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After I graduated from school, I started working full-time as a masage therapist and loved it for a while! I made a promise to myself to give everyone 100% of my attention and skill. After a couple of months, I became burned out! Not only was my interest in Massage Therapy dwindling but my body was falling apart - my back, thumbs, and hip flexors were KILLING me (probably due to poor body mechanics - although I was very aware of maintaining that proper positioning).

 

How do I savor my interest, shield my energy, and protect my body without compensating the value of my massages?

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try to schedule less massages per day

Hi Robin

This is a great topic to bring up. I'm so sorry to hear you are feeling the way you do.

I too put myself to the edge of burnout many years ago by overworking. I ended up with a chronic shoulder problem that lasted for a couple of years. I was working full time as a landscape gardener and massaging at night and on weekends. Looking back it's pretty obvious what the outcome was likely to be.

I think in my own experience it came down to a very poor level of self care. Since that time I have gradually increased my level of self care. We forget to consider how hard massage can be on our bodies and in many cases fail to create a regime that caters for this fact. This also doesn't take into account the energetic aspects of our work and also the intensity that can come working with people on such a deep level.

I have been working with massage for over 16 years no and I now put a strong focus on self care. I train each day with a combination of strengthening, stretching and qi based exercises. I receive a treatment of some kind of therapy each week which include acupuncture, massage, osteopathy and counselling to ensure I create a complete health approach.

I learnt that to be a good therapist I need to learn how to care for myself first. Without this I will burnout in body and spirit.

I highly recommend Tai Chi to help you learn how to use your body more effectively and reduce the load on specific areas.

I now run a successful practice with 3 other practitioners who work for me. Whilst I have increased my repertoire to include Chinese medicine I still do on average between 15 and 20 hours of massage per week. I am extremely blessed to work in the field that I do and urge you to not give up. This is early days and to learn the lessons you have been presented with will serve you well in your life if you persevere with your career. If you need some time to take a break then do it but don't give up.

If you need more info feel free to contact me directly and we can discuss things further.

Take care of yourself is the key to a building a successful and satisfying practice.

Regards

Jeff

I agree with both statements above. Less massage will help out while you figure out what is your issue. Self care will help for the overall acuteness of burnout, and help to keep a future habit. May I add... Going to a seminar, a workshop, or some kind of continuing education class, will help with motivation, inspiration, and give you a fun, enlightening break. There are other things to do, but that one specific thing is key is very beneficial for everyone involved, not just you.
Blessings,
Michelle

Agreed Michelle

Great addition. Seminars keep the love alive when your passion wanes

Michelle Batac said:

I agree with both statements above. Less massage will help out while you figure out what is your issue. Self care will help for the overall acuteness of burnout, and help to keep a future habit. May I add... Going to a seminar, a workshop, or some kind of continuing education class, will help with motivation, inspiration, and give you a fun, enlightening break. There are other things to do, but that one specific thing is key is very beneficial for everyone involved, not just you.
Blessings,
Michelle

Jeff!

 

That was wonderful advice! Thank you for sharing those words from your heart. You are absolutely right; taking care of yourself is so imperitive and I must develop a regimine. I really appreciate the time and energy you put into this post.

 

Be well.

Jeff Shearer said:

Hi Robin

This is a great topic to bring up. I'm so sorry to hear you are feeling the way you do.

I too put myself to the edge of burnout many years ago by overworking. I ended up with a chronic shoulder problem that lasted for a couple of years. I was working full time as a landscape gardener and massaging at night and on weekends. Looking back it's pretty obvious what the outcome was likely to be.

I think in my own experience it came down to a very poor level of self care. Since that time I have gradually increased my level of self care. We forget to consider how hard massage can be on our bodies and in many cases fail to create a regime that caters for this fact. This also doesn't take into account the energetic aspects of our work and also the intensity that can come working with people on such a deep level.

I have been working with massage for over 16 years no and I now put a strong focus on self care. I train each day with a combination of strengthening, stretching and qi based exercises. I receive a treatment of some kind of therapy each week which include acupuncture, massage, osteopathy and counselling to ensure I create a complete health approach.

I learnt that to be a good therapist I need to learn how to care for myself first. Without this I will burnout in body and spirit.

I highly recommend Tai Chi to help you learn how to use your body more effectively and reduce the load on specific areas.

I now run a successful practice with 3 other practitioners who work for me. Whilst I have increased my repertoire to include Chinese medicine I still do on average between 15 and 20 hours of massage per week. I am extremely blessed to work in the field that I do and urge you to not give up. This is early days and to learn the lessons you have been presented with will serve you well in your life if you persevere with your career. If you need some time to take a break then do it but don't give up.

If you need more info feel free to contact me directly and we can discuss things further.

Take care of yourself is the key to a building a successful and satisfying practice.

Regards

Jeff

Thank you, Michelle!!

Michelle Batac said:

I agree with both statements above. Less massage will help out while you figure out what is your issue. Self care will help for the overall acuteness of burnout, and help to keep a future habit. May I add... Going to a seminar, a workshop, or some kind of continuing education class, will help with motivation, inspiration, and give you a fun, enlightening break. There are other things to do, but that one specific thing is key is very beneficial for everyone involved, not just you.
Blessings,
Michelle

Hi Robin

My pleasure. I know burnout and I know how frightening and lonely it can feel.

