Given Oregon’s continuing education requirements for massage license renewal, all active massage therapists must regularly add to their professional knowledge. As a leading massage therapy school in Oregon, East West College offers continuing massage therapist schooling for alumni and non-alumni alike. Our continuing education (CE) courses are offered in person, on our NE Portland campus. However, many Oregon LMTs complete their CE hours through online courses. Today we’re comparing the advantages of in-person vs. online courses for massage therapy continuing education.

Advantages of In-Person Continuing Education for Massage Therapy

Support and Accountability. When facing a room full of fellow learners, people are naturally motivated to do their best. In contrast, learning online may make it difficult to stay invested. As Rhodes scholar Adam D. Chandler recalled of his online mathematics studies, “I felt alone and unsupported. I had no one to impress or disappoint. I struggled to stay motivated. A face-to-face meeting in a classroom imposes accountability, inspires effort and promotes academic responsibility.”


–Dialogue between teacher and students. An in-person class is a one-time event that occurs when students and teacher come together. As University of Virginia professor Mark Edmundson recently wrote in a New York Times opinion piece, “In real courses the students and teachers come together and create an immediate and vital community of learning.” Because learning is occurring in-person, the teacher has the chance to read non-verbal cues as to what the students are or are not learning. The “live” aspect of in-person classes creates a unique opportunity for all students to become engaged in the common pursuit of learning.

Hands-on practice. For continuing education massage classes, it’s helpful to have the master there at your side, giving you feedback and maximizing your take-home learning. After all, there is no way for online professors to tell you if your application of that new massage technique is correct.

Advantages of Online Continuing Education for Massage Therapy
Convenience and accessibility. Online courses may be accessed anytime, anywhere an Internet connection is available.

May be less expensive, particularly if you factor in travel costs. Online courses have less overhead cost than in-person classes, so their overall prices may be lower as well.

Flexible scheduling. LMTs’ schedules can vary widely from week to week, according to client appointments. Online classes allow scheduling flexibility.

Learn from well-known teachers from the comfort of your own home. Traveling to see the titans of the massage world is often cost-prohibitive. Online learning puts LMTs in touch with teachers from around the world.

It may be easier for shy students to speak up in an online class. If you suffer from social anxiety, online learning may allow you to more fully participate in your learning. (Then again, if you’re an LMT, you’re probably comfortable with people and happy to take a class with others.)

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to both online and in-person courses. For LMTs in the Portland area, East West College’s in-person classes are available on weekends, at affordable rates. If you’re looking for continuing education for Oregon massage license renewal, we recommend checking out our upcoming workshops.