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Hello, I am designing a preliminary research study to investigate working conditions, career longevity and job satisfaction of working MT's. Of particular interest is learning why so many MT's leave the field within a few years. Of course common sense and personal experiences can provide clues and reasonable opinions, but I want to conduct large-scale, legitimate research on this topic. If we can gain more insight into the "why" questions, we'll know more about what to do about it--we'll be more successful in developing strategies for improving training and working realities for MT's; thus, the quality of massage therapy available to the public. I am looking for your comments, insights, and ideas on this question.  I look forward to hearing about your experiences with being an MT. Specifically, what has been challenging or difficult for you? What do you think would improve conditions for you as an MT? Do you have any general insights relevant to the question of why such a high percentage of MT's leave the field within a few years.  I believe that by studying this in a formal way, we will find information that could improve the experience of working in this field for all of us.Thanks, Gabriella

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Hello.  I am a recent graduate.  And have been working as a LMT for about 6 months now.  I am going to answer using the little bit of work experience I have and from talking to other LMT's.  I think the biggest problems are isolation, injuries and lack of pay.  At least that is what I have witnessed. 

Salary- The LMT's that are working for someone else is basically what I am talking about here.  I make a decent hourly wage IF I have a client on the table.  But if I have cancellations throughout the day I am sitting there on the clock for free.  I am pretty lucky to usually have a full schedule but not always.  I do not get any paid breaks.  So that can make for a long day when I am not able to eat or take a few minutes to sit, stretch or whatever.  And at the end of the day I am starving, worn out and just drained.  A half hour break to rest and fuel up my body would make a huge difference!  There is no way I could work full time like that.  And Paid vacation, sick days or anything along those lines.... HA! 

Injuries- don't really need to explain this one.  But repetitive stress injuries is common.  I know that self-care is important and I do try to do little things throughout my work day and afterwards to prevent injury.  It would be nice if we were able to get even one free massage a month.  I also think that schools do need to do a better job teaching how to use your forearm and elbow during a massage.  Spend more time teaching self care.

Isolation- Yes, I see clients all day long and have bits of conversation here and there.  But it's more of the feeling like I am left out of the loop.  I work in an office with other LMT's, doctors and office workers but it's rare that I have time during the day to carry on a conversation with any of them.  I hardly know what the heck is going on in the work place.  So I feel like I am left out.  I don't have "work friends".  It's difficult to really find time to bond with anyone.  It would be nice to chat, share a joke, vent about something that is frustrating or whatever throughout the day.  I think that would help keep MY spirits up and re-energize me as well.  If that makes any sense. 

 

 

Yea, just one notch above a set of hot packs.  Its set up for that...A short career span.  But if you knew what I know now...You wouldn't feel like that.  Listen Jimswife.  Within you is a healing power thats far more effective then you or your co-workers know..  You just dont realize it yet... If we were taught in a real way, you would be the busiest one in your office. They would run to you if they got carpal tunnel, thats for sure, even if they were a medical doctor.

Jimswife said:

Hello.  I am a recent graduate.  And have been working as a LMT for about 6 months now.  I am going to answer using the little bit of work experience I have and from talking to other LMT's.  I think the biggest problems are isolation, injuries and lack of pay.  At least that is what I have witnessed. 

Salary- The LMT's that are working for someone else is basically what I am talking about here.  I make a decent hourly wage IF I have a client on the table.  But if I have cancellations throughout the day I am sitting there on the clock for free.  I am pretty lucky to usually have a full schedule but not always.  I do not get any paid breaks.  So that can make for a long day when I am not able to eat or take a few minutes to sit, stretch or whatever.  And at the end of the day I am starving, worn out and just drained.  A half hour break to rest and fuel up my body would make a huge difference!  There is no way I could work full time like that.  And Paid vacation, sick days or anything along those lines.... HA! 

