Massage Therapy – Continuing Education Isn’t Always Hands On
Most states in the U.S. regulate the practice of therapeutic massage through a process of certification. Many states also have specific massage therapy continuing education requirements for license renewal. Others rely on practitioners to maintain certification on a national level by meeting NCBTMB standards.
In general, a portion of your credits must be earned in person at classes that demonstrate live technique. These workshops are held at chiropractic colleges, massage therapy institutes and holistic health universities. Fitting these classes into your busy work schedule can be challenging. Fortunately, you can also earn a significant percentage of your credits at home.
Ways to Train and Test at Home
Materials for home-based massage therapy continuing education courses usually consist of a textbook/manual, training videos, or a combination of both. Alternatively, the entire course may be presented online incorporating various multi-media features. In either case, you can study at your leisure. This relaxed learning environment allows you to fully absorb the information being presented.
Testing is generally low key involving multiple choice questions, an open book format, and no time limit. The goal is for you to explore the material thoroughly and successfully obtain re-certification. With online testing, a printable certificate of completion showing the credit hours you have earned may be available instantly. Retesting is usually provided if your score is not high enough to pass the first time – this means you don’t have to pay for the whole course twice.
Suitable Courses for Home Study
Ethics is the perfect topic for a distance learning course in massage therapy. Continuing education credits covering current ethical practices are required in many states. This training helps protect you and your clients. Topics may include setting appropriate provider/client boundaries, confidentiality, and professionalism.
Since massage requires physical contact, it never hurts to take a refresher course on avoiding any behavior that might be misconstrued as sexual or inappropriate. Other topics easily covered by a workbook/video include infectious disease control and proper medical or business practices.
Additional Benefits of CE
There is a lot of competition in the field of massage therapy; continuing education sets you apart as a provider who is serious about staying up to date with current advances. Expanding your skill set also allows you to attract a wider customer base. Have you ever wanted to learn more about reflexology or Swedish massage? You can jump start your study of these techniques with a distance learning course.
When you are selecting a program for home study, always check to make sure it meets your state’s requirements. This doesn’t mean you can’t take a course that isn’t on the “approved” list if you find one that interests you. However, it does make sense to prioritize purchasing those that will directly affect your ability to remain certified. For best results, look for products that are endorsed by organizations such as the AMTA, ABMP, and NCBTMB.