In general, there are two main strategies you can take toward earning continuing education credits or simply taking continuing education classes as a massage therapist or bodyworker. The first of these continuing education strategies might best be described as the trial-and-error method, and the second could be called the ladder method.

As you may be beginning to understand after reading these labels, the trial-and-error method involves taking a variety of continuing education classes as you search for the continuing education topic and provider that truly resonates with you—your personality, your practice and your goals.

Of course, it is best if you can begin the trial-and-error method of taking continuing education classes with some kind of goal in mind. This can be as simple as recognizing a weak spot in your practice and searching for a continuing education class that might be able to bolster your skills in this area.

For example, if you have noticed there is a gap in your skills when it comes to working on the neck-and-shoulder pain so many of your clients seem to be presenting with, then you might wish to look for continuing education classes on the topic of techniques for addressing neck-and-shoulder issues.

Once you find a continuing education provider who is teaching these techniques and who really resonates with you, then you might switch to the ladder method of taking continuing education classes. This means starting on the “bottom rung,” with the most basic continuing education course on techniques for neck-and-shoulder pain, then move up to more advanced classes on this and related subjects, until you have reached the most advanced continuing education level this provider has to offer.

Using the ladder approach to continuing education classes is a wonderful way to ensure that you gain the most thorough knowledge possible about a particular topic area, as well as subjects that are relevant to this topic and can serve to further your expertise. Once you have found your preferred subject matter, via the trial-and-error strategy, you can use the ladder method to become an expert, all by taking the right continuing education classes.

These methods of seeking out continuing education credits do not apply only to hands-on topics. You can also use your continuing education investment to further your business skills, whether that means learning how to market your practice more effectively or finding out how to become your own trusted accountant.

The two strategies work the same way for these more business-oriented topics. First, use the trial-and-error approach toward continuing education to find the teacher and topic that seem best suited to strengthen any weaknesses in the business side of your massage therapy or bodywork practice. Then, using the ladder method, take each of the continuing education classes this provider has to offer on the specific topic and any related subject matter, in order to gain more advanced skills.