Injuries- don't really need to explain this one.  But repetitive stress injuries is common.  I know that self-care is important and I do try to do little things throughout my work day and afterwards to prevent injury.  It would be nice if we were able to get even one free massage a month.  I also think that schools do need to do a better job teaching how to use your forearm and elbow during a massage.  Spend more time teaching self care.

Isolation- Yes, I see clients all day long and have bits of conversation here and there.  But it's more of the feeling like I am left out of the loop.  I work in an office with other LMT's, doctors and office workers but it's rare that I have time during the day to carry on a conversation with any of them.  I hardly know what the heck is going on in the work place.  So I feel like I am left out.  I don't have "work friends".  It's difficult to really find time to bond with anyone.  It would be nice to chat, share a joke, vent about something that is frustrating or whatever throughout the day.  I think that would help keep MY spirits up and re-energize me as well.  If that makes any sense. 

 

 

Hello JW,

You make excellent points. I hear the issues you raise so frequently by MT's early in their careers, and it's really painful to hear. I'm glad yo have such clarity about it, and an awareness of some of the things you can do to take good care of yourself.

Good luck to you, hang in there! Thanks for sharing your insight, Gabriella  

Jimswife said:

Hello.  I am a recent graduate.  And have been working as a LMT for about 6 months now.  I am going to answer using the little bit of work experience I have and from talking to other LMT's.  I think the biggest problems are isolation, injuries and lack of pay.  At least that is what I have witnessed. 

Salary- The LMT's that are working for someone else is basically what I am talking about here.  I make a decent hourly wage IF I have a client on the table.  But if I have cancellations throughout the day I am sitting there on the clock for free.  I am pretty lucky to usually have a full schedule but not always.  I do not get any paid breaks.  So that can make for a long day when I am not able to eat or take a few minutes to sit, stretch or whatever.  And at the end of the day I am starving, worn out and just drained.  A half hour break to rest and fuel up my body would make a huge difference!  There is no way I could work full time like that.  And Paid vacation, sick days or anything along those lines.... HA! 

Injuries- don't really need to explain this one.  But repetitive stress injuries is common.  I know that self-care is important and I do try to do little things throughout my work day and afterwards to prevent injury.  It would be nice if we were able to get even one free massage a month.  I also think that schools do need to do a better job teaching how to use your forearm and elbow during a massage.  Spend more time teaching self care.

Isolation- Yes, I see clients all day long and have bits of conversation here and there.  But it's more of the feeling like I am left out of the loop.  I work in an office with other LMT's, doctors and office workers but it's rare that I have time during the day to carry on a conversation with any of them.  I hardly know what the heck is going on in the work place.  So I feel like I am left out.  I don't have "work friends".  It's difficult to really find time to bond with anyone.  It would be nice to chat, share a joke, vent about something that is frustrating or whatever throughout the day.  I think that would help keep MY spirits up and re-energize me as well.  If that makes any sense. 

 

 

Aloha Jimswife,

 

Thank you for sharing your situation and your insights as a new massage therapist.  

If you are willing, please tell  us whether (1)  you like being a massage therapist and whether (2)  you would like to continue working as a massage therapists for years to come.

 

Taking care of yourself and getting your needs met is entirely possible, and probably possibly even in your current job.  You are responsible for this "project".  Making it happen takes willingness, energy and committment on your part.  Identifying your needs in writing as you have in this forum is a good start.  The next step is to take the required steps to meet your needs.  If you don't follow through, the chance of burnout is extremely high.

 

Schedule and breaks: Tell your employer how often you need breaks, and for how long.  All day with no break doesn't work for either therapist or the client.  Who wants to be the client of an exhausted therapist?  Be willing to be in conversation with your employer about this subject, even if the conversation is a  uncomfortable and/or takes work.

Repetitive use injuries result from compromised body mechanics.   As an instructor both in massage schools and in massage continuing ed classes, my experience is that most of us massage therapists could develop better use of our bodies.  Doing so requires work and attention, and often requires getting help from an expert.    With good use of our bodies we can have a long career using our hands.  We don't need to switch to lots of  forearm use. oh yes.... developing and maintaining good use of our body requires ongoing work and attention forever.  There's no end to this project.

