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I view my career as a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) as a gift that has continuously fulfilled me for more than 20 years now, despite any previous worry I may have had about time, money, and effort.
That’s why I view enrolling and graduating from the Atlanta School of Massage in 2001 as one of the most worthwhile decisions of my massage therapy career path. All the teachers were patient, caring, and interested in each student’s success.
The massage therapy training I received at ASM as a Neuromuscular Therapist has served me well throughout the years, including working with various patients, ranging from office workers to athletes, and continues to serve me now, as the CEO of the largest corporate chair massage business in Maryland.
However, like with any career, the challenges in the massage therapy profession should be considered. Let me share them with you now, as a life-long student of massage!
Patient Communication: Because you’re dealing with various populations in a healthcare setting, communication between the massage therapist and patient is crucial for both professional and safety reasons.
As such, massage therapists should be open, flexible, and ready to offer a quality massage treatment every session. That’s why it is important to pay attention to the physical areas mentioned during the client intake, which will let you know the top areas of concern for each client.
When giving a massage, offer a light, medium, or heavy pressure massage to the client’s preference, NOT what you think it should be (e.g., using a deeper pressure than the client can tolerate, or softer pressure, because your day has been busy). As a general rule, the right pressure per the client is always the BEST pressure to use.
Self-Care: Regularly giving massage treatments can take a toll on the body. As such, practicing self-care is crucial to thriving as a professional massage therapist. ALWAYS know your physical limits and be mindful of the total number of bodywork hours that you can offer. This is especially important if you regularly practice a modality that is taxing on the hands and fingers, like chair massage, since they are the main tools of the profession.
Self-care is something that should be practiced before, during, and after work hours. For example, prepare for your shift with light protein snacks.
Before your shift, you can prepare your body to have more energy by consuming light protein snacks; protein also helps with muscle recovery. If you are working longer shifts, remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Since there is no way to escape some bodily wear and tear, make sure that you schedule regular massage therapy for yourself. I recommend making and setting re-occurring massage treatments into your regular schedule.
Career-Advancement: Unlike traditional jobs, most massage therapy career paths do not include some sort of “corporate ladder” to climb. As such, each massage therapist is ultimately responsible for his/her career advancement. This begins by asking: “what do I want my massage therapy career to look like?” Knowing the answer to this question will give you the confidence to break down your career goals into actionable steps that will layout the job path towards a more fulfilling career and lifestyle.
While every massage therapy career path is unique, there are some habits and routines that every successful massage therapist practices.
For starters, successful massage therapists see themselves as life-long students; they value learning and continuously invest in their massage therapy education. They frequently take Continuing Education classes (CEUs) to add their overall set of skills or pursue a particular specialization.
Not only does this satisfy their desire to learn, but it also helps them stand apart when applying for competitive job positions or promoting their business.
Massage education extends beyond the formal classroom. That’s why it’s important to seek and connect with “like-minded massage therapists” that have the same work ethic and passion that you do. Many social media platforms offer lively discussions that can be of help and interest to both new and veteran massage therapists.
A major part of career advancement includes learning about yourself, knowing what you value, and which sacrifices you’re willing to make. For example, I have had to let go of clients in the past when I felt that we were unable to work together for optimum health, and I advocate building a client base that values and honors your time and talent.
While there are many challenges to being a massage therapist, the best piece of advice I can give you is to breathe, relax and enjoy the gift you have been given as a healer!
If you’re ready to take the first step towards a rewarding career in massage therapy, contact the Atlanta School of Massage at 770-454-7167 or download your free career guide below!
|Day Program: March 13, 2023||Weeknight Program: June 5, 2023|