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Top ten free online courses for massage therapists

Top ten free online courses for massage therapists

There is lots to learn throughout your career as a massage therapist and refreshing your knowledge or learning new skills can quickly rack up a large bill! 

Below we have outlined our top ten online courses you can access for free to boost your knowledge of anatomy, business or take on a new challenge! If you a massage therapist based in the UK you can enrol in these programs easily just by creating a free account with the platforms which host them!


Master anatomy 


1. Musculoskeletal Cases - Harvard University 


Sneak behind the scenes in the clinical faculty at Harvard Medical School to learn about several musculoskeletal injuries commonly seen by surgeons. Follow each case from initial examination through to insights in a virtual operating room to observe surgeries narrated by experts in their field. A word of warning this course contains images and videos of cadaver dissection, that some people may find difficult to watch. 


2. Anatomy: Human Neuroanatomy - University of Michigan 


Get to grips with the central and peripheral nervous systems in this great course from the University of Michigan. With a commitment of just 3 hours a week over 8 weeks, you will learn about basic neuroanatomy, sensory pathways, motor pathways and the autonomic nervous system. Understand how the brain and spinal cord control the muscles, how sensory information enters the brain and study the names and functions of the cranial nerves all through an interactive system of lecture videos and quizzes.  


3. Preventing Chronic Pain: A Human Systems Approach - University of Minnesota 


This in-depth look at chronic pain covers the scope and impact of chronic pain and will enable students to recognise the characteristics and underlying causes of several common chronic pain conditions. As well as gaining a comprehensive understanding, the course also provides specific strategies which can be integrated into daily life to prevent chronic pain and enhance wellbeing


4. Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise - University of Toronto 


This introduction is great for therapists who are interested in possibly branching out into sports massage or for therapists interested in helping patients with cancer or arthritis. Over six weeks participants will look at the role exercise plays in Cardiovascular Disease, Osteoporosis, Cancer, Common Sports Injuries and Arthritis and gives useful tips for improving wellbeing whilst living with these conditions. 


5. Introduction to Health and Wellness - Arizona State University


Making sure you can take care of yourself as you build your career as a massage therapist is vital. Over 8 weeks participants on this course can develop healthy habits tackling the following topics:  


  • Assess your personal health
  • Introduction to population health as well as national and global health targets
  • Nutrition for lifelong health
  • Improving fitness
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Assessing health information
  • Handling stress
  • Healthy sleep patterns
  • Lowering the risk of infectious illness
  • Reducing risk of chronic disease 



Build your business 


1. Marketing Fundamentals - Babson


Get to grips with the basics of marketing with this great short course from the Babson. Identify who your target audience is and learn how you can accurately respond to their needs. First, read how you can earn more money for fewer treatments by focusing on a specific group and marketing yourself as a specialist. Contemplate what niche you would like to tackle and then create your marketing strategy with this quick online course. 



2. How to Start Your Own Business - Michigan State University


Do you know the basics of business but never seem to get new ideas off the ground? Perfect if you are looking to explore a new niche or starting out in a new town this step-by-step guide will walk through everything you need to actually get your idea off the ground! From defining your idea, planning a strategy and taking action! 


3.The Science of Happiness at Work - Berkley University

This short course from Berkley University lays out the scientific benefits of a happy organisation and is great for bosses who want to learn how to test their businesses' happiness levels. With strategies to help build better professional relationships and resilience to stress, this a worthwhile exercise even for self-employed massage therapists. 



Taking on a niche 


We have spoken about the importance of establishing yourself as a specialist to prolong your career as a massage therapist and for your massage therapy business to work smarter and not harder. You can check out our full list of suggestions which include working with conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia and mental health here. The courses below can help you feel confident in taking on these niches and be confident in knowing you can serve your community by delivering amazing massage treatments! 


1. CARE: Promotion of Healthy Ageing - Karolinska Institute 


Those wanting to help older clients can feel confident when approaching GPs and other health professionals after taking this short course. Learn more about the factors needed to assist people in healthy ageing and the cognitive, emotional and social support that can make a huge difference. This course also includes some information regarding the latest trends in dementia prevention and how to help clients build healthy habits.  


2. Mental Health - Open Learn


With as many as one in four adults experiencing a mental health challenge at some point in their lives, this can be a really rewarding niche to explore. Massage can really assist people living with conditions like anxiety and depression, reducing cortisol and helping clients with other techniques to connect them with their bodies. This short course takes only 2 hours to complete and afterwards as well as feeling assured their work is having a positive impact massage therapists can feel confident in their understanding of mental health, the stigma that surrounds it and how to be an advocate for change. 


Are there any online courses we didn't mention that you found useful as you developed your career as a massage therapist? Let us know on our Facebook thread

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