Categories
Boise, Idaho Lifestyle Self-improvement for massage therapists

Going Strong – How I Avoided Burn Out as a Massage Therapist

It is an unfortunate fact that most massage therapists burn out and quit the industry after less than 2 years. Right now, whether you have just graduated massage school or have been in the industry for a while I want to share my tips for avoiding burnout.

Self-Care

Image of four women meditating

One of the biggest factors of burnout for me is exhaustion, it absolutely kills my drive and drags my whole week down. Now it may confuse you to learn that the best way to avoid exhaustion is to exercise, something many people associate with being exhausted, however, a consistent workout schedule will not only energize you but will also increase your natural energy reservoir allowing you to expend yourself for longer and more often.

With exercising more often you will also need to keep yourself limber, always stretch before and after your workouts! It helps prevent injury and helps you bounce back quicker after exercising. On the topic of stretching, I have not met anyone who does not recommend yoga, it can be your workout, stretch and meditation wrapped up all into one package! If I could provide you with one tip toward making yourself happier it would be to start regularly doing yoga.

Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

image of a phone that says work for it

A lot of therapists I have met are terrified of increasing their prices, this is because they do not think they provide a service worth paying the higher price for, and honestly, if they believe it, it becomes true. They need to raise the quality of their work to be able to become comfortable with charging more. Keep your attention on providing the best massage to your clients that you can, and they will come out of it ready and willing to make another appointment.

You will want to be able to furnish clients with offers that your competition lacks, building your niche of the market around the specialized massage you can supply. Learning techniques such as Thai massage, Deep tissue, sports, and Reiki can assist in launching your business even further than you could have predicted.

Work Smart

Image of a business man on a phone call

We have all heard “work smarter not harder” so often that most of us probably are more likely to elicit a groan at the pithy quote than to be reminded of its meaning. You do not have to reinvent the wheel; people have been experimenting and have discovered more massage techniques than you could hope to learn in a lifetime. Discovering each of these help with your transition into the “working smarter” side of the saying, however, it can be and is an awfully slow process without help, practice and experiment is the way you will get that desired hands-on experience, however, it is a bad idea to practice brand new techniques on your clients. The greatest way to get this practice in is to locate yourself a massage trading partner! The best group to practice on will be your fellow graduates, you already know them, and it will give them a chance to practice as well. I still have friends that I trade massages with from 10 years ago.

About Eric:

Eric has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2010. He is an expert healer with an alternative approach, and he is dedicated to helping my clients move through a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual transitions in the most efficient and transformative way possible. Now he coaches bodyworkers and health solopreneurs in their journey to fulfillment. Join expert therapists and experience the massage community with his Facebook group: The Happy, Successful Massage Therapist.

Categories
Lifestyle Self-improvement for massage therapists

The Massage Therapist’s Guide to Staying Healthy

Keeping in shape is a vital part of staying competitive in the massage environment. By following my comprehensive guide below, you can stay on the up-and-up with the health game.

Stretch constantly

Yoga is a great way to stretch!
Staying flexible is a goal worth reaching for.

Habitual stretching keeps your muscles limber and your body healthy and prevents your muscles and tendons from tightening over time. Anytime you put a continual strain on your body, your fascia needs a chance to lengthen and regain its natural form. Neglecting to stretch might put you at risk for accidentally spraining a joint or straining a muscle, which is just as unpleasant and painful as it sounds.

Three things to keep in mind when stretching are:

  1. Don’t push yourself too hard. It isn’t a contest, know your limits, and listen to your body.
  2. Don’t bounce when stretching. This can cause more damage. The stretch should be slow and natural, with frequent pauses or retreats if too intense.
  3. Remember to balance your stretching. Match what you do on opposing muscles and both sides of the body.

Have healthy snacks in your studio

Healthy can be tasty too!

It never feels good to be hungry and with the constant energy exertion from massaging, you may find yourself tempted to run to a nearby fast food joint and get something fast & easy. Not only is this extremely unhealthy over time, but it can also be very expensive!

This is a very uncomfortable dilemma for many massage therapists, so I recommend that instead, you think ahead and bring a healthy snack to work. Everyone has dietary preferences, but some great options are high protein snack bars, fruit, and nuts. If you have a fridge available, you can make a batch of work sandwiches or have fresh-cut veggies in water to snack on. Think: Healthy and quick, so you can get the energy you need to get back to work.

Drink plenty of water (even in session!)

Tasty.

