There are a few techniques you can use to be sure you enter into your next continuing education class fully prepared to succeed and make the most of the entire experience. From knowing your own key needs to selecting the right continuing education setting, you have options when it comes to making the most of continuing education.

Perhaps the most important technique you can use to get the most benefit out of your next continuing education class is the technique of figuring out your own key needs. After all, if you do not know what you need most as a professional massage therapist or bodyworker, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find a continuing education class to meet those needs.

Fortunately, this technique is fairly simple. In fact, you may be putting it into practice already. Basically, figuring out your own key needs requires the consistent observation of yourself and all aspects of your daily work as a massage therapist or bodyworker, from how much money you are making each month and the way you feel at the end of each day to the types of issues your clients are presenting with and the number of new clients who call for appointments.

Many times, figuring out your needs happens naturally, as you begin to see certain patterns emerging in your practice. For example, you may notice you feel sore and tired on those days when you book back-to-back sessions. However, you do not want to stop booking back-to-back sessions because you enjoy staying busy and making a nice amount of income.

In this case, you may be wise to look into continuing education classes to help you feel better at the end of those busy days—in order to avoid burning out down the road. This may mean taking a continuing education class on body mechanics, to refresh your memory and perhaps learn a few new approaches to proper body mechanics for massage therapists and bodyworkers.

It may also mean taking a continuing education class on a modality that is less physically demanding than the one you currently practice. For example, you might consider a continuing education class on reiki or Healing Touch. By integrating one of these lighter techniques into your practice, you could find a way to weave a few less physically intense periods into your day or into each session.

Once you have figured out how to match your next continuing education class to your most pressing need, you would be wise to spend time deciding on the ideal setting for this continuing education class—online or in person. Frequently, those practitioners who are taking a continuing education class on a new modality or other hands-on technique prefer to do so in person. This might mean taking the continuing education class at a local site or making plans to travel for continuing education classes that are offered in a compressed seminar format.

Signing up for online continuing education classes is another appealing option, especially if the class is covering a less tactile topic. Benefits of online continuing education classes include convenience, price and the vast array of options, among others.

–Brandi Schlossberg