If you are at a loss as to what kind of continuing education class you should take, then consider picking a course that seems to be at the other end of the spectrum from the type of massage therapy or bodywork you currently practice. This may seem strange, but by enrolling in a continuing education class that presents a technique or modality that is brand new to you, you could learn not only about other areas of the broad field of massage therapy, but also about yourself as a practitioner.
As an example, for the professional massage therapist or bodyworker who currently practices on the medical end of the spectrum, serving clients with athletic injuries, it may be an eye-opening experience to take a continuing education class on an energy based modality, such as Healing Touch or reiki, or perhaps a more subtle form of massage therapy or bodywork, such as craniosacral therapy.
By enrolling in a continuing education class along these lines, the more clinical massage therapist or bodyworker may find a new dimension of healing to add to his or her session work—a new perspective on the human body and the way it works. Whether or not massage therapists choose to implement all or none of what they learn in one of these continuing education classes, there is no doubt that their skill set and knowledge base has been enriched.
Of course, this strategy of choosing a foreign topic for your next continuing education experience can apply across the board. Perhaps the bodyworker who practices mostly energy work or lighter forms of massage therapy would benefit from enrolling in a continuing education class on myofascial release or trigger-point therapy. Maybe the massage therapist who has trained all her life in deep-tissue techniques would gain a new perspective by taking continuing education classes on different forms of Asian bodywork, such as shiatsu or Thai massage.
Even outside the realm of techniques and modalities, the idea of picking a continuing education class based on what you know the least about can be helpful for practitioners. For instance, if marketing is a concept you know nothing about, then you could consider shining a light on the unknown by signing up to take a continuing education class on marketing for professional massage therapists and bodyworkers.
This is not to say practitioners should not pursue continuing education on topics that are familiar to them or allow them to advance their careers and hone their current skill sets. That type of continuing education strategy is important as well.
However, if you do not feel drawn to any specific continuing education class, then consider choosing a course that will expose you to new concepts. By engaging in such a continuing education experience, you may find improvements in both your practice and your personal approach to clients.