The massage therapy and bodywork industry is only as limited as the imagination, ingenuity, curiosity and intelligence of the professionals who work within it. In other words, this healing field is one that has the potential for continued growth in so many new and different directions. Much like the realm of medicine, members of the massage therapy and bodywork profession have a strong desire to continue advancing this work for the benefit of the general public.

As techniques are fine tuned and new modalities are born, current practitioners of healthy touch have an opportunity to stay on top of any new knowledge via the massive network of continuing education providers who work specifically with massage therapists and bodyworkers.

The rapid rate at which new information is unearthed in the practice of massage therapy or bodywork means it is almost imperative massage therapists and bodyworkers find ways to take these continuing education classes, in order to keep their work on the leading edge, so they may best help their clients—and keep them coming back.

This is one of the main reasons why most states and regions where massage therapy and bodywork are regulated require their practitioners to complete a certain number of continuing education hours every time they renew their credentials to practice. Again, the comparison can be made to the medical field, in that new and better methods of working with people are discovered and honed all the time, so it is key practitioners stay abreast of the new knowledge.

Even if you have only recently graduated from massage therapy or bodywork school, it is highly likely that by the time you need to renew your license to practice, in one or two years or so, more advanced models of practice will be available and you will be wise to bring your skills up to speed.

For those massage therapists and bodyworkers who have been working in the field for a solid amount of time, it is a good idea to resist resting on your laurels. You most likely have a large and secure base of regular clients, but that is no reason to stop learning. Keep what is obviously working quite well for you, but do not hesitate to take on more advanced skills and expand your general knowledge.

Now you may be wondering about the next step—how to find the right continuing education class, the one that will teach you the latest knowledge about your chosen modality. The best way to go about this next step is by taking the time to research your options.

First, find out if there are any specific requirements issued by your state or region’s governing board for massage therapy and bodywork. Once you know this, narrow down your options by doing a search for continuing education classes based on your main modality, such as myofascial release, shiatsu or sports massage.

Next, you will want to read about each offering, its instructor and any other background information you can find. With discernment, you should be able to select the continuing education course that can take you to the leading edge.

–Brandi Schlossberg