Drinking water isn’t just something that your clientele should be doing! Unless you are the Wicked Witch, your water consumption should be mandatory during the course of the workday. Staying hydrated helps keep you at the medically recommended balance of fluid in your body (which is around 60% for the average adult). Keeping this balance has been connected with:

  • Increased brain function
  • A reduction in headaches
  • Improved mood
  • Improved memory
  • Increased weight loss
  • Flushing toxins
  • And the prevention of many skin problems!

The process of giving a massage is a highly physical action so keeping yourself hydrated is especially important!

Take longer breaks in-between clients

Watch the clock, and clock your watch.

You may have noticed that I lampshaded this one in the previous bullets, that is because it is integral in keeping yourself from becoming too stressed. Your breaks should be at a minimum of 20-30 minutes to allow yourself enough time to get your stretches in, rehydrate, munch on a bit of food, and catch your breath. Some therapists love to squeeze appointments in so that there are only 15 min gaps in between clients. I know, because I used to do the same (and still do every once in a while!).

The benefit of the quick turnover is more money in your pocket for the day, but after 10 years of massaging, I realized that an extra bit of cash isn’t worth the detrimental effects. With minimal changeover time, clients feel rushed, you feel stressed, your body breaks down faster and the whole energy of relaxation and calm which massage should embody completely disappears. The short and sweet of it is: if you want a long and healthy life as an LMT, take longer breaks. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Taking the time you need for yourself is perhaps the most important because, in the context of your life and business, the most important body in the room at any time is your own. With that knowledge, you should make sure you are well-taken-care-of so that you can focus on providing value to yourself and your clients so that everyone leaves with a positive experience.

Exercise to build strength

Do you even lift?

Most therapists have terrible exercise schedules. You need to set up your workout routine ASAP and cultivate the habit of healthiness. Regular exertion encourages your body to build up the necessary energy and strength that a massage career requires. The therapists who have the longest careers have figured out what it takes physically and maintain the discipline to avoid injury.

By shifting your workout to focus on increasing your strength, you will not only provide your clients that extra bit of pressure when massaging them but will also avoid feeling drained and exhausted after hours of work. I know a disappointing number of therapists who don’t exercise outside of work, leading to hypertension, muscle tearing, and eventual extensive surgery.

Summary:

Be smart and take care of your body. You only have one.


About Eric:

Eric has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2010. He is an expert healer with an alternative approach, and he is dedicated to helping my clients move through a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual transitions in the most efficient and transformative way possible. Now he coaches bodyworkers and health solopreneurs in their journey to fulfillment. Join expert therapists and experience massage community with his Facebook group: The Happy, Successful Massage Therapist.

Categories
Boise, Idaho Lifestyle

Coronavirus Update: Should I get a massage?

Need a good immune system booster that will give you the edge in fending off the flu and coronavirus? Massages are much more helpful in preventing you from getting sick than gargling vinegar or buying toilet paper.


Protect your body

White bloods cells help your body ward off infection.

Studies have shown that persons who have received massage therapy have more lymphocytes in their blood than before the massage. Lymphocytes are a subtype of white blood cells consisting of T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells.

These T and B cells identify and eliminate bacteria and viruses which plague humans and are our number one predators in the modern age. Natural killer cells are our bodies’ first line of defense against infections and tumors. (Read more about Lymphocytes on Wikipedia) This means that you stand less at risk of getting sick and will be prone to recover faster if your immune cells are healthy.

The benefits of massage, reduced stress and increased white blood cells, could together help your body fend off any potential attacks to its immune system. 

Decrease stress

Massages can help you become happier.
Massages have been shown to decrease depression and increase happiness.

This wave of coronavirus sickness sweeping our planet is definitely causing a lot of stress and worry among everyone. How long will the economy be affected? What will happen to our jobs? When will things get back to normal?

Experts say that increased and unmanaged stress puts your immune system at risk. Stress is the leading cause of depression and increases heart attack risk, neither of which you need right now.

The physical effects of a massage upon a stressful individual are vast and diverse. The perks include such things as:

  • Decreasing blood pressure to healthy levels.
  • Removing harmful toxins from your muscles and tissue.
  • Improving and tightening skin tone.
  • Increased energy levels and focus.
  • Better and deeper rest at night.

An Important Note to Take

Casey White
  • One-on-one contact such as massage poses minimal risk and exposure.
  • Besides the normal surgeon-scrub up-to-the-elbows wash before and after each appointment, I also use sanitized wipes on all surfaces and doorknobs between every client.
  • Hand sanitizer is used after touching the feet and hands and is freely available for use by clients after or during the session.

You should not get a massage if you are sick. Practice social distancing while under the weather and take time to get better. A massage helps your body PREVENT sickness not help your FIGHT sickness. If you become sick before a scheduled massage, I highly recommend contacting me to reschedule for when you are feeling well.


