Taking a Break From Massage

Break From Massage

The Importance of Allowing Yourself A Break As A Massage Therapist

For those non-Massage Therapists who are constantly flabbergasted by our accounts of doing five, eight, eleven massages a day, we may seem a little superhero-like to the rest of the humans.

But think back to when you first started massage school, and it seemed impossible that the instructor was expecting you to go home on Monday night and do three, yes three!, massages before class on Wednesday? Is he crazy?!?

Even our clinic intern hours seemed to be never-ending and utterly draining when we were just massage-babies! And now you’re doing an average of nine 60-minute massages per day?

What About Fatigue?

Yes, your body ~ and mind, and spirit ~ are more conditioned to the rigorous demands of your work, but you are still the same person you were all those months, years, decades ago. You are still susceptible to fatigue and overuse.

You can still become overwhelmed by the needs of a client on your table. And you can still burn out…like so many talented and dedicated bodyworkers sadly do.

In short, you are still human, no matter how many massages you can crank out in a day.

When you’re working to your extreme, quality becomes a concern, and the number of sessions isn’t always the most effective indicator of decreased quality potential.

While you aren’t really bothered by not having time for bathroom breaks between each client, another therapist might have to find another job because this condition is a detriment to his health and functionality. Every massage therapist is different, and will be affected by various influences in the work environment.

To ensure your sustained ability to work optimally, you will need to identify what your limitations are, and learn to effectively eliminate or decrease them in your professional life.

Allow yourself time to breathe, renew, refresh, regenerate…

Sit down in a quiet space to eat a healthy and nourishing lunch with a cup of hot tea and a book, instead of running to the corner store, grabbing something vaguely food-like wrapped in cellophane, and cramming it in your mouth while you rush back to work, simultaneously checking your voicemail and planning dinner in the back of your mind.

Try different approaches to the way you work, and keep a journal-style record of how you felt, what your mood was like, how attentive you were, interactions with your clients, noticeable changes, etc.

It’s so easy to be distracted by life while we’re trying to live it, but the inherent value in that very same life is being able to step away from it ~ even for a moment of stillness ~ to objectively enjoy the substance of your existence, with the realization that you have become intimately attune to yourself.

Stop To Smell The Flowers

It is, in essence, the spiritual equivalent of stopping to smell the flowers. And if we neglect to do that as often as our spirit deems it necessary, we will inevitably succumb to that neglect as we move farther and farther away from the quality within those moments.

We all have our challenging days, and most times it’s worth enduring a few difficult shifts every once and again to stay in our jobs. Day after day, we strive to achieve so many objectives, yet the inattention to our own selves is most often the source of our conflict. We erroneously measure ourselves against others, and in turn expect unrealistic results.

We all need those days when one of our clients brings us an unexpected cup of tea because she stopped to get herself one on the way to her appointment.

We all need to kick back in our mental hammocks, reflecting on ourselves and the journey of our lives, taking time to allow our day’s experiences to upload organically.

We all need to remove the cape and tights, if just for a moment, to acknowledge and appreciate the vulnerabilities that make us human.

Without those moments, our tenure as healers will be as fleeting as those delicate spring blossoms, just waiting to be cherished before the heat of summer carries them away…

So, take a deep breath, clear out the clutter, and enjoy a moment of whole-being stillness. And don’t worry, you can return to your life just where you left it…right after the break.




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