A day at the spa often includes a relaxing massage by a massage therapist whose magic fingers seem to have the power to melt away any lingering stress or trouble spots that you have been suffering from.
For clients, it may seem like healing others through massage is a dream profession, but it also takes a lot of hard work and physical strength to be successful. It also is important to have great interpersonal skills, since the work involves being in such close proximity with clients.
Here are a few other things that might surprise you about being a massage therapist.
They are trained to do various types of massage
You may be used to receiving a stress-relieving massage during your spa visit, but there are in fact many different kinds of massages to target different populations and issues. Some masseuses are trained in giving massages specifically targeted to the common issues faced by athletes (such as Olympic athletes and marathon runners), to keep their muscles and joints in prime shape. There are also specific massages geared toward physical therapy patients that help to sustain mobility during the recovery period.
They do not know your body best
Massage therapists have had a lot of professional training and experience, but every client is unique and their physiological composition can vary greatly from others. It is important to be vocal if you are experiencing pain during the massage or if something does not feel quite right. Do not feel embarrassed that you are calling them out, because you are actually doing them a favor. Massage therapists cannot always tell if something is off just by touch and they rely on their clients’ reactions to let them know if they should adjust their techniques.
They always try to create a professional environment
Being a massage therapist is a unique occupation because you are in a sensitive environment, where you are dealing with a client who is in a very vulnerable position as they are usually naked. One of the most important things for a massage therapist is to create boundaries and make sure that both they and their client feel 100% safe. There are a lot of misconceptions about masseuses, due to them frequently being portrayed in the media as sex workers, but there are only a small percentage that work in massage parlors hidden from the public. If there is any aspect of the experience that makes you feel uncomfortable, it is important to speak up. Massage therapists always want to make sure their client is completely relaxed to ensure the best experience possible.
They experience burnout often
It is physically demanding being a massage therapist and the burnout rates are no joke. It is not always ideal as a long-term occupation, especially if the therapist is prone to physical health issues that can result from the daily wear and tear that their bodies go through with each client. Being a massage therapist can also be emotionally draining. Dealing with difficult clients, long hours on your feet, inconsiderate bosses and never-ending paperwork can take a toll as well.
They need to have an aptitude for science
Going through massage school is no easy walk in the park. It includes a lot of late nights cramming for anatomy, physiology, kinesology and pathology tests, where there are hundreds of terms and systems you need to commit to memory- not to mention the final exam for the actual massage license. It is important that a massage therapist excel in all of their courses, because knowing how the body works is crucial to being able to give a effective massage. There is no room for error once you are with a client and one wrong move can make things much worse.
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