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Hi, I'm Janella and I'm relatively new here. I've been considering a massage therapy career for about 10 years now, and wondering if I'm a good fit. What qualities make a good massage therapist? I would  like to get some general feedback before "introducing" myself. Thanks!

 

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I think that if its truely your hearts desire and you are a compassionate person you can be a good massage therapist. I think that if you are passionate about something you can be good at it. It gives you the drive/motivation to learn more.

My question is what is preventing you from a massage therapist? You have been thinking about it for such long time. What has been stopping you?

Go for it. Remember Nike!!! (just do it)

martin, denmark

www.masseuren.dk (HP in Danish!!)

lol  Ok...

martin rørdam said:

Go for it. Remember Nike!!! (just do it)

martin, denmark

www.masseuren.dk (HP in Danish!!)

I agree with Jimswife and Martin.  But I do have some observations about what I think makes a good MT (and these are just my opinions):

- It's important to remember that you can't fix people.  You can "help" them - although be careful with that thought because the idea of "helping" people (with the wrong mindset) can lead to great frustrations on your part and also perhaps not empowering clients to improve themselves.  This is a huge focus for me - I love it when my clients figure out how to improve themselves and schedule less massages.  That gets made up for in the referrals they give me!  I think of myself as a problem solver - look for the pattern, figure out what's going on and find a way to resolve the issue.

- A passion for learning is really important.  You can learn something from every client, every time.

- A healthy curiosity is really important too.  Many people advocate clients being quiet during massages but I don't - most of the time.  There are occasions when quiet is important but for the most part I ask lots and lots of questions.  People come to me to solve problems rather than for a relaxing hour.

- A willingness to work on yourself is vital.  Your journey is just as important as your clients' journeys.  I don't just mean get massages - also do emotional work.  The more balanced you are, the better you can "help" your clients.

- Remember that this is also a business.  Be willing to learn how to run a business, or at least educate yourself about the differences between contractors and employees, etc. so you can know if you are getting a good deal in any situation.

- Remember that no matter what massage school you go to, it will just be a foundation.  Your real education starts with working on people and figuring out what works and what doesn't.

Kind of an odd collection of thoughts but I hope it helps!

Don't try to alter the whole world by being super(wo)man who can do every thing (on an average level).

It's actually "very simple". Define your "job" and stick to that. Like writing a master. Define the job in a narrow field and end up being a "master" in your field..........

martin, denmark; who can only loosen tensed muscles (but can loosen it ALL - painlessly !!!!)

www.masseuren.dk (home page in Danish!!)

Massage therapists need a D average where D equal:

devotion to their clients

dedication to their profession

discipline in their ability to perform their very best session on each and every person - including the ones they don't like.

Rudy

Come on in, the water's fine :)

Do join us Janella,

Not arguing with you Therese...but I like to look at it as fixing people too...Like if someone comes in because it hurts if they lift their arm...and when they leave they can lift their arm with no pain...I like to look at that as fixing...but thats just a way to look at it.. ...Anyway,,, as we all know....this is a huge field thats capable of helping many people on many levels.. Gosh  they have been doing it for thousands of years...One of the oldest professions. Im still freaked out about it..Always interesting and learning never stops...Amazing. 

Therese Schwartz said:

I agree with Jimswife and Martin.  But I do have some observations about what I think makes a good MT (and these are just my opinions):

- It's important to remember that you can't fix people.  You can "help" them - although be careful with that thought because the idea of "helping" people (with the wrong mindset) can lead to great frustrations on your part and also perhaps not empowering clients to improve themselves.  This is a huge focus for me - I love it when my clients figure out how to improve themselves and schedule less massages.  That gets made up for in the referrals they give me!  I think of myself as a problem solver - look for the pattern, figure out what's going on and find a way to resolve the issue.

- A passion for learning is really important.  You can learn something from every client, every time.

- A healthy curiosity is really important too.  Many people advocate clients being quiet during massages but I don't - most of the time.  There are occasions when quiet is important but for the most part I ask lots and lots of questions.  People come to me to solve problems rather than for a relaxing hour.

- A willingness to work on yourself is vital.  Your journey is just as important as your clients' journeys.  I don't just mean get massages - also do emotional work.  The more balanced you are, the better you can "help" your clients.

