The Importance of Posture for Massage Therapists

How Important Is Posture to a Massage Therapist?

It’s ironic that massage therapists—professionals whose goal it is to promote better health and wellness in all their clients—are often the first to suffer from back and muscle problems.

Although massage therapy is often touted as a career where you can relax and be surrounded by serenity for forty hours per week, the truth is that it is physically demanding work. Staying strong through physical activity, yoga, and, yes, even good posture, are all key in avoiding burnout or injuries on the job.

Why Posture Matters

Because massage therapists are on their feet for several hours a day, and because they are physically active (often using all of their strength to perform deep-tissue massage) for just as long, many massage schools now provide classes on using good posture while on the job.

That’s because a massage therapist who puts too much weight on one leg or hip, or one who remains hunched over to reach clients resting on the table, is at a higher risk of repetitive muscle injury or even joint pain related to misalignment.

Muscles that are working hard to adjust to poor posture aren’t able to do the work they were designed to do, and the results include:

  • Poor circulation
  • Contracted muscles
  • Alignment issues
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Energy imbalances
  • Muscular stress and fatigue
  • Poor lymph flow
  • Compromised immunity

What’s interesting about this list is that all of these issues are ones massage therapists are trained to correct. In fact, work-related stress and muscle pain remain two of the biggest reasons people visit massage therapists in the first place.

This is very much a case of the cobbler’s children not having any shoes; massage therapists might spend so much time concerned about their clients’ health that they neglect their own.

What You Can Do to Help

Fortunately, massage therapists are perfectly situated to correct their bad habits and start improving muscle and joint health right away. Some of the key steps include:

  • Staying physically fit (through yoga, pilates, or martial arts)
  • Keeping your feet flat on the ground while working
  • Distributing your weight evenly
  • Taking frequent breaks throughout the day
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Getting in the habit of checking your posture every 15 minutes
  • Scheduling regular massage

Good posture for massage therapists is very much a case of “do as I say AND as I do.” As a leading provider of health information related to body strength and muscle damages, it is your job to keep your own body in good repair. Be a good example, avoid burnout, and do what you can to improve your posture while on the job.


About the Author

Beka C Rebecca Charles, the new "voice" of Massage Schools Guide. By day, a health educator at a rural non-profit, by night, I teach part-time at a local community college, and I spend my weekends in a 1000 hour massage therapy program in New York State.

For me, massage was something that always seemed to be in the back of my mind, but only recently did it really seem to "fit" into my world. I'm looking forward to an exciting transition into a world of massage therapy and all that it has to offer! When not working, teaching, or learning, I live in rural Pennsylvania with my husband (The Suit), our sweet daughter and our 11 year old lab. It's a crazy life and wouldn't trade it for anything!



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