On a daily basis, massage therapists and bodyworkers promote the importance of relaxation for health and wellness. The ironic part is many of these same practitioners of healthy touch rarely take a break for themselves.

Between busy session schedules, full lives with friends and family, and keeping up with chores and tasks, it can be difficult to find time to relax. However, it seems key to consider that the quality of hands-on work one provides to his or her clients may be directly related to how healthy the practitioner feels.

You may think you don’t have the time to take a lot of breaks, let alone an extended vacation. Fortunately, there is a way you can “kill two birds with one stone.” Providers of continuing education often offer their classes in appealing vacation settings, so massage therapists and bodyworkers can not only earn continuing education credits and enhance their careers, but they can also fit in some genuine relaxation.

Before you start looking at the delightful educational trips available to massage therapists and bodyworkers, first consider what types of courses you’d like to take. For example, you may wish to take on a whole new skill set or simply enhance some of the techniques you already possess. In either case, the in-person training you’ll receive on a continuing-education vacation is well-suited to honing hands-on skills.

It’s also important to find out exactly what, if anything, your state or regional massage board requires in terms of continuing education. Make sure the people who regulate massage and bodywork in your area have approved the provider and topic of the course you’re considering.

After all, if you live in a place where massage therapists are licensed and regulated, you’ll want to make sure the continuing education credits you earn will count toward renewing your massage license.

Once you’ve nailed down these key pieces of information, you can start the fun part: looking for the perfect combination of vacation and education. This may be a highly personal decision, as it will depend on what sort of activities, climates and locations appeal to you, as well as any friends or family members who will be coming along for the fun.

If you enjoy snow sports, for example, you may wish to look for continuing education that takes place in an area surrounded by slopes and ski resorts, such as Aspen, Colorado, or Lake Tahoe, California.

On the other hand, if sand and sun is more your style, take a look at courses that will take place in warm and coastal locales, such as Miami, Florida; San Diego, California; or even the Caribbean.

One popular choice in destination continuing education is a cruise. Several educational cruises are scheduled each year, and they typically involve fairly big names in the field of massage therapy and bodywork.

Participants have a chance to learn from top-notch teachers as they sail the seas and stop in at various ports to explore.

—Brandi Schlossberg

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