In this Post: Self-care is important, especially as care givers! Learn 10 self-care tips for massage therapists.
Ever noticed how hard it is to take advice from someone who is not “walking the walk”? A doctor who smokes, a personal trainer who is overweight, or… a stressed-out massage therapist!
As massage therapists a huge part of our job is “talking the talk”, reminding our clients of all the things they can do to maximize results between massage appointments. Encouraging them to stretch, drink lots of water, exercise, get adequate sleep, and all the other things that create a balanced life. It is part of what makes us good therapists. But if we aren’t taking our own advice and living a balanced life, it can be hard for our clients to hear our message.
Not only is making time to practice self-care good for our well-being, it is also good for business!
Massage Therapists Can Demonstrate Good Self-Care Tips To Their Clients
When our clients see that we take our own health and wellness seriously, they will be more inclined to take us as professionals seriously. We elevate the field when we practice what we preach!
In addition, we benefit from all the great rewards of taking care of ourselves. So often we feel we need to reach perfection before preaching self-care benefits. When really the important part is that we are attempting to practice good habits. Perfection is a hard standard! As long as we are taking small, steady action, we can demonstrate to our clients that small steps make huge differences.
10 Self-Care Tips for Massage Therapists
Establish Healthy Boundaries –
As caregivers, we are notorious for putting our own needs last. Without establishing clear and healthy boundaries, we can end up overcommitting and underdelivering. If you made a promise to yourself to finish work by 5:00, energetically you are letting yourself down when you squeeze in on more client at the end of your day. Learning to say no is an important aspect of being a massage therapist, get good at it!
Avoid Overconsumption –
There are so many vices we can participate in alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and sugar, to name just a few. As massage therapists, we want to promote healthy lifestyles to our clients. The healthier the lifestyle, the freer from ailments we can become. By modeling a healthy lifestyle and not abusing these vices, we are showing our clients that we care about our bodies, minds, and spirits. Plus, these vices dull our senses and make it hard to be in touch with what is going on with our clients. As if that isn’t enough, smoke smells, alcohol smells, this is all a massive turnoff to our clients.
Practice Good Body Mechanics –
Nothing takes a toll more than using improper body mechanics.
Table Height –
Make sure that you are working with a table that is the proper height. When a table is too low, you will feel it in your back. Too high, you will feel it in your shoulders. Make sure you are bending at the knees, and relaxing your shoulders down. You may consider getting a hydraulic table, which helps when you have major variances in the size of your clients.
Use Tools –
Find tools to help ease the load on your body. Hot stones are great for loosening stiff tissues before you abuse your hands trying to work out a tricky adhesion.
Use stools –
I know one therapist who refused to use a stool when she does neck work. This seems crazy to me! Instead she squats down and looks terribly uncomfortable while tractioning the head and applying trigger point therapy. Do yourself a favor and work with a stool! You will be able to conserve your energy so much better when you sit! I am such an advocate of stools that I refuse to go to an outcall without my trusty purple stool.
Get Regular Massage –
How can we expect our clients to believe in the benefits of regular massage if we ourselves are not scheduling regular treatments. You may find that trades work well for you, but I have found that all too often trades end up being treated with less respect than a paid session. Therefore, I typically prefer paying for my regular massage work. This way, I know the therapist is giving me their best work.
Develop A Stretching Routine –
Foam rollers, quick stretch breaks, and yoga are our friends!
Establish A Good Sleep Routine –
Sleep is a precious thing, and so often we get too little of it! One great habit is setting a time when all devices must be turned off, that includes television, tablets, and phones. The blue light these devices produce affect our circadian rhythms and make it harder for us to fall asleep. Instead of using your device directly before hitting the sack, try meditation. “The deep relaxation technique has been shown to increase sleep time, improve sleep quality, and make it easier to fall (and stay) asleep.” – according to the Sleep Foundation.
Prioritize Family and Friends –
It is so easy to get into a mindset of fear where we are concerned about having a lack of abundance. Thus we feel we NEED to take every massage that comes through our doors. The truth is, we cannot maintain this kind of pace. We will surely burn out if we don’t find time to nurture family and friends!
Learn New Modalities –
By learning new modalities, we get reenergized towards our profession. We also save ourselves from repetitive use syndrome by switching up the way we use our bodies.
Learning Grounding Techniques –
Becoming centered before a massage can help you avoid absorbing things that are not your own. Check out: 5 Grounding Techniques For Massage Therapists to learn more about how you can specifically protect your energy field from onslaughts.
Get a hobby –
Something that allows your mind a vacation. Maybe this is coloring, riding your bike, or starting a blog. Find an activity that you thoroughly enjoy, one that you can immerse in and let go of all your work concerns. Then make sure to carve time in your schedule to allow for this activity.
When we walk the self-care walk, we are modeling to our clients that we believe in what we preach. This congruency allows us to feel aligned with the mission of health, healing, and well-being. Plus we feel really good! Go get your self-care on and feel good in your body and good in your message.
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
- Certified Fujian Massage through Barefoot Masters
- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008