When it comes to continuing education, you want to make sure you are spending your dollars—and your time—in the best possible way. This means you need to take the time to consider what you are looking to get out of continuing education as a professional massage therapist or bodyworker.

The reasons why massage therapists and bodyworkers choose to enroll in continuing education are many and varied, from the massage therapist who would like to learn more advanced techniques to the bodyworker who would like to know more about how to market her practice. Of course, there are also those practitioners who seek continuing education for the sole purpose of maintaining their licenses, if they live in states or regions where continuing education is a requirement for renewal.

What is important here is figuring out what you hope to reap from your next continuing education experience. Even if you only take continuing education to fulfill a licensing requirement, you will want to make sure you are getting as much from your investment as possible.

Deciding what you want out of your continuing education class will help you pick the right class for you. The first step in this process may be simply staying more aware of what is happening in your day-to-day practice. For example, at the end of each month, if you find yourself frustrated by your lack of accounting skills, then a continuing education class on accounting, made specifically for massage therapists and bodyworkers, would probably be a great way to spend your time and money.

Another example might be the massage therapist who finds himself presented with a certain client issue over and over again, with no idea how to provide anything more than temporary relief. In this case, the massage therapist may decide to seek a continuing education class that focuses on advanced techniques to address this particular condition.

As you stay mindful of what is happening in your practice, you might notice a few factors that pertain not only to the well-being of your clients, but also to your own health and wellness. For instance, you could find yourself sore and tired after most days at work. The cumulative effect of feeling this way day after day could lead to burnout, which means you may need to find a continuing education class on proper body mechanics, or perhaps a less physically intense form of massage therapy or bodywork.

With a higher level of awareness of both the strong and weak spots in your daily practice, you can most likely make a better decision when it comes to investing your time and money in continuing education. Do not sign up for a continuing education class simply to rack up the credit you need to renew your license. Instead, earn your credits and earn the knowledge you need to improve your day-to-day experience as a massage therapist or bodyworker.

–Brandi Schlossberg