For those massage therapists and bodyworkers who live in areas where the realm of touch therapy is regulated, it is common to go through a license renewal process, typically once a year or every other year, although these time periods tend to vary.

Creeping up on these renewal requirements may seem like a drag, especially for the massage therapist or bodyworker whose schedule already is bursting at the seams with clients. Meeting the necessary requirements to keep that credential current could seem like just another chore to cross off that daunting to-do list.

However, with a simple attitude adjustment, that whole outlook could easily be changed. Try to look at each renewal period as a chance to take stock of your career in massage therapy or bodywork, cleaning out anything that may not be working and then reaching out to enhance your day-to-day practice.

One of the main reasons keeping a massage credential current may seem rather trying is that many regions require practicing massage therapists and bodyworkers to earn a certain number of continuing-education credits for each renewal period. Finding, enrolling in and then attending a class in order to earn these continuing education credits is an investment of time and money, but the payoff can be big, beyond simply keeping that credential.

If you can look at the need to enroll in continuing education classes as an opportunity to enhance, refresh and boost your business, then taking these classes should not be seen as a chore.

In fact, quite a few practitioners of healthy touch happen to enroll in continuing education courses all the time, even when they don’t live in areas where racking up these credits is a requirement. Usually, the reason is they want to learn a new skill to liven up their daily work, or they want to hone a skill they already possess.

Other common reasons for signing up for continuing education, besides the need to renew one’s license, include a desire to earn more money, either by adding new techniques to the menu or figuring out how to better run the business side of bodywork.

If you do live in a place where massage therapy is a regulated profession, and continuing education credits are required in order to keep your credential current, find out exactly what kind of classes are approved and accepted by the entity that regulates the field.

If your state or regional board allows it, consider taking a continuing education class that focuses on a technique that could help set you far apart from others in this field. For instance, you may want to learn an aquatic bodywork technique, such as Watsu, especially if you have a passion for being in the pool and the healing that can happen within water. Another modality that might place you outside the pack is Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy, where the touch practitioner primarily uses his or her feet to provide bodywork.

Whether you choose to enroll in continuing education to learn one of these standout techniques, or you choose to take a class that will simply deepen your skills, be sure to keep a positive attitude about your educational journey.

—Brandi Schlossberg