Ideas for Continuing Education for Massage Therapists

inspiration for massage therapist-resized-600Continuing education (CE) requirements for state licensure vary. It’s important to confirm eligibility for your specific education needs with your state board. You’ll also want to keep in mind the requirements needed for your particular association memberships, as well.

1. Travel to a convention.

Combine your CE needs with a vacation or weekend getaway. There are a number of excellent massage therapy conventions that provide CE and networking opportunities, such as the AMTA National Convention, World Massage Conference, or American Massage Conference.

2. Online continuing education

There are so many options for online training. Here are just a few to check out:

3. Use association member options.

AMTA offers almost 50 online courses and they all count toward keeping your membership and towards many of the credits your need for licensure. Whether you’re a member of AMTA or another massage association, most professional associations offer online classes or seminars that you can take at a discounted rate for members. Take advantage of those opportunities!

4. Boost your marketing and business skills.

Being an independent massage therapist takes business and marketing skills. It may not be the best part of the job for many of us, but it’s vital if we want to reach out to new clients and run a successful, growing business. Don’t neglect this part of your work. Use some of those CE hours for business and marketing classes. These kinds of classes would especially easy to take through online or correspondence courses.

5. Explore new modalities.

It’s always good to diversify! Learning a new modality can spark passion for acquiring new skills and learning new ways of helping your clients. It’s also a great way to add to your service offerings and gain new clients who are looking for a specialist in their area. In order to determine where you want to go next you need to think about how your clients and you would benefit most from another training.

For example, on her blog Careers in Massage, Gloria Coppola suggests this:

If you work with clients who are mostly in pain you definitely want to pursue classes that will teach you techniques that can aid in the relief of specific symptoms. If they deal with chronic headaches or carpal tunnel symptoms or chronic back and even fibromyalgia you need to seek out continuing educators skilled in these areas.

A few suggestions would be: Study Myofascial Release Techniques – one of my favorites. I loved John Barnes’ courses. Informative and well organized.

Cranio Sacral therapy originally developed by John Upledger, D.O. has trained thousands of LMT’s throughout the world. Cranio Sacral helps relieve connective tissue blockages similar to myofascial release. It also works with clients on an emotional level. CST can also be performed fully clothed which attracts a clientele that may not receive a massage but would be more apt to try this technique. I studied CST to the advanced level and clients had phenomenal results.

6. Know your market.

Do a little searching in your area. What kind of massage and bodywork are people in your town specializing in? You might find there’s a huge opportunity to earn certification in a new modality and gain new clients who are having to travel out of town to get treatment. Find out what people are searching for in your area by talking to local professionals and medical offices. They might be referring patients to a practice an hour away because no one offers the treatment locally. It’s worth the extra time researching the needs of your market. Get strategic and make your CE count towards expanding your practice.

Continuing education is a wide-open field and you are in charge of keeping on top of it, whether you have opportunities to learn at a local school, take online classes, or travel to a conference. Lifelong learning is part of growing as a human being, and it also happens to be part of maintaining your business and professional certifications.

What are your recommendations for CE? Share with us in the comments!


Comments from original Massamio post:

The AMTA Chapter Meetings are also great ways to get CEUs. The Mass Chapter offers affordable options. also offers one-day and 4-day courses that are fun, rewarding, and easy to incorporate into other types of massage work. Classes are often small with lots of hands on time and instructor attention. — Posted @ Tuesday, February 12, 2013 1:37 PM by Amanda King, LMT

Thanks, Amanda. No doubt, AMTA is a leader in CEUs. Thanks for the tip about It looks like a well designed program. — Posted @ Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:50 PM by Benjamin McDonald