of your practice and your skills as a bodyworker. Then, create a column where you can write down the perceived weaknesses. Walk away for a while, then come back and review what you wrote. This should give you a great starting point when it comes to selecting a wise investment in terms of continuing education.

Fortunately, there are all sorts of courses offered by an array of providers. These may range from ethics and marketing to body mechanics and stretching techniques. There are so many niche courses out there as well, such as massage for infants, pregnant women, hospice patients, athletes, the elderly and much more.

As you can see, there’s nearly no limit to what you can do when it comes to continuing education. If you take your time and make a wise investment of your time and money, you should find yourself reaping the benefits of these classes.

—Brandi Schlossberg