It has been said that one of the keys to continued growth and vibrancy is to never stop learning. Fortunately for massage therapists and bodyworkers, attending classes and keeping up with one’s education is often required to practice.

In most places where massage therapy is regulated, a certain number of continuing education hours are required before a bodyworker can renew his or her license to practice.

There are, of course, some places where the field is not regulated and continuing education is not required, but enrolling in classes can still be a good idea for the touch therapist who hopes to keep his or her skill set current.

Typically, continuing education not only enhances, updates or adds to one’s existing skills, but it can add to the bottom line as well. The combination of these two benefits—more skills and more money—may also serve to refresh or increase a bodyworker’s passion for the work he or she does on a daily basis.

As you consider what type of continuing education classes to enroll in, consider what kind of skills would best complement your current practice. Think about what new items you’d like to see added to your own massage menu.

One wonderful way to figure this out is by booking appointments with touch therapists who offer the very skills you’re considering. For example, if you have been wondering whether adding aromatherapy to each session would truly enhance your work, go get an aromatherapy massage.

If you are considering taking continuing education courses in reflexology, for a new technique to weave into your work, book an appointment with a bodyworker who blends reflexology into his or her services.

Reflexology and aromatherapy are examples of two different techniques that could be added to your massage menu to complement your current skill set. However, before you go and enroll in classes that offer such skills, check with the board that regulates massage in your region. If you live in a place where bodywork is regulated and continuing education credits are required to renew your license, it’s important to know what will or won’t count toward those credits.

Another key factor in deciding what type of continuing education to take is thinking about what type of work truly stokes your passion for touch therapy. For instance, if working with clients who have been injured is one of your strong suits, you might consider enrolling in continuing education that specifically addresses working with injured clients.

On the other hand, if you find your enthusiasm growing when you work with highly athletic clients, think about taking continuing education classes that teach bodyworkers how to work with various kinds of athletes, whether amateur or professional.

From complementary skills, such as aromatherapy and reflexology, to whole new niches, such as hospital massage or sports massage, there are so many ways in which continuing education can benefit and shape your career.

Take your time and sign up for the kind of courses that will not only allow you to renew your massage license, but will also allow you to renew your passion for bodywork.

—Brandi Schlossberg

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