About Eric:

Eric has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2010. He is an expert healer with an alternative approach, and he is dedicated to helping my clients move through a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual transitions in the most efficient and transformative way possible. Now he coaches bodyworkers and health solopreneurs in their journey to fulfillment. Join expert therapists and experience massage community with his Facebook group: The Happy, Successful Massage Therapist.

Categories
Boise, Idaho Lifestyle

Meditation: The Trail to Inner Peace.

For over several thousand years, religions have practiced the art of meditation in seeking to reach inner peace. This seemingly lofty and fanciful goal is not as unattainable as many people make it out to be.


Aspects of effective meditation

Find your special way to meditate.

Meditation is a way for you to calm your body and in turn, calm your mind. Seat yourself comfortably in a quiet environment, whether that is your special place in a local park or a place in your home where you can remain undisturbed, find a spot that is removed from the day to day distractions your generally face.

Focus yourself on your breath, keep it relaxed and slow. Pay attention to each element of your breath; your lungs filling with air, your chest compressing to exhale, etc. While you are focused on breathing you will find that outside thoughts will creep into your mind when they do merely observe that your mind has gone to that place and bring your self back to your breathing. Try visualizing yourself from outside your body, see yourself as calm and at peace.

Pointers for those starting out

Doing yoga is an effective way to meditate.

Your level of energy when you choose to meditate is very important, you should wait at least two hours after eating a meal or consuming caffeine; I recommend you meditate in the mornings and before you go to bed. Before you meditate it is recommended that you prepare the area, for example: changing your phone to airplane mode or, if needed shutting a door or window.

When you start out you may just treat this time as breathing practice, but as you gain experience you might find your self able to meditate during yoga (which is a great form of exercise).

The benefits of meditation

Meditation can help you find your way in trying times.

Meditation is a great way to help reduce stress and anxiety, the regulation in your breathing helps slow your heart rate to a resting pace which has been linked to lessening the compounds in the brain that are caused by anxiety that lead to stress.

There have been links made from meditation to increased emotional awareness, self-esteem and self-image. Studies have shown that meditation even helps you sleep better!

Summary

Meditation is a wonderful tool to calm yourself and will enrich your life when added to your schedule, I cannot endorse meditation enough, it is the ultimate key to living a calm and peaceful life!


About Eric:

Eric has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2010. He is an expert healer with an alternative approach, and he is dedicated to helping my clients move through a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual transitions in the most efficient and transformative way possible. Now he coaches bodyworkers and health solopreneurs in their journey to fulfillment. Join expert therapists and experience massage community with his Facebook group: The Happy, Successful Massage Therapist.

Categories
Boise, Idaho Lifestyle

The Truth of Stretching

One of the most overlooked aspects of exercise is stretching. A before workout stretch is paramount to help avoid injuries, improve your flexibility and increase your range of joint motion. There are dozens of scientific studies backing evidence of the long-term and short-term benefits of stretching.


The Importance of Stretching

Remember to stretch before a run!
Remember to stretch before a run!

Habitual stretching keeps your muscles limber and your body healthy, not staying up with your stretching will cause your muscles to retract and tighten. A majority of jobs require you to remain sedentary for your entire workday, which without proper stretching during breaks will cause back, neck, and leg problems. Not stretching before a workout can lead to injury from pulling or straining a muscle, while also leaving muscles tight and putting you at risk of extreme joint pain.

The Benefits of Stretching

Yoga is a great way to stretch!
Yoga is a great way to stretch!

As noted above a good stretching of the body helps prevent exercise and work-related injuries, but those are only some of the benefits that can be procured by regular and consistently compounding stretches. This is due to the increase in blood flow that stretching provides your body, helps you be more flexible and can even boosting your stamina improving your overall performance. Stretching during your breaks is a good idea too, as it increases your energy level and I personally find that it helps me get back on track to attack work-related issues with renewed vigor.

A balanced stretching supports improving your posture. Poor posture has been directly linked to low self-esteem issues, depression and chronic stress, all of which are forms of mental tension. When paired with breath regulating light exercise, such as yoga, experts say that observed mental tension levels plummet!

Stretching Tips:

  • Don’t push yourself too hard. It isn’t a contest, know your limits.
  • If you have physical injuries you should consult your physician on what stretches are good for you.
  • Don’t bounce when stretching, unless your physician or physical therapist recommends it.
  • Stretching after a workout is good for you too!
  • Remember to balance your stretching, match what you do on the right to the left.

Summary

Taking the time for a correctly executed stretching routine does wonder for the body. Take five to ten minutes every three hours to do a quick stretch, keep your muscles from tensing up and reduce stress. Trust me: the truth of stretching is no stretching of the truth.


