MASSAGE THERAPY RISK FACTORS YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER. Avoid burn out and make the money you want.

body mechanics self care Feb 26, 2022

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, massage therapist, have control over 4 of the 5 risk factors that lead to injury.  

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:

  1.  Force...
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SELF CARE FOR THE MASSAGE THERAPIST Part two Self-Care ideas and tips for success

self care Jan 25, 2022

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...

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self care Jan 24, 2022

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...

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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. 


Work up to maximum clients

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...

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MASSAGE THERAPIST LOW BACK PAIN TREATMENT AND PREVENTION Self Care for in between clients and at the end of your workday.

As massage therapists, we work with clients using our bodies all day long to provide relief and relaxation to others.  

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.  

Why is your back hurting?

Improper table height

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.  

Weak core...

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self care Apr 03, 2021
Welcome to another video on self-care.  Today's video will show different self-care tool ideas for the massage therapist to use at home or between clients to manage aches and pains.  
This video accompanies another blog post which talks about how and when to use some of these ideas.  
Find one or two favorite ideas here for your own self-care to stop those aches before they become injuries. 
Many of these ideas can be recommended to clients as well for homework to support your goals in session. 
I'm going to go through a lot of self-care tool ideas, I seem to have accumulated a lot over the years.  These are all things that we used in my clinic or things that I've used for myself in my own athletics or just things I've picked up along the way. 
[ As an Amazon Associate I may receive a small commission on sales made through links here.  I only list items I have personally used and would...
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body mechanics self care Mar 25, 2021

Hands, we can't massage without them. 

It's easy to overuse hands during a workday, and then they are still needed for everything we do after work.  We need our hands for all aspects of life and daily activities. 

A weekend gardening project, painting a room in the house, or trimming a tree all use the same muscles massage therapists use while working.  Those are sporadic activities, but what about a massage therapist's hobby that requires hand repetitive movements?   Playing the piano or guitar, knitting or crocheting, sewing, gardening are all movements that wouldn't give the hands the rest they need. 

When your chosen profession and the activities you love require hands to have extra care, here are the top five ways to provide excellent self care to your hands. 

1.  Manage your work schedule

Being self-employed brings a different set of scheduling challenges than therapists who have someone else writing their schedule. 


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self care Mar 18, 2021

Massage therapists know hands are their most important asset.  Education, intuition, and experience are nothing without the tools to carry out the massage session.  Protecting and caring for these important tools is never more important than when they start to hurt.  Here are some self-care ideas for the massage therapist's hands that therapists can do between clients or at home to prevent and care for hand pain.

1.  Hand Shake

This rapid shaking of the hands rejuvenates tiered hands and only takes 20-30 seconds.  Holding the hands out in front of you, elbows bent, shake hands back and forth with loose wrists very quickly.  Watch a video here. 

2.  Ice massage

Ice cubes in a bag or water frozen in a paper cup are all you need for a quick ice massage on your hands and forearms.  The two best places to concentrate the ice massage as self-care are at the thenar eminence and at the elbow's tendons, where tendonitis begins.  The inner...

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MASSAGE THERAPIST SELF CARE ROUTINE Self care program for massage therapists

self care Feb 24, 2021

As a massage therapist, you know how it feels after a full day at work.  It's fulfilling because you helped a lot of people and made good money, but your body is TIRED. 

It's more than tired; your hands hurt, your low back needs an hour of yoga, and your thumbs feel like they're going to fall off. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating, but you're familiar with the aches and pains. Am I right?

Let's look at some perfect massage therapist self-care routine ideas you can implement to feel better today.

Massage therapist self-care routine idea #1

Ice- your overused hands need this

You probably recommend icing to your clients, so it's time to practice what you preach.  That fatigue you feel in your hands, neck, back . . . you fill in the blank, is from overuse.

Two main reasons you feel this are poor body mechanics in that area and/or lack of strength and conditioning in that area to complete the workload you're asking of it.   

There is some good information about using...

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ELBOW PAIN IN MASSAGE THERAPISTS Why it's happening and self care

body mechanics self care Feb 10, 2021

Massage therapists use their hands and other parts of their arms all day giving massage so when elbow pain starts it's an all hands on deck moment. 

Really, the prevention should have started long before the pain shows up.

Knowledge is power so let's look at why the elbow pain is happening and then how we can prevent and treat it.

Why massage therapists get elbow pain

The short answer is poor body mechanics but that doesn't help you unless you know what you are doing that's causing the pain.

Massage therapists use their hands A LOT during a massage session.  Hands are our main tool.  

You should be using other tools at least 40% of the massage but if you're determined to use your hands, let's see the specific reasons why the elbow pain starts. 

Petrissage and Kneading

While you are using petrissage be aware that your wrists are staying neutral. 

  • any wrist flexion puts a strain on the tendons of the elbow

When kneading, aim to knead without a lot of...

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