Support: If you are not getting the "connection support" you desire at work, it's up to you to find it elsewhere. Find or create a support group of massage therapists.  These groups are often called "supervision groups".  If you need help figuring out how to find/start a support group, just start a discussion on this forum.  You'll get lots of ideas.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly,  I second what Gordon said, "Within you is a healing power thats far more effective then you or your co-workers know."   Get in touch with your ability to heal, or to support healing.  If you are already in touch with it, learn more about it, develop it further.   Feeling this ability within myself is what motivates me to take the sometimes hard steps to make all the other details  - such as schedule, injury prevention and projessional support - work.  

 

You have the gift of healing touch.  My hope is that you'll do all that is necessary to nurture and develop this gift.

 

Aloha,

Barbara Helynn Heard

www.lomilomi-massage.org

 

Hi Gabriella

can you paste or link your draft questionare? It might then be easier to help you more directly with specifics ?

 

Regards Stephen 

Thank you Barbara.  And to answer your questions..... Yes, I truely love being a massage therapist and plan to continue working as one for as long as I can.  Like I mentioned before I am a new but I am passionate about massage.  I spend my free time trying to learn something new.  I look up information about what I should focus on for specific complaints such as CTS or TOS for example.  Watch youtube videos to learn new techniques.  I'm a visual learner.  It also helps to feel the work being done.  I miss school for that reason.  But I love my job.  I really do.  Maybe the problem is what my expectations were when I started working.  I guess I didn't realize how hard I would be working.  And I thought my income would be a bit higher.

As far as support  I do chat with classmates from school and on forums such as this one.  What I was talking about was the camaraderie with fellow employees.  I just don't have the opportunity to develop that with my co-workers.  Not that I am looking for new friends or anything like that. 

I am very busy in the office.  All the therapists are busy.  We each have clients that ask for us specifically.  Of course I have some that don't like my approach and that's okay.  The problem is with cancellations and no shows.  They aren't charged for it.  The doctor doesn't want to charge a fee.  And that is fine and all.  But the therapists are the ones sitting there not making any money.  The half hour appointments aren't so bad because they can be easily filled with a patient that was hoping to get in last minute.  It's the clients that schedule an hour long relaxation massage and cancel last minute or don't show up.  None of us care to have relaxation massages on our schedule because chances are high that they will cancel.  And even if they do it's rare that they tip.  
 
Barbara Helynn Heard said:

Aloha Jimswife,

 

Thank you for sharing your situation and your insights as a new massage therapist.  

If you are willing, please tell  us whether (1)  you like being a massage therapist and whether (2)  you would like to continue working as a massage therapists for years to come.

 

Taking care of yourself and getting your needs met is entirely possible, and probably possibly even in your current job.  You are responsible for this "project".  Making it happen takes willingness, energy and committment on your part.  Identifying your needs in writing as you have in this forum is a good start.  The next step is to take the required steps to meet your needs.  If you don't follow through, the chance of burnout is extremely high.

 

Schedule and breaks: Tell your employer how often you need breaks, and for how long.  All day with no break doesn't work for either therapist or the client.  Who wants to be the client of an exhausted therapist?  Be willing to be in conversation with your employer about this subject, even if the conversation is a  uncomfortable and/or takes work.

Repetitive use injuries result from compromised body mechanics.   As an instructor both in massage schools and in massage continuing ed classes, my experience is that most of us massage therapists could develop better use of our bodies.  Doing so requires work and attention, and often requires getting help from an expert.    With good use of our bodies we can have a long career using our hands.  We don't need to switch to lots of  forearm use. oh yes.... developing and maintaining good use of our body requires ongoing work and attention forever.  There's no end to this project.