Happy to tkae the time.

Regards

Jeff

Robin Streit said:

Jeff!

 

That was wonderful advice! Thank you for sharing those words from your heart. You are absolutely right; taking care of yourself is so imperitive and I must develop a regimine. I really appreciate the time and energy you put into this post.

 

Be well.

Jeff Shearer said:

Hi Robin

This is a great topic to bring up. I'm so sorry to hear you are feeling the way you do.

I too put myself to the edge of burnout many years ago by overworking. I ended up with a chronic shoulder problem that lasted for a couple of years. I was working full time as a landscape gardener and massaging at night and on weekends. Looking back it's pretty obvious what the outcome was likely to be.

I think in my own experience it came down to a very poor level of self care. Since that time I have gradually increased my level of self care. We forget to consider how hard massage can be on our bodies and in many cases fail to create a regime that caters for this fact. This also doesn't take into account the energetic aspects of our work and also the intensity that can come working with people on such a deep level.

I have been working with massage for over 16 years no and I now put a strong focus on self care. I train each day with a combination of strengthening, stretching and qi based exercises. I receive a treatment of some kind of therapy each week which include acupuncture, massage, osteopathy and counselling to ensure I create a complete health approach.

I learnt that to be a good therapist I need to learn how to care for myself first. Without this I will burnout in body and spirit.

I highly recommend Tai Chi to help you learn how to use your body more effectively and reduce the load on specific areas.

I now run a successful practice with 3 other practitioners who work for me. Whilst I have increased my repertoire to include Chinese medicine I still do on average between 15 and 20 hours of massage per week. I am extremely blessed to work in the field that I do and urge you to not give up. This is early days and to learn the lessons you have been presented with will serve you well in your life if you persevere with your career. If you need some time to take a break then do it but don't give up.

If you need more info feel free to contact me directly and we can discuss things further.

Take care of yourself is the key to a building a successful and satisfying practice.

Regards

Jeff

Hi Jeff!
We have found that practicing Thai Massage not only saves you from the burnout factor but it allows you to limit the stress you are putting on your body while expanding your practice to include the newest and most up-and-coming massage modality. 
Please check out our website to learn more about Thai Massage and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Best wishes!

Jeff Shearer said:

Hi Robin

My pleasure. I know burnout and I know how frightening and lonely it can feel.

Happy to tkae the time.

Regards

Jeff

Robin Streit said:

Jeff!

 

That was wonderful advice! Thank you for sharing those words from your heart. You are absolutely right; taking care of yourself is so imperitive and I must develop a regimine. I really appreciate the time and energy you put into this post.

 

Be well.

Jeff Shearer said:

Hi Robin

This is a great topic to bring up. I'm so sorry to hear you are feeling the way you do.

I too put myself to the edge of burnout many years ago by overworking. I ended up with a chronic shoulder problem that lasted for a couple of years. I was working full time as a landscape gardener and massaging at night and on weekends. Looking back it's pretty obvious what the outcome was likely to be.

I think in my own experience it came down to a very poor level of self care. Since that time I have gradually increased my level of self care. We forget to consider how hard massage can be on our bodies and in many cases fail to create a regime that caters for this fact. This also doesn't take into account the energetic aspects of our work and also the intensity that can come working with people on such a deep level.

I have been working with massage for over 16 years no and I now put a strong focus on self care. I train each day with a combination of strengthening, stretching and qi based exercises. I receive a treatment of some kind of therapy each week which include acupuncture, massage, osteopathy and counselling to ensure I create a complete health approach.

I learnt that to be a good therapist I need to learn how to care for myself first. Without this I will burnout in body and spirit.

I highly recommend Tai Chi to help you learn how to use your body more effectively and reduce the load on specific areas.

I now run a successful practice with 3 other practitioners who work for me. Whilst I have increased my repertoire to include Chinese medicine I still do on average between 15 and 20 hours of massage per week. I am extremely blessed to work in the field that I do and urge you to not give up. This is early days and to learn the lessons you have been presented with will serve you well in your life if you persevere with your career. If you need some time to take a break then do it but don't give up.

If you need more info feel free to contact me directly and we can discuss things further.

Take care of yourself is the key to a building a successful and satisfying practice.

Regards

Jeff

There is a saying - work smarter, not harder!  This may just come with experience but there are so many little things you can incorporate into your massage practice to make it more effective with less work and demand upon yourself.  It doesn't always have to be about thumbs and hands.  Forearms and elbows can be very effective, once you learn how to gauge your pressure.  Everything is connected, remember.  Try during your warm up to apply stretches, myofascial stretches, cross fiber and getting blood to the belly of the muscle before going into deep trigger point work.  Trust me, your clients will thank you too!  It feels better to them and takes away from the heavy work.  Just remember how muscles work, etc. - 90% flexibility in the belly and 10% in the tendons.  Get the blood pumping!

 

Also, without out self-care, you can never really care for others.  Make stretching, yoga, self-massage and regular massage sessions, plus meditation a part of your self care.  I am sure you recommend all of these things to your clients, but are you practicing what you preach?  There are great sources, tools and books out there just on this topic.  Know when to say enough is enough!  I am a human, not a machine! Create boundaries for yourself, give yourself enough time to recover and respect yourself and your body.

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