Choosing to receive continuing education as a professional massage therapist or bodyworker means choosing to invest in greater success and a more secure future for you and your practice. This is because continuing education can play a vital role when it comes to creating a better practitioner and better business owner.

There are a variety of reasons massage therapists and bodyworkers may seek continuing education, but there are three common threads: The first is the fact that earning continuing education credits may be required to renew and maintain one’s license to practice, depending on the state or region where the massage therapist or bodyworker is in business.

The second key reason so many practitioners take part in continuing education is because they wish to improve and expand their skills and abilities inside the session room. This might equate to a massage therapist who has basic skills in myofascial release choosing to enroll in continuing education classes that will educate her on more advanced approaches to this popular modality.

Another example might be the bodyworker who already has advanced skills in shiatsu but wishes to add a new modality to his menu, such as reiki or Thai yoga massage. In this case, the bodyworker would enroll in a beginner’s course on the technique or modality he wishes to add to his practice menu. After this initial course, the practitioner could then determine if he wishes to take more advanced continuing education classes on this particular skill.

The third common thread that seems to come up when professional massage therapists and bodyworkers describe their reasons for enrolling in continuing education is the desire to become a better business owner. For those manual therapists who work in solo practices or employ others within a larger business model, taking continuing education classes to help shore up any weak spots in one’s business knowledge is a wise decision.

As an example, a massage therapist might work by himself within a solo practice and, therefore, be responsible not only for the quality of his sessions, but also for scheduling all the appointments, keeping the financial books and staying on top of marketing efforts to draw new clients.

If this massage therapist felt that any one—or all three—of these aspects of running his business could use a bit of fine tuning, he could then choose to enroll in continuing education classes on marketing, accounting or management for the solo practitioner. From writing press releases to learning how to use scheduling and accounting software, such continuing education courses can be crucial for those therapists who feel a bit insecure about the business side of the practice.

Whether you are looking to advance your current skills, add a new modality to your menu, strengthen your business acumen or simply stay on top of your license to practice massage therapy or bodywork, the wide world of continuing education is ready to meet your needs.