Support: If you are not getting the "connection support" you desire at work, it's up to you to find it elsewhere. Find or create a support group of massage therapists.  These groups are often called "supervision groups".  If you need help figuring out how to find/start a support group, just start a discussion on this forum.  You'll get lots of ideas.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly,  I second what Gordon said, "Within you is a healing power thats far more effective then you or your co-workers know."   Get in touch with your ability to heal, or to support healing.  If you are already in touch with it, learn more about it, develop it further.   Feeling this ability within myself is what motivates me to take the sometimes hard steps to make all the other details  - such as schedule, injury prevention and projessional support - work.  

 

You have the gift of healing touch.  My hope is that you'll do all that is necessary to nurture and develop this gift.

 

Aloha,

Barbara Helynn Heard

www.lomilomi-massage.org

 

Hello Stephan,

Thank you for your response.

At this point, the study has already been carefully designed. I am in the process of formulating very specific questions. This study will use both qualitative research (open-ended interview) and quantitative research (specifically crafted survey, existing social research indexes such as the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and demographic statistics). I am not asking for help in terms of designing the study. I have done preliminary interviews with over 30 MT's in my own professional circle, friends and former students, most in NYC.  What I am actually wanting with this discussion here on this website is simply the thoughts and experiences of working MT's from outside my own personal circle, and from a variety of locations around the country, about their own experiences and challenges working in this field. I want to avoid missing important experiences that may be very relevant to MT's in other parts of the country. This discussion is one of several that I am conducting and not part of the actual study, just preparation. I want to see if I hear any perspectives I haven't already heard.

I must say that I definitely appreciate the generosity of those who have responded but I am quite surprised and somewhat baffled by respondent's assumptions that I need them to  tell me how to do the research, I didn't expect that here. I'm not sure how to interpret that, but it feels patronizing to me. Women in science/academia encounter this attitude very frequently, and it gets incredibly tiresome. I do not believe that anyone on this site has been intentionally disrespectful, but I'd be glad if those who have made that assumption would be self-reflective about what led them to make that assumption, and why it's reasonable that I'm uncomfortable with it. Perhaps I need to reword my invitation to the discussion, to make it more clear what I want and do not want.

I look forward to hearing about your experiences with being an MT. Specifically, what has been challenging or difficult for you? What do you think would improve conditions for you as an MT? Do you have any general insights relevant to the question of why such a high percentage of MT's leave the field within a few years.  I believe that by studying this in a formal way, we will find information that could improve the experience of working in this field for all of us.

Thanks, Gabriella


Stephen Jeffrey said:

Hi Gabriella

can you paste or link your draft questionare? It might then be easier to help you more directly with specifics ?

 

Regards Stephen 

Barbara,

Fantastic comments to Jimeswife! I couldn't have said it better myself! I agree with you wholeheartedly, thank you for sharing this with Jimeswife, it was very generous. When I read her entry, I wanted to find the time to respond to her, specifically, but I just couldn't get to it, and now I don't have to, because you did. Your suggestions are very powerful and effective. It is a mission of mine to spread hope to MT's who are having a hard time. Yours too, it looks like!

Gabriella

Barbara Helynn Heard said:

Aloha Jimswife,

 

Thank you for sharing your situation and your insights as a new massage therapist.  

If you are willing, please tell  us whether (1)  you like being a massage therapist and whether (2)  you would like to continue working as a massage therapists for years to come.

 

Taking care of yourself and getting your needs met is entirely possible, and probably possibly even in your current job.  You are responsible for this "project".  Making it happen takes willingness, energy and committment on your part.  Identifying your needs in writing as you have in this forum is a good start.  The next step is to take the required steps to meet your needs.  If you don't follow through, the chance of burnout is extremely high.

 

Schedule and breaks: Tell your employer how often you need breaks, and for how long.  All day with no break doesn't work for either therapist or the client.  Who wants to be the client of an exhausted therapist?  Be willing to be in conversation with your employer about this subject, even if the conversation is a  uncomfortable and/or takes work.

