Tips for Massage Therapists on Avoiding Massage Burnout and Career Fatigue

It can be an exciting journey for massage therapists to visit and graduate from school, pass licensing exams, and start working. But also for some massage therapists, work may become overwhelming over time and they may experience massage “burnout”. This can cause some therapists to abandon their career because of fatigue and frustration. While that is infrequent, it is important to adopt some healthy habits so that you can stay well and love your career every year! While massage therapists desire to work to help their clients and further their practice, every therapist must also take time to relax, rejuvenate, and prevent massage burnout.

Receive / Trade Massages

All too often, massage therapists forget to take time to receive massages, as they have a tendency to always be busy giving a massage! Burnout can be avoided by frequently getting massaged, and while it is sometimes difficult to make amount of time in your busy schedule on your own well being, it is advisable to receive massages as a massage therapist. This not only keeps your body well and feels amazing, but it also reminds you how it feels from your own clients’ perspective to get massage and helps you grow as a massage therapist.

Some massage therapists report experiencing “massage burnout” when they do not receive massages at least one time or twice a month (at the minimum! More is always better). When massage therapists receive massages from the co-worker or another massage therapist at another practice, it can help to refresh the reason behind the desire to become a massage therapist, can help you recognize the benefits of the treatment, and gives you energy and new suggestions to bring back to your own clients.

In the event that you work in a practice with other massage therapists, it is important to block off your schedule once weekly or once every fourteen days to relax, stay centered, and trade a massage. Burnout can truly be avoided from even just a few monthly sessions! These sessions don’t need to be long or intensive, but should address any specific areas of concern, adhesions, or tension.

Exercise, Eat Well, and Rest

For many massage therapists, performing several massages every day or week is exercise enough! Whenever using proper body mechanics, you should feel just like you have just had an excellent workout after a massage session, but if you’re feeling exhausted and worn out instead, things like strength training exercises could be the key to building endurance and giving a better massage. Burnout happens to numerous massage therapists if they start feeling fatigued and exhausted from work. While infrequent, this is often due to a combination of things: not enough exercise, sleep, or food…and can also possibly result from simply overbooking yourself and burning the candle at both ends. Most therapists know to manage themselves, rest, and eat well, however, many people are naturally inclined to be workaholics, and it is important to get some good well-deserved downtime! Burnout, for most massage therapists, occurs when it becomes difficult to rely on your own power and strength to perform a massage, your immune system to keep you healthy and able to work, and your mind and emotions to keep you grounded and aware while concentrating on your client and his or her needs. When you are becoming too overwhelmed by balancing work, family, errands, school, or any other number of things, pause for a moment and be sure you are nourishing yourself with a wholesome balance of good food, a lot of water, rest, vacation, and social time.

Too often, massage therapists remind their clients to stay hydrated, but forget to drink water themselves! You should stay well hydrated during the day to execute at your peak ability, and keep maintaining your body’s health. For this same reason, it is very important eat regular meals, and not compromise breakfast, lunch, or dinner by scheduling a back-to-back day of massage. Burnout could be also exacerbated by fatigue, and whether you are a self-proclaimed “early bird” or “night owl”, you need to maintain a frequent sleep schedule and receive enough sleep each night to perform at your best ability.

Avoid Massage Burnout with Vacations / Downtime

One of the benefits to being a massage therapist is the non-traditional workweek. Many therapists work only when they have clients scheduled; others may work in a spa and have to be on-call even during periods of downtime. But no matter your projects environment, massage therapists have the ability to leave the “office” without the take-home work, deadlines, deliverables, or meeting preparations. For this reason, it is important to take the time after work to seriously wind-down and refresh your brain and body with some relaxation and temporarily forget about massage. For a lot of, burnout can be prevented by taking time to relax on the sofa with an excellent movie or a book. For other massage therapists, going for a week or two off and escaping to a nearby beach or cabin in the woods is the solution for leading a stress-free life. Whatever your individual preference, it is very important always take the time to just stop working and enjoy some time faraway from massage. Burnout can be prevented once you take some downtime to assess those things in life that you love, as relaxing also provides you with an invaluable boost in energy and life that you recreate to your practice, your job, and your clients.

Finally, just remember that burnout is an uncommon occurrence, and primarily happens when massage therapists forget to give their bodies just as much focus and care because they give to massage clients! Like everyone else should in any job, make sure you eat well, exercise, stay fit, and balance your projects life together with your social life and well-deserved rest. Invest the care of yourself you will find yourself at massage therapists who’ve enjoyed their rewarding career for decades, and will anticipate each day of work with years to come.

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