Massage therapy is a rewarding and caring profession. However, massage therapy is demanding on your mind, body, and soul, making it a that much more of a challenge to stay in top form.
According to Herbert Freudenberger, a German-American psychologist, burnout is a condition of fatigue from work and from feeling overwhelmed by work-related problems. It’s not uncommon for massage therapists to experience burnout some point during their career. Here are six things to consider and put into practice as a future massage therapist which can help prevent burnout.
- Listen to your mind and body first. Always take time for yourself before you begin your massage schedule. Collect your thoughts, eat complete meals, stay hydrated, and exercise. Any form of exercise or physical activity, such as yoga, stretching, and aerobics, reduce your risk of injury. When your mind and body is off, your massage therapy will be too. Your massage therapy is a reflection of you; so, take care of yourself first before taking care of your clients.
- Write a set of rules and guidelines before you begin your practice. Keep them simple, one or two sentences for each, and keep them visible. Post them on your refrigerator and your website, if you have them. This keeps you in control of your practice. It also lets your clients know that you are professional.
- Another way to stay professional is to stay organized. Simple ways to be organized include keeping a calendar, updating client folders regularly, following up on client queries within 24 hours, and using a computer-generated spreadsheet to record expenses. Many therapists may rely on a smart phone to keep organized, but always have a paper backup. Today’s technology, though efficient, isn’t without its quirks.
- Keep up to date on the latest massage therapy techniques. Attend one or two monthly massage seminars. Network with other therapists in your community. Review your books regularly. Subscribe to a few massage therapists blogs or newsletters. Knowing the latest information in massage therapy will keep you on your game.
- Another incentive for keeping up on the latest massage therapy news, is learning what to charge for your services. You should charge a rate that is reasonable but also one that you deserve. Too many therapists under charge for their services to build up clientele and end up resenting clients in the long run. One way to prevent this is to offer a new client discount rate for one, two, or three sessions or to provide a referral rate when clients’ refer friends and family to you.
- Learn to say no when you’re feeling out of balance. In other words, don’t push yourself to work when you need a break. It’s important that you remain professional. Notify scheduled clients a day beforehand if possible. Better yet, schedule regular days off and time away from massage regularly.
Staying in tune with your mind, body, and soul will result in a long and successful career in message therapy!