About Eric:

Eric has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2010. He is an expert healer with an alternative approach, and he is dedicated to helping my clients move through a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual transitions in the most efficient and transformative way possible. Now he coaches bodyworkers and health solopreneurs in their journey to fulfillment. Join expert therapists and experience massage community with his Facebook group: The Happy, Successful Massage Therapist.

Categories
Boise, Idaho Lifestyle

The Benefits of Drinking Water After Your Massage

One of the biggest mistakes clients make is not drinking enough water before and after a massage. H20 consumption is vital, not only due to the dehydrating process of a massage but also because of the many other benefits drinking water regularly can provide.

Pouring water into a glass
We’re 60% water ourselves.

Drinking water before a massage.

I have found that clients that drink water before a massage are not as stiff as clients who don’t. This is because drinking water allows your muscles to be easier to manipulate and can make the massage more enjoyable. It also helps prepare your muscles to release toxins and negative energy, such as metabolic waste and Lactic acid. I don’t recommend drinking too much water beforehand though as that may interrupt the session with a much-needed trip to the bathroom.

Drinking water after a massage.

A massage is a dehydrating process and evidence supports that rehydrating after a massage is extremely important as it helps you flush out everything that was released from the muscles during the massage. Although most of the toxins will leave your body normally, good ol’ H2O prevents these elements from being partially reabsorbed by your body and building back up quickly. Studies by experts also say that post-massage rehydration also helps prevent soreness on the day afterward, which is why I always offer the client water after a massage to get them started on their water journey.

Drinking water
The rule of thumb is you should drink at least 8 ounces of water a day, but it depends on your size.

Drinking water is good for you!

Staying hydrated will assist you to stay at the appropriate balance of body fluids (60% for the average adult). This is important because drinking enough water may provide some of the following benefits:

  • Increase brain function
  • Stave off headaches
  • Improve mood
  • Improve memory
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Flush toxins
  • Prevents many skin problems

Summary

After you receive your massage, immediately drink a glass of water, additionally, I recommend that when you head back home, you drink another full glass of water. Coconut water is another great way to quickly hydrate, gain vitamins and other health benefits. But nothing beats delicious earth juice (water!).


About Eric:

Eric has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2010. He is an expert healer with an alternative approach, and he is dedicated to helping my clients move through a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual transitions in the most efficient and transformative way possible. Now he coaches bodyworkers and health solopreneurs in their journey to fulfillment. Join expert therapists and experience massage community with his Facebook group: The Happy, Successful Massage Therapist.

Categories
Boise, Idaho Lifestyle

The Importance of Exercise in a Healthy Lifestyle

Exercising is the keystone to living a fulfilled life. Active movement provides benefits such as controlling your body fat ratio, increasing your passive energy levels, helping you sleep better, supplying dopamine and decreasing your chance of a myriad of potential health issues!


The short-term benefits of exercising.

As a massage therapist, I always recommend people get enough exercise.
Jogging on stairs is a great way to trim up that booty!

When you get tired from exercising your brain tells your body to store a little more energy in the future so that you won’t get tired as quickly, and over the course of weeks of exercise, you will have significantly increased your passive energy levels. Getting tired from exercise provides you with another benefit, better sleep! Even a quick workout every day can encourage better sleep patterns as well as give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of your day. When you exercise, your brain produces dopamine, which is a key chemical component in making you feel happy.

The long-term benefits of exercising.

Remember to stretch before a run!
Remember to stretch before a run!

Exercising isn’t all about your body feeling good though, it also helps defend against developing type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, osteoarthritis and many more! That doesn’t even include the inundating amount of research from experts supporting the fact that exercise makes you less likely to get sick.

How much should you exercise?

Most professionals recommend about two and a half hours of exercise at the minimum, spread out over the course of one week. That would only have to be 30 minutes of getting your heart rate up five days of each week. Of course, exercise responsibly. If you have heart conditions or asthma you may want to consult with an expert so find out how must exercise is good for you and remember to hydrate.

So, take a bike ride around the neighborhood, plan on a few laps in the pool or visit a park for a walk! It not only is a great change of pace, but it is also good for you!

Every day I do yoga, get some cardio and weight-lifting in. This provides me with a clear head for work problems and allows me to set an intention for the day.


About Eric:

Eric has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2010. He is an expert healer with an alternative approach, and he is dedicated to helping my clients move through a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual transitions in the most efficient and transformative way possible. Now he coaches bodyworkers and health solopreneurs in their journey to fulfillment. Join expert therapists and experience massage community with his Facebook group: The Happy, Successful Massage Therapist.