With today’s array of continuing education options for massage therapists and bodyworkers, going back to school does not have to mean a full-time commitment. Instead, enrolling in continuing education classes can be done in a strategic manner, in a way that best fits your schedule, budget and career.

Unlike enrolling in a traditional degree program, continuing education classes are there to provide further learning for those massage therapists and bodyworkers who have already completed their studies in massage or bodywork school. These are practitioners who already have their licenses or certifications to practice, and many of them have been in practice for many years.

With continuing education, massage therapists and bodyworkers have an opportunity to pick and choose particular topics and classes that will best suit where they happen to be in terms of their careers, their schedules and their budgets. With a bit of forethought and strategic planning, selecting continuing education classes is much like “turning the steering wheel” on one’s career.

As an example, let’s say you are a massage therapist who has been practicing a blend of Swedish and deep-tissue massage for several years now. For any number of reasons, such as a desire for new clients or simply to switch things up, you may decide you would like to integrate a new technique into your practice.

In this scenario, you could begin to search out continuing education classes that will train you in the modality of your choice, from craniosacral therapy to Thai yoga massage, and nearly any technique in between. Remember, one of the most amazing aspects of the field of massage therapy and bodywork is the remarkable diversity of touch techniques that fit beneath the broad umbrella of this industry. This is something massage therapists and bodyworkers can take advantage of when it comes to continuing education.

Besides taking on a new technique, another way continuing education classes can have a direct effect on one’s career is by teaching touch therapists more about the business side of running a practice. There are continuing education classes available to help practitioners become more effective at business practices ranging from marketing and accounting to management and community outreach.

As for selecting continuing education courses based on your budget and schedule, this will vary for each massage therapist and bodyworker. For some, even if they have a hectic schedule and a tight budget, it may be worth investing a bit more of time and money if a continuing education opportunity comes up that could truly enhance their careers.

However, it is entirely possible to find great continuing education classes that fit those tighter budgets and more jam-packed schedules. Often, online continuing education classes will cost less money and be more flexible, in terms of when you log in and “attend” the class.

Get started on your search for continuing education a little early, so you have time to find a class that will meet all of your needs for continuing education.

–Brandi Schlossberg