The desire and drive to keep learning, even when your school days are long past, has been linked to mental clarity and a greater overall sense of happiness. For people who are gaining extended education in their career field, it also may be connected to better business, a more positive attitude about work and even bigger paychecks.

Continuing education is not a requirement in every line of work, but for most massage therapists and bodyworkers, completing continuing education classes is a must for maintaining a current credential to practice. Even those touch therapists who don’t live in areas where these classes are required might do well to consider signing up for extended learning in the realm of massage and bodywork.

However, it is important to realize not all continuing education classes for touch therapists revolve around the act of laying hands on clients. Many of these courses focus on other aspects of the massage and bodywork field, such as the business side of running a massage practice.

In fact, this aspect of touch therapy may be one many massage therapists need to learn more about, for their hands-on skills may be on point but their business skills may lack.

The great thing about continuing education classes that focus on business is these can be geared specifically toward the massage therapist or bodyworker for earning continuing education credits. In other words, you won’t be sitting in a class with people who are selling land or hoping to open a restaurant. You will be learning, along with your peers, the ins and outs of running a bodywork business.

Among the topics a course such as this might cover are accounting, scheduling, tax planning, marketing, billing and more. In a business class for massage therapists and bodyworkers, you might learn to use specific software that makes scheduling clients a breeze. You may also learn how to use accounting software that makes tax preparation a much easier process.

In a class that focuses on marketing for massage therapists and bodyworkers, you might learn to define those places your potential clients are likely to be found, and even what publications they are most likely to read. By identifying your audience—your potential clients—and where they can be reached, you will better know where to direct your marketing efforts.

A class like this might also provide basic marketing materials to each student, which can then be customized to suit the particular region and practice. These might be sample brochures, flyers, practice menus, presentation scripts and so on.

When you consider continuing education in the field of massage therapy and bodywork, remember it does not have to be about actual hands-on skills. If you are currently content with your touch techniques but would like to brush up on business, then don’t hesitate to seek courses along those lines.

Of course, it is always a good idea to check with the governing board in your region to be sure any continuing education class you take will count toward renewing your license.

—Brandi Schlossberg

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