Repetitive use injuries result from compromised body mechanics.   As an instructor both in massage schools and in massage continuing ed classes, my experience is that most of us massage therapists could develop better use of our bodies.  Doing so requires work and attention, and often requires getting help from an expert.    With good use of our bodies we can have a long career using our hands.  We don't need to switch to lots of  forearm use. oh yes.... developing and maintaining good use of our body requires ongoing work and attention forever.  There's no end to this project.

Support: If you are not getting the "connection support" you desire at work, it's up to you to find it elsewhere. Find or create a support group of massage therapists.  These groups are often called "supervision groups".  If you need help figuring out how to find/start a support group, just start a discussion on this forum.  You'll get lots of ideas.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly,  I second what Gordon said, "Within you is a healing power thats far more effective then you or your co-workers know."   Get in touch with your ability to heal, or to support healing.  If you are already in touch with it, learn more about it, develop it further.   Feeling this ability within myself is what motivates me to take the sometimes hard steps to make all the other details  - such as schedule, injury prevention and projessional support - work.  

 

You have the gift of healing touch.  My hope is that you'll do all that is necessary to nurture and develop this gift.

 

Aloha,

Barbara Helynn Heard

www.lomilomi-massage.org

 

"When we assume you make an ass of you & me"

Felix Unger

Gabriela I assumed nothing. You asked me to elaborate on my first statement and I did. It would have been helpful if you had stated this at the beginning. I stand by what I said and it represents my opinion honestly given without assumption or presumption.

Gabriella Sonam said:

Hello Stephan,

Thank you for your response.

At this point, the study has already been carefully designed. I am in the process of formulating very specific questions. This study will use both qualitative research (open-ended interview) and quantitative research (specifically crafted survey, existing social research indexes such as the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and demographic statistics). I am not asking for help in terms of designing the study. I have done preliminary interviews with over 30 MT's in my own professional circle, friends and former students, most in NYC.  What I am actually wanting with this discussion here on this website is simply the thoughts and experiences of working MT's from outside my own personal circle, and from a variety of locations around the country, about their own experiences and challenges working in this field. I want to avoid missing important experiences that may be very relevant to MT's in other parts of the country. This discussion is one of several that I am conducting and not part of the actual study, just preparation. I want to see if I hear any perspectives I haven't already heard.

I must say that I definitely appreciate the generosity of those who have responded but I am quite surprised and somewhat baffled by respondent's assumptions that I need them to  tell me how to do the research, I didn't expect that here. I'm not sure how to interpret that, but it feels patronizing to me. Women in science/academia encounter this attitude very frequently, and it gets incredibly tiresome. I do not believe that anyone on this site has been intentionally disrespectful, but I'd be glad if those who have made that assumption would be self-reflective about what led them to make that assumption, and why it's reasonable that I'm uncomfortable with it. Perhaps I need to reword my invitation to the discussion, to make it more clear what I want and do not want.

I look forward to hearing about your experiences with being an MT. Specifically, what has been challenging or difficult for you? What do you think would improve conditions for you as an MT? Do you have any general insights relevant to the question of why such a high percentage of MT's leave the field within a few years.  I believe that by studying this in a formal way, we will find information that could improve the experience of working in this field for all of us.

Thanks, Gabriella


Stephen Jeffrey said:

Hi Gabriella

can you paste or link your draft questionare? It might then be easier to help you more directly with specifics ?

 

Regards Stephen 

Aloha Gabriella,

 

I applaud your mission to spread hope to MT's who are having a hard time.  You go!!

I read  and reread your contributions to this discussion last night repeatedly.  They called me.  I awoke with you on my mind, and in my heart, wondering how to best reach you.

 

MY PERSONAL CHALLENGES

On the surface my biggest challenge in my 15 years of private practice has been keeping my practice full with a steady flow of new clients coming in my door, and getting many  of them to return.  With work, I've succeeded.   And it takes ongoing work.

