Work-Life Balance: How Massage Therapists Beat the Blues

im-so-tired-todayWhen it comes to caring for our clients health, we do all the right things. But just like the cobbler’s children who have no shoes, we massage therapists forget to take care of ourselves sometimes.

Balancing work and life and caring for yourself is important for several reasons. Many people depend on you including your family, friends, co-workers and clients. Your business depends on your strength and stamina. Your future health depends on what you do today to keep healthy and happy.

Even if you are incredibly fit, active, and stress-free, there’s always more to learn! Here are just a few ways massage therapists can improve wellbeing and maintain a healthy work-life balance:

Self-treatment

  • Coca-Cola bottle foot massage: freeze a tennis ball or one of those curvy, old fashioned cola bottles and gently roll your foot over the ball or bottle.
  • Hot tub: soak in a bubbly hot tub and enjoy the relaxing benefits of warm water on your aching muscles.
  • Foam roller: some MT’s complain that foam rollers make them really sore, but others swear by them. Try just applying pressure by sitting or leaning on the foam roller, and then try lightly rolling back and forth on the area to see how much pressure feels right.
  • Rest: simple, yet effective self-care. Let your body heal itself while you sleep or nap.

Exercise

  • Yoga: Do a full body, well balanced (twists, forward bends, backbends, standing poses, hip openers, and savasana) 60 minute yoga class that makes you sweat. It will get the kinks out!
  • Strength training: There are multiple benefits to strength training, such as improving body mechanics and bone health, getting stronger, preventing disease, boosting energy and mood levels, and burning more calories.
  • Active isolated stretching: These quick 2-second stretches provide maximum benefit and easy to do at home or work when you have limited time.
  • Run or walk outdoors: Spend some time getting fresh air, moving your body, and soaking in the sunshine. You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment to do it, so no excuses.

Good stuff in, bad stuff out

  • Eliminate the bad stuff from your diet like sugar, caffeine, and fatty fast food. Try a cleansing routine, such as going gluten-free for six weeks, to see how that affects your mood and energy levels.
  • Drink more water and green tea.
  • Epsom salt bath: soak in a warm bath of 2 cups Epsom salts, 1/2 cup baking soda, and a dash of lavender essential oil. This therapeutic bath will replenish magnesium and relieve the stress of the day.
  • Eat high protein, high fiber breakfast to boost your energy in the morning.

You scratch my back…

Trade massage with a colleague or friend. Offer to set up ongoing treatments for each other and stick with it.
 
You might even consider a reciprocal relationship with a chiropractor or personal trainer. Just make sure there is a trusted relationship and you can rely on the other person to keep up their end of the bargain. 

Change something

One massage therapist describes what he did when he struggled with recurring burnout, fatigue and stress. He made big changes:

  • Get rid of draining clients. He said, “I composed a very professional letter of termination that did not give specific reasons but announced that due to changes in my scheduling I would no longer be able to offer massage to you. It was a huge weight lifted!”
  • Take at least 2 weeks vacation every year. Even if it’s a “stay-cation”
  • Purchase and use Thumbsavers
  • Stop running specials and raise prices on 60 and 90 minute sessions
  • Change schedule to 4 days work, 3 days off
  • Plan for extended time off. This MT planned to take 4-5 years off to teach massage. That way he could stay in the field, but give his body a break.
What kinds of changes at home or work have you made that improved work-life balance for you? Let us know in the comments!

Comments from original Massamio post:

I completely understand what you are saying. All massage therapists need to treat themselves better. I have to raise my prices for the 60 & 90 minute massages. I am also looking at cutting the freebie chair massages or finding a product to sell instead of killing myself in all the events that I do. — Posted @ Wednesday, March 20, 2013 6:02 AM by Vicki Carpenter
Nothing I love more than to treat myself to a good foot massage. That 30 minutes of sheer bliss revitalizes me. — Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 1:17 AM by Rhonda