You CAN massage as long as you want. With the current number of injured therapists rising, the need for awareness around body mechanics and self-care is increasingly important. In a recent study, 83% of massage therapists reported work-related pain in the wrist or thumb at some point during their careers.
The Massage Therapy Foundation has an ongoing Ergonomics Project which was explained in a podcast I happened upon this morning.
Here is my synopsis of the podcast.
You have control over EVERYTHING but genetics. If you were born with scoliosis, for example, your massage career health may require more attention than someone without a genetic health condition.
So what can you control?
According to Stefan Shulz from Briotix, the 5 risk factors their company uses to determine a risk profile for any profession are:
When does soup hit the spot? When it's cold outside and you can make a healthy high-fiber, vegetable soup in minutes. Try a quick, healthy breakfast idea here.
I used this soup recipe while Triathalon training but still make it now. I serve it to guests and everyone loves it, even the meat lovers. This recipe is vegetarian-friendly.
One great thing about this soup is you don't need fresh cauliflower on hand to make it. A frozen bag of cauliflower can always be waiting in your freezer. With just a few ingredients, which you probably already have, it can be ready in about 15 minutes.
Ready in 15 minutes
Welcome back to our discussion on self care for massage therapists. After defining what self care is exactly in part one, and talking about why it's important for massage therapists and how it will make you more money, we get to move on to giving you different ideas for self care. These examples vary widely and what works for me might not work for you. Actually, I’ve had people say they don’t know what to do for self care. They haven’t found “that thing” that really fills their cup. This is why I’ve included a worksheet (you can find the link at the end of this post) to help you find YOUR PERFECT self care.
Self-care comes in many forms but what some try to say is self-care is really glorified activities of daily living.
Self-care vs. activities of daily living
Getting a massage for yourself vs. taking a shower
While that hot shower might relax you, it’s not quite the same as laying on the massage...
Self care is talked about everywhere. You can google self care and it’s related to everything from fitness to mental health. There are articles on how to use self care that doesn’t take much money, and self care to avoid burnout. But what is it exactly? Is it simply doing something you like or is it more than that? Is self care being selfish because it takes us away from other obligations? Mothers, you know what I’m talking about.
We can look at the term self care and define it as, any activity we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.
In other words, self care needs to be something you actively plan rather than something that just happens, like taking a shower. Now, I remember the days I had newborns in the house and taking a shower DID seems like self care but as massage therapists, our self care needs to run deeper than that.
Self-care as a massage therapist isn’t...
We’ve all wanted to lose weight at some point but without the negative result of decreased energy levels. Is there a formula for losing weight AND avoiding sluggishness? Yes!
Let’s take a look at how the body uses energy (calories) and which foods give your body the greatest energy source.
According to the energy balance equation, equal amounts of calories in and calories out result in steady weight. To lose weight then, expend more than you eat. This is a simplified statement but after watering down all the science it holds true.
Carbs are a food source to gain energy. Your body gains (food) energy when you intake more energy (food) through your diet than you expend through physical activity. That’s why the main point of most diets is to limit your energy intake by counting carbs or calories.
Diets in years past were about counting calories or limiting...
The massage industry has been reported as having one of the highest rates of burn-out within the first 2 years of entering the field. Let's look at some ways to keep yourself in tip-top shape and avoid the path to burn-out.
There are a good number of places to work right out of school to gain experience if you choose that route BUT remember to work up to a full schedule. It’s never wise to jump into a river before knowing how fast the current is.
Massage school taught you how to massage but no school can duplicate the number of hours you will find working full time in a busy spa, chiropractor’s office, or massage chain. Too many clients too soon is a sure way to get injured. It’s similar to training for an athletic event. You want to increase the workload you ask of your body over time.
Set a boundary for the maximum number of clients you can see a day and talk with your employer about it. If they aren’t...
Macronutrients became the new “counting calories” wave of the nutrition and fitness industry a while ago. The difference is the attention paid to what types of foods are eaten, in the correct amounts. We will look at what macros are, how much of each you should be eating, and which foods count for which macro.
Macronutrients are the nutrient parts of food the body needs for energy. These carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are the nutrients you use in the largest amounts.
A healthy diet should include all three macros and with awareness eat them in the correct quantities.
Carbohydrates - 45-65%
Proteins - 10-35%
Fat - 20-35%
Pick your ratio based on body type, goals, activity level, and medical history.
If you are an endurance athlete, you will need more carbohydrates, where Keto...
How important is core strength for massage therapists?
Can it make a good massage therapist better?
Core strength has nothing to do with your skill as a massage therapist right?
BUT a stronger core will allow you to share your talents with more clients and save your back from painful workdays.
A strong core will:
1. Build your endurance so you can complete more massages in a day
2. Improve your body mechanics and stability for those deep tissue, sports massage sessions, and hard to work on clients
3. Prevent suffering from back pain while working and after long days on your feet
This exercise is a good starting block to build your ab strength with, the basic crunch.
The important thing is to use good form and do them correctly.
At times, our own body's signs of fatigue go overlooked until we feel pain or discomfort. Low back pain or tightness can really hinder our focus on clients and make our massage less than great.
The first signs of back tightness may be because your table height is off. When working with a table that is too low, it's easy to slouch or bend forward towards our work on the table instead of getting lower in our stance using legs.
Always check your table height at the beginning of your day and make adjustments. The rule of thumb for table height is when standing next to the table with a loose fist, your first knuckles should just brush the top of the table.
Another possibility contributing to your low back pain is a weak or unengaged core.
In Southern California, there is no shortage of Mexican food restaurants and you don't have to drive far for a taco shop. We love our Mexican food and a platter of loaded nachos with a good margarita or Corona is always fun to share with a group.
I'm always looking for a substitute for the chips in the nachos because they are the one thing that takes an otherwise healthy meal to unhealthy.
Sweet potatoes, in place of chips, can be thinly sliced and crisped in the oven before adding the rest of the toppings.
Use all the fresh toppings you want. It's an easy-to-make meal that only requires a bit of chopping and slicing.