Two important challenging responsibilities, each with multiple aspects, lie under the surface of the primary challenge of keeping my practice full.  

GIVE GREAT MASSAGE:  I need to give massage that not only feels good to receive but also makes a lasting difference in my clients’ bodies.  This requires I learn many things. The first three items on this list, and maybe all four, are definitely lifelong projects.  For me, there’s no such thing as “I’m there”.

a) I must learn to feel more subtle distinctions in tissue.

b) I must learn to use my bodyweight rather than strength.  This means refining my body mechanics.

c) I must learn more anatomy.

d) Learning additional massage techniques is sometimes helpful.

 

COMMUNICATE WITH OPEN HEART AND MIND: I need to talk with my clients in a way that helps us both connect with our hearts.  This is also a lifelong project with a forever expanding target. 

Communicating with an open heart and mind professionally is a journey which is not separate from my personal life.  Clients return when they feel good about themselves when they are with me.  My students enroll in additional classes when they feel good about themselves in classes they take with me.

Here’s a barebones description of my journey developing open heart and open mind ways to talk with people.

I’m 56 years old, white and grew up in an upper middle class suburban neighborhood in a Quaker family where conflict was suppressed.  I never heard my father raise his voice; his eyelids fluttered when he was upset.  I only occasionally heard my mother raise her voice – always with good reason.

I worked in corporate America as a computer programmer from 1985-1995 when I was given, and accepted, a termination offer resulting from my problematic communication style.  I came across to some people as lacking tact.  I thought I spoke honestly, directly and sometimes assertively, in a good way.  I thought I was a good listener.  Obviously, not everyone agreed with me.  My termination opened the way for me to attend massage school.  Yeah!!

1st marriage: we divorced after 14 years of marriage and 2 children.  We never argued and we loved each other. I still love him.   We didn’t know how to resolve under the surface conflict.  He is a Chinese immigrant from Vietnam, so we had different cultural backgrounds and expectations.

2nd marriage: I’ve been with Gary for 18 years. After some real hard work for both of us, he and I now have a fabulous, loving relationship.   Gary is black and grew up in a high drug and crime inner city neighborhood.  He grew up in a family where loud laughter and loud arguing happened all the time

Unknown to me when I connected with Gary, he had been addicted to heroin for about 25 years.   For our first 6 years together he was repeatedly in and out of drug treatment.  Stealing, lying, anger, pain, resentment, etc were the norm in our home. My kids suffered (I’ll skip the details.)  I rescued and enabled Gary repeatedly.     I also felt hurt and disrespected much of the time.  I believed that staying with him was bad for my children, but stayed anyway.  Sometimes I told myself that I was crazy and selfish.

Starting in 2000 – the same year Gary became and stayed drug free - I began learning new ways to communicate.  I participated in workshops with several different groups focused on my own personal growth. These groups were not drug or addiction focused.  

I don’t believe that it was pure coincidence that Gary became permanently clean and sober when 12 years ago I began focusing on myself, when I changed my attitude, when I learned new ways of listening and ways of expressing myself.  The connection between his healing and mine is strong.

Learning new ways to listen and express in my personal life all helped me build very strong, healthy, inspiring relationships with my clients.  My own difficult experience also give me understanding and empathy for people in the midst of hard times.

 

RELATING MY PERSONAL CHALLENGES TO WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN ABOUT COMMUNICATION, GABRIELLA

Thank you, Gabriella, for being honest with us in your response.  As I see it, you are willing to be vulnerable in a way that opens doors.

I sense your discomfort.  I feel pain in the words you’ve shared with us.  I understand that you feel uncomfortable with the idea that some people assume that you need others to tell you how to do research, when as I understand you, you feel quite competent doing research.  

I haven’t personally seen or felt the assumption in the contributions in this discussion that anyone thinks you need to be told how to do research.  I just don’t see that assumption, suggestion or implication anywhere.  I see people enjoying the conversation and its flow, and offering valuable input.