- Remember that this is also a business.  Be willing to learn how to run a business, or at least educate yourself about the differences between contractors and employees, etc. so you can know if you are getting a good deal in any situation.

- Remember that no matter what massage school you go to, it will just be a foundation.  Your real education starts with working on people and figuring out what works and what doesn't.

Kind of an odd collection of thoughts but I hope it helps!

Gordon, I think the reason we are encouraged to stay away from the idea "fixing" people is the mindset that some people can get from it - that they are wonderful and in charge/control and they have the answers.  It's the mindset that's more of an issue than the word itself.  You are clearly not in that category.

I need you to fix my right hip! :)

You need to really know how to be a business person as most MT will start their own business.  If you are planning on getting a job, entry level jobs at franchises are plentiful but they start at $14 an hour and generally have a bad reputation but they are good for getting experience.  If you want a better job you need to know how to sell yourself to an employer and show them how you will make them more money.

Massage school is a lot of anatomy, physiology and science.  You have to take your clothes off and get massaged in school.  You have to touch other people.  There are many comments from people in school who never thought about those things.

Here are some stories of what a day is like in a MT life - http://www.massage-career-guides.com/massage-therapists-day.html

I also have more info on careers at http://www.massage-career-guides.com/massage-therapy-careers.html.


Go into some schools.  Take an intro class that most offer.  Get massages yourself from different people and places.  Talk to the MT in the various places. 

Julie

I feel comfortable with using the term fix it.....Like if someone cant lift their arm because of pain...and after the massage they can lift it with no pain..I call that fixing...  its just a term.. a word....Here is the thing...if I cant fix them..we both know it fast....They wouldnt keep coming in for weeks and months twice a week thinking they are going to get fixed...One session we know, beyond doubt...after nearly 30 years,,I feel very confident in what I do...  Ive worked for over ten years with other types of health care providers...I observed with my eyes open...I feel very confident with what I can do..  And not bragging...Im on my 3rd wife and im broke all the time...lol   So i defiantly don't have myself together...But I know my job and what I'm capable of...Once any underlying pathology is ruled out...I have a very high success rate.  I think we are on the wrong thread.  Sorry about that..Like yesterday.. A young lady came in to see me..Her main reason for the massage was her back really hurts...She has been seeing a chiropractor...She had a trigger point near her left SI joint area...and a very sore L5 spinal erector on the left, and a very sore trigger point on her left rhomboid...I eliminated all those...They were not sore on re palpation... She left with no pain...I call that fix it...it was easy...just trigger points..But I fixed her...Will the trigger points come back? I kind of dont think so...but if they do...she knows who to see...She was healthy and fit..she should be fine...So its not like Im healing people that are crippled..and all that kind of stuff....Im talking about fixing people that have these common aches n pains....Im still learning...Not Mr. know it all, thats for sure..but I am confident...I think sometimes people mis understand me in here...But anybody doing something for as long as I have...Should feel confident with what they do...ok, gotta go....

Therese Schwartz said:

Gordon, I think the reason we are encouraged to stay away from the idea "fixing" people is the mindset that some people can get from it - that they are wonderful and in charge/control and they have the answers.  It's the mindset that's more of an issue than the word itself.  You are clearly not in that category.

I need you to fix my right hip! :)

I find that a person that is compassionate, caring, a good listener are really good qualities for this career. Great customer service is key and also getting into this profession to just make money is not a reason to enter the field. I had a fellow classmate that was in it to make money and I noticed when i would get a massage from him I could tell there was just nothing in his touch. It was almost like his hands were dead. Also. I had to out in a lot of studying. My course was 9 months long and 750 hours. I studied about 40 hours a week. Students think they can just coast through the class and would not study or do their homework but it really is a lot of work. It is very rewarding though to help make people feel better. I finished school end of February and started my own business end of march but it has been slow going. it is definitely not a get rich quick kind of profession. it takes time to build a client base. I am still struggling. I haven't had many clients but I think part of the problem is I have not been able to afford to pay for advertising. Also vistaprint.com is an excellent site to order business items from like tshirts and business cards, etc.

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