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.