I’ll go a step farther in giving you feedback.  If it’s not useful to you, it’s ok with me if you chuck it out the window.

Clearly, when you wrote your response you believed that some writers have assumed that you need to be told how to do research.  It’s ok that you interpret their words this way, though it may or may not be true. It's useful to acknowledge that this is your interpretation, and not a statement of absolute truth.  It was your reality when you wrote your response, and perhaps still is. 

Consider your options as to how to respond to the contributions you feel uncomfortable with.    The option you chose was  to identify the situation as patronizing, and to request that we reflect on the assumptions you have assigned to us.  Notice how you felt and still feel as you think about this.

Now notice how you feel when you read this different possibility.

You could make your point and direct the conversation so you get what you are looking for, perhaps without discomfort, by stating simply, “My research plan is solid and complete already, and I’m happy with it. In order to proceed with my research in this discussion I am interested specifically in hearing your personal experiences and insights.”    

Notice that this wording doesn’t make others wrong for what we’ve written.  For me, this helps keep the flow of communication open. 

I’m looking forward to hearing responses.  I love this juicy stuff.  May my contribution make a positive difference in someone’s life.

 

Aloha,

Barbara Helynn

 

PS  I’ve written 3 articles about my experience with communication which are on my website http://www.lomilomi-massage.org/lomi-lomi-articles.html (Using Words, part 1, 2, 3))  I’m still a work in process with communication, and always will be.

Hi Gabriella,

I recently experienced my first job as a massage therapist in a chiropractors office. While I love what I do, I had some issues with how the staff and chiropractor himself treated me. Let's just say that there were a lot of overinflated egos in that establishment. They considered me a "chiropractic assistant", not a LMT. That was extremely insulting to me and I did voice my opinion to the office manager. Thankfully, I no longer work there.

Anyway, I'd like to answer some of your questions as to why I think MTs don't stay in the profession very long.

1 - Rarely are health benefits offered. While I understand that MTs don't usually work 8 hour days, I feel we do a comparable amount of work to someone who sits in a cube all day (which was my career path before I chose massage).

2 - Breaks - Often I found myself "stacked" which meant back to back clients with no breaks at all during a 5 hour shift. (I'm a human, not a machine.)

3 - CEUs are rather expensive. In PA, we need 24 every two years to keep our licenses. I've already spent $150 for 7.5 CEUs and I'm still paying my student loans. It's been hard for me to find CEUs that are affordable and that I actually have an interest in. One CEU I wanted to take is $500. The costs are ridiculous.

My apology if I come off as being bitter, and I like being an MT, but there are so many hoops to jump through that I'm not sure if it's all worth it.

I agree completely with you Brandy!  I am experiencing the same things.  You explained the issues alot better than I could.  



Brandy Snyder said:

Hi Gabriella,

I recently experienced my first job as a massage therapist in a chiropractors office. While I love what I do, I had some issues with how the staff and chiropractor himself treated me. Let's just say that there were a lot of overinflated egos in that establishment. They considered me a "chiropractic assistant", not a LMT. That was extremely insulting to me and I did voice my opinion to the office manager. Thankfully, I no longer work there.

Anyway, I'd like to answer some of your questions as to why I think MTs don't stay in the profession very long.

1 - Rarely are health benefits offered. While I understand that MTs don't usually work 8 hour days, I feel we do a comparable amount of work to someone who sits in a cube all day (which was my career path before I chose massage).

2 - Breaks - Often I found myself "stacked" which meant back to back clients with no breaks at all during a 5 hour shift. (I'm a human, not a machine.)

3 - CEUs are rather expensive. In PA, we need 24 every two years to keep our licenses. I've already spent $150 for 7.5 CEUs and I'm still paying my student loans. It's been hard for me to find CEUs that are affordable and that I actually have an interest in. One CEU I wanted to take is $500. The costs are ridiculous.

My apology if I come off as being bitter, and I like being an MT, but there are so many hoops to jump through that I'm not sure if it's all worth it.

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