Depending on your attitude and outlook, continuing education may either seem like a wonderful opportunity to enhance your career and refresh your skill set or it could seem like a chore you are laboring to squeeze into an already packed schedule.

It is obviously important to take steps to ensure your experience of continuing education is a positive and productive one instead of a drain on your time, money and energy.

For those massage therapists and bodyworkers who are not required to earn any continuing education credits, whether through a state or regional governing board or some sort of professional organization, this may not be as much of an issue. In these less common cases, where continuing education is never required, those professional touch therapists who do sign up for courses are typically doing so simply because they truly want to learn what the class has to offer.

For the majority of massage therapists and bodyworkers, though, continuing education is a necessity, whether it be for maintaining one’s license to practice legally, membership in a professional organization or both.

Still, no one wants to view and experience continuing education as a chore, even if it is not an optional choice. There are quite a few ways to make sure you get the most enjoyment and learning out of your continuing education classes, so let’s outline the most important ones now.

First, find out whether the governing board in your area, as well as any professional organization that requires these credits, has a list of necessary topics of focus and providers of classes. You want to be confident that the class you take will count toward those continuing education credits if you need them.

Once you know the guidelines for your particular situation, you can set about finding the proper providers and course topics to meet your needs as a practicing massage therapist or bodyworker.

For example, if you do have to take a class on ethics or business in order to keep your credential current or maintain your membership in a professional organization, then you will want to be certain it is a class you are prepared to take.

Think about your schedule and any obligations you may have on a regular basis as you consider whether to sign up to take the class in person, online or at a condensed seminar. You want to use the method that will allow you to get the most out of the class, with the least amount of stress.

If you have a bit of freedom when it comes to choosing the focus of your continuing education courses, then spend time reflecting on what topics will strengthen your practice the most.

Perhaps you would like to learn a more advanced level of that technique you find yourself using a lot, or maybe there is a modality you would like to learn from scratch, so you can add a whole new service to your menu.

No matter what your current needs and situation, continuing education can be a positive experience with the proper attitude, outlook and preparation.

–Brandi Schlossberg