When it comes to selecting continuing education for massage therapy, different therapists have different goals. Some take CE classes simply because they must to renew their license. (Here in Oregon, the state board of massage therapists requires 25 hours of continuing education at the time of license renewal.) Others enjoy the support and camaraderie of learning with other LMTs. Today we’re examining a third motivation for massage therapy continuing education: Building your massage business.

For those with stable positions in spas, hospitals, or chiropractic offices, managers will likely recommend CE classes that will suit the position. Therefore, freelance massage therapists with their own independent businesses will likely value this type of continuing education course.

Here are a ways to build an independent therapy business through massage continuing education courses:

1) Ask your Clients what they Want and Take Classes in Those Areas.
Customer research is an excellent way to select a CE course. If your current clients are yearning for a certain modality that you currently don’t offer, there’s a good chance you can attract new business with a CE in that area. For instance, if you provide Swedish massage to your current clients, but they consistently ask you about hot stone massage, a CE course in hot stone massage would be a natural choice. There are many ways to find out what your clients want: By asking them in person, through email surveys, through a quick pop quiz on your website, through an informal poll on Facebook, etc.

2) Scan Job Listings for Therapy Styles that Local Businesses Value.
Spas and medical massage locations tend to do their own market research on what local clients want. And they know to post jobs with those modalities listed. Adding CEs in those areas can not only make you a more attractive candidate for those jobs—it can also make you a more appealing massage therapist for the general population in your area.

3) Select Courses that You are Passionate About. Joseph Campbell famously advised, “Follow your bliss.” Continuing education is an opportunity to follow what your heart and mind are drawn toward. For instance, if you love working with pregnant women, a prenatal CE course is a great idea. When massage therapists are fired up about what they do, that passion is communicated to clients, who, in turn, are more compelled to pay for massage therapy.

While online self-study courses are quite convenient, they are not always the most effective way to learn. That’s why we support our alumni with a plethora of on-campus continuing education courses. To find a CE course that will feed your passion for massage and grow your independent massage business, check out our current listings of massage continuing education workshops.