Something for all massage therapists—or even students studying massage—to consider is the state-required continuing education. Each state has different regulations for continuing education. For example, New York residents must complete 36 hours of for every three-year renewal period. Maryland requires massage therapists to complete 24 hours every two years. Surprisingly enough, California has no requirement for continuing education as of late. The laws change frequently, so wherever you are, understand your state’s regulations and make sure you’re always current so it doesn’t infringe on your ability to work.
Where Can You Go for Continuing Education?
More often than not, the school where you received your training will also offer continuing education. Schools like National Holistic Institute offer an additional 400 hours of in-depth continuing education. The course can help you enter different arenas of massage and bodywork such as chiropractic or physical therapy offices if you’re seeking a more health-conscious atmosphere. NHI also offers individual courses for continuing education.
Members of associations like AMTA (American Massage Therapist Association) also offer great courses, in both the classroom and online. Depending upon your state regulation, you may also obtain some of your hours through self-taught courses online.
What Can I Study?
There are a wide variety of courses you can take for continuing ed hours. Anything from aromatherapy to business ethics or even yoga! Take a look at all the different classes offered by different schools and determine which one suits your interests and needs.
Why Should I Seek Continuing Education?
Only if otherwise specified by your state, they are a requirement. But even if they’re not, I highly recommend seeking out a course.
Not only will it further your knowledge of the body, but your clients will feel the difference in your touch. Anytime you put more focus on your technique and understanding of health and the benefits of your work, it shows up in your business. People will always return to a massage therapist who made an improvement in their lives and the highly educated massage therapist will make a definite improvement.
Not only will your clients notice the difference in your touch with more hours of education under your belt, but also a potential employer is more likely to hire you. If you find the spa environment no longer challenging, perhaps a great shift could be to move into the health care field. Physical therapy and chiropractic offices will give you clients with cases that need a strategic plan of action. You will work hand in hand with health care providers to give massage to people who understand it has more benefits than to make them fall asleep. But no matter the direction you take, you can always benefit from more expertise. And sometimes, returning to school can help pump you up in areas you have forgotten!
But Can You Afford Continuing Education?
Absolutely! Depending upon which avenue you wish to pursue, the cost can be very affordable. You can receive 13 hours of training for as low as $35 with www.celmt.com. Considering you only need 24 hours every two years in some states, you would pay $70 in two years and be over your hour requirements.
But even if you wish to take the full 400-hour course with a school like NHI, financial aid is available to interested students.
Just don’t be afraid to look around and find something you’re passionate about—it could change the way you view your career!