Taking a class is a great way to refresh your mind state, your skill set and your massage or bodywork practice as a whole. In turn, it’s a wonderful way to better serve your clients and perhaps even gain a few new ones along the way. Fortunately for people in the massage and bodywork field, taking classes often is a requirement, at least for those practitioners who live in places where the industry is governed.

In such regions, taking classes for continuing education is a common requirement for renewing one’s massage or bodywork license. Renewal periods are typically every one or two years, and a certain number of continuing education credits must be earned in order to complete the renewal process.

Although this may seem like a chore for the touch therapist with a slammed schedule and full life of family and friends, it can turn out to be one of the best ways to refresh your attitude, expand your touch tool bag and boost your bottom line. With that said, even if you live in a place where massage is not regulated or continuing education is not required, it might still be a good idea to consider taking classes.

One of the best things about continuing education is there are all sorts of classes available, and they can be accessed in myriad ways. If you don’t wish to take a class that covers a specific massage technique or even business or ethics, as those topics apply to massage therapists and bodyworkers, then you can think “outside the box.”

Of course, by thinking outside the box you may end up taking continuing education classes that won’t count toward your credits for renewing your massage credential. However, many governing boards are fairly flexible when it comes to the types of classes that count toward those credits. Find out the details first, then enroll in your classes.

For example, you may want to take a course in feng shui, an ancient Chinese system of setting up and decorating a room in such a way as to increase positive energy. The tools you pick up in this type of continuing education course could then be applied to your massage session room, waiting area and more.

Another outside-the-box continuing education class that may benefit massage therapists and bodyworkers is a course on sound therapy. Such a class would likely teach students how various sounds may affect the body in positive or negative ways, as well as how to use sound and music for healing purposes and specific conditions.

There also are those classes that teach skills that blend well with massage therapy, such as aromatherapy, reiki or reflexology. By taking these classes, you should be able to gain skills that will blend well with massage and bodywork sequences. Completing these courses also will allow you to add these new modalities to your massage and bodywork menu, offering a wider array of healing techniques to your client base.

—Brandi Schlossberg