Massage therapy is a rewarding career, but as you have read it requires adequate training and planning, especially if you are starting your own business. Another important aspect to being a successful massage therapist is self care. Using your hands, arms and/or feet to apply pressure to clients can cause wear and tear to fingers, thumbs and wrists. It is vital that massage therapists explore self care methods, to help maintain their own health and ability to perform massage.
Self care for massage therapists can include stretching, strengthening and even massage for the massage therapist. Chiropractic is beneficial for massage therapists as strain or repetitive injuries are common. There are tools available to help promote muscle health for forearms and hands.
Some self care tips for massage therapists:
- Try and keep your back as straight as you can throughout the massage.
- Try and keep your wrists from flexing during a massage.
- Use your leg strength rather than your arms. If your legs are not the first area to feel tired, you are not using proper body mechanics. Have someone watch you or videotape you to see where you are going wrong.
- Do some learning about body mechanics to prevent strain and injury.
- Stretch regularly throughout the day.
- Do not overbook yourself, and remember to take days off and holidays.
- Follow the advice that you give your clients. Eat properly, get regular exercise, drink planty of water and try and have enough sleep.
- Set boundaries regarding massage with your family and friends. It is not rude to ask them to book with you in your clinic space, whether or not you charge them is up to you.
- Get massages yourself, as regularly as you can.
- Set boundaries with your clients. A day off should mean just that, not a day off where you are answering your phone and taking on clients.
- Take care of business during business hours. This way, the end of your day really is the end, and after you are finished you can relax.