Take a Strategic Approach to Continuing Education, MASSAGE MagazineTaking continuing education classes is a fact of life for professionals in so many different fields, especially those that are regulated by various organizations and other governing bodies. For many massage therapists and bodyworkers, earning continuing education credits is part of the process of renewing and maintaining one’s license to practice.

Fortunately, continuing education classes offer much more than a means to an end, which is why even those practitioners who are not required to earn continuing education credits are still interested in taking these classes. Whether or not you are required to earn continuing education credits, the bottom line is that these classes can improve your career from nearly every angle.

To begin with, a strategic approach to continuing education classes can help a massage therapist create a much more successful practice. The strategic approach part means taking the time to think about what type of continuing education course would provide the most benefit to you and your practice. Often, this can equate to identifying the weakest aspect of your practice.

For example, you may find that your current hands-on skill set is lacking in some way, shape or form. It may be that you are seeing clients with pain that is not quite responding to the techniques you are applying in the session room, so you may feel the need to learn a different type of technique or modality to better serve your clients. In this case, your strategic approach to continuing education would mean enrolling in a continuing education class where you will learn this new technique or modality.

As another example, your current hands-on skill set may seem to be working just fine when it comes to helping your clients. However, you may find you are growing bored with these techniques and would like to learn a new modality to weave into your sessions in order to give your professional enthusiasm a boost. Here, the strategic approach would call for enrolling in a continuing education class on a touch technique or modality that sparks your interest.

Other times, the weak spot in your practice may have nothing to do with the specific techniques or modalities you are using in the session room. Instead, it could have more to do with you as a practitioner. For instance, if you are aching and tired at the end of almost every work day, that is a serious weakness that is bound to create problems in your career as a professional massage therapist or bodyworker.

Therefore, it could pay to assess what’s causing your fatigue and physical pain, and then attempt to address it via the strategic approach to continuing education. For instance, it could be that your body mechanics are off, and you need to enroll in a continuing education class that will refresh your knowledge of proper body mechanics and perhaps also teach you a few new things about body mechanics for massage therapists and bodyworkers.

By making the effort to identify any weak spots or problem areas in your practice, you may be able to take the strategic approach to continuing education—and improve your career from many different angles.