Any time a person makes a change after a rather long period of structure and routine, it can be a bit scary or uncomfortable. When you are approaching change, no matter what realm of your life is undergoing the transition, it typically is a good idea to prepare yourself for the change by taking “baby steps” toward the desired outcome, picking up most of the necessary skills to sustain the change as you move toward it.

For massage therapists and bodyworkers, this whole philosophy of preparing well for a change can be applied to small or large transitions in one’s daily practice. Such a transition could mean something as minor as going from offering strictly sports massage to also offering the option of reiki. On the other hand, it could be a more major transition, such as moving from independent practice into the arena of hospital massage.

Fortunately, for nearly every type of transition within the field of massage and bodywork, be the change big or small, there is a fairly clear path people can walk toward that change, in order to best prepare for the transition. One of the most wonderful aspects of the realm of healing touch is it is broad and roomy enough to contain a huge array of career options—plenty of paths to take.

Among the main ways in which practitioners of healthy touch make career moves is via continuing education classes. Not only are these classes often required of massage therapists and bodyworkers in order to maintain their licenses, but they also tend to offer the skills and knowledge necessary to progress in a different direction. There is such a large number of options when it comes to continuing education classes that it should not be hard to find the exact class you need to get you started on any type of career transition.

Of course, it is key that you first know, or at least have a general idea about, what direction your want to go with your career as a touch therapist. Maybe this transition is on the more mild side, in that you would like to add one or two new techniques or skills to the menu at your practice. In this case, it would be up to you to decide what kind of modality you want to add to the menu.

For example, if you do mostly deep work with your clients, you may wish to take on a technique that is lighter, such as some form of energy work. If you are not sure what type of touch you want to add to the menu, you can still use basic continuing education courses as a safe way to explore what is out there and what would best fit your practice.

If the career change you want to make involves more than adding a new modality to your massage or bodywork menu, again continuing education is a great place to start. For instance, if you are thinking you might like to move toward working with medical patients in a hospital setting, then sign up for a beginning course on the topic and see what you think.

–Brandi Schlossberg