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In this Post: Injuries as a massage therapist can be detrimental, but the truth is, they sometimes happen. Here are 7 tips for when life disables you as a massage therapist. Because another truth, you will make it through this difficult time!
Update 3/12/20: My heart is heavy as I update this post to reflect our current truth that the coronavirus will affect our ability to work as massage therapists. With so many unknowns, fear and emotions run high! The calmer we can stay, the easier it will be for us to weather this season! Please, keep your chins up and know that this too shall pass.
Please also check out my post: Should I Close My Massage Practice Because of the Coronavirus?
I’m getting ready for work.
My deodorant falls under the bed…
I reach down to get it, and as quickly as I can blink a 2-inch piece of glass from a wine glass I had broken the previous week slides effortlessly into the palm of my hand.
Blood starts spewing.
What a disaster! I have a full day of massages scheduled. What am I to do? My first thought, maybe if I canceled my morning appointments, I can still work on my afternoon clients. I’m delusional! Nine stitches later, I am out of work for at least two weeks.
Sometimes when you cannot work it is expected, like pregnancies or planned surgeries. Other times it hits you out of the blue. With a little preparation, you can turn a potentially disastrous situation into a nice reprieve from an ordinarily chaotic schedule. The following seven tips can set you on the right foot to approach life’s curve balls with grace and ease.
8 Tips For When Life Disables You As A Massage Therapist
1) Plan for these type of emergencies –
Stop living paycheck to paycheck. Have an emergency fund set aside. My favorite tip for this is to treat savings like a bill and never make an excuse not to contribute to this fund. It doesn’t have to start out being a huge amount, just so long as you are consistently contributing to it. I also like to have my emergency savings account at a different bank than my everyday accounts. For me, this creates one more step if I ever wanted to withdraw from the account.
2) Check and see if your place of business has other jobs for you –
If you have a contagious illness, or a severely crippling condition obviously this wouldn’t work, but maybe it is like when I got stitches in my hand. I was disabled, but I could still answer phones, greet customers, and make a mean cup of nettle tea. I couldn’t button my own pants (here is where being able to wear yoga pants to work came in really helpful), but I wasn’t completely useless.
3) Self Care –
Rest. Meditate. Collect on any massage trades you have outstanding. We all know how much massage can help with the healing process. Now is the time to take care of yourself.
4) Catch up –
Remember those taxes you filed an extension on, those changes you wanted to make on your website, that email list that needed tending… Here is the time you have been begging for.
5) Look into Disability Income Insurance Plans –
I am an AMTA member. One of the things that they offer is Disability Income Insurance. I have never actually tried using this so I am not sure how much of a hassle reimbursement may be, but you may want to look into it. For the AMTA plan, if you work at least 20 hours a week and your injury was not self-inflicted, you can receive anywhere from $400-$4000 a month. For more information check out AMTA Disability Income Insurance Plan
6) Contact Creditors –
Contact your creditors. Some creditors may offer deferrals when tragedy arises. What do you have to lose by asking?
7) Get Creative –
Depending on how severely you are injured, you may still be able to work. Just not how you usually work. Try pulling out some of those unusual modalities you learned from your last CE class. The trick is to learn these skills prior to an injury, equip your tool-belt with enough varied techniques to be able to pull from at any given moment. Some examples might include;
- Hot Stone Massage
- Raindrop Technique
- Barefoot Fijian Massage
- Bamboo Massage Sticks
8) Trust that the universe will support you –
Allow yourself to be supported. Accept that home cooked meal, let a friend pick up your kiddos, and enjoy when your receptionist braids your hair because you cannot. You won’t be in this position forever. And the next time someone needs a helping hand you can be the first to volunteer.
So the next time you slam your finger in the car door, have emergency hemorrhoid surgery, or your kiddo is home sick with a virus, remember it is not the end of the world. There are things you CAN still do! And for those you can’t, well, no use focusing there!
- 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
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