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6 Ways to Boost Your Massage Business with Self-Love!

by Charlotte Atkinson February 27, 2022

6 Ways to Boost Your Massage Business with Self-Love!

 There's a lot of talk these days about self-love. It sounds great, but what does it actually mean for us as massage therapists? And why does self-love matter to our business?


Showing ourselves self-love matters because the most important relationship we have is with ourselves! This relationship sets the standard for all our other relationships with others. And building positive relationships is a big part of our work as massage therapists, it builds trust. After all, who wants a massage from someone they don't feel comfortable with?

Many psychology studies show that self-love and self-compassion are key for mental health and well-being, keeping depression and anxiety at bay. This is not only great for our personal lives but also great for our business. If we are not on good form, our clients WILL notice, we may even need time off work and our business will suffer.

We hear the term self-care a lot these days. So what is the difference between self-love and self-care

Although the two terms often get interchanged, self-love is about valuing yourself enough to show yourself love and respect. And self-care is the actions you take to show yourself self-love. 

Practising self-love is important for maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself both physically and emotionally. It incorporates being assertive, setting boundaries, creating healthy relationships, practising physical self-care and doing things we enjoy & are proud of! 

As massage therapists, we are very compassionate individuals who enjoy caring for others. This can mean that we are in danger of neglecting our own needs because we can have a tendency to put others first. However, you can’t look after your clients if you don't look after yourself first! 

Woman looking in mirror smiling

 

Loving ourselves through practising self-care feels good. But how can we, as massage therapists, use it to benefit our business? 

We’ve put together some ideas to help you and your massage business thrive. We've broken them down to six key areas of self-care:

 1. Physical self-care improves the wellbeing of your physical health

This could be going for a walk, getting a massage (yes you!), cooking a healthy meal and going to the gym.

Physical self-care is particularly crucial for massage therapists because we rely on high-performing bodies for our livelihood!

Boost your Business with Physical Self-Care -
  • Look after your physical body because it’s the tool of your trade! You can do this by making sure you fuel your body with regular healthy meals (don't skip that lunch break!) and stay hydrated with water.
  • Sleep the necessary hours to have a good night’s sleep. 
  • Invest in good quality equipment such as a massage table (see our wide choice of massage tables and accessories here) that is right for the purpose you need it for, the best size for the space and is the right massage table for your height etc.
  • Keeping your fitness levels up and ensuring you use all the postures and techniques you learned when training will ensure that you are keeping your body safe. As massage therapists, we must take especially good care of our hands and forearms. If you can, warm up your body, reset between clients and cool down at the end of the day. This can help prolong your career as a massage therapist.

2. Emotional self-care brings awareness to our emotions 

If we don't tend to these feelings, we can end up frustrated, overwhelmed and burnout.

    Emotional self-care is allowing yourself to feel your emotions, setting clear boundaries with others (which many people find difficult), stop apologising for everything, practise self-compassion, learn from your mistakes and above all, asking for help when you need it.

    Tools to help with emotional self-care are meditation, journaling, practising gratitude, playing music or seeing a therapist etc.

    Women meditating

    Boost your Business with Emotional Self-Care -

    • Set boundaries:
      Boundary setting is a very important aspect of working as a massage therapist! Principally we need to set boundaries with clients but if you work in a clinical setting, you may need to set boundaries with other team members and your boss. And let’s not forget those family members and friends asking for a ‘5-minute’ freebie massage!
      With clients - Boundaries can involve time management. Do not run over the allocated appointment time, leaving yourself no time to take a toilet break or even get your room ready. This has repercussions on all your appointments & you may miss your full break, finish your working day late or just end up feeling stressed out! Furthermore, if you don't enjoy or feel comfortable working with a client for whatever reason, gently recommend another therapist. 
      With colleagues - Learn to say no politely and firmly. Seek help from other staff if you need help. And if you need advice on handling a tricky situation with a colleague, you will find it helpful to join a community. The massage therapists in our private Facebook group of massage therapists are super supportive and helpful! Click here to join.
      With friends and familyYou are under no obligation to massage anyone outside of your working day if you don't want to. It's up to you, so be kind but firm!

    • Learn to accept compliments
      We recommend keeping something like a 'brag book' or a file on your computer where you store all your positive reviews and testimonials for those days when you might feel like you need a boost!

    • Practise self-compassion!
      Self-compassion and learning from your mistakes is a great step towards emotional self-care. 

    • Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Massage Therapists
      It doesn't matter if other therapists have more clients or more followers on social media than you. Everybody's situation is different! There will always be someone who has more. More doesn't necessarily mean better.
    • Embrace what makes you different. Only you can be you!

      Man looking surprised

    3. Practical self-care involves tackling practical tasks that help prevent stressful situations in the future

    Basically, it’s decluttering your mind of those unfinished tasks that take up way too much time and headspace. They are huge sanity-savers and help create a greater sense of calm and control in our busy lives. Do not underestimate how practical self-care can improve your quality of life!

    Practical self-care might involve booking that long overdue dental appointment, tidying your living space (decluttering your space helps you to declutter your mind!), meal prepping in advance etc.

    Boost Your Business with Practical Self-Care -

    • Invest in an app that will make your work life easier by saving you time and a whole lot of stress e.g. an online booking system, accounting software etc.  You can also ask in our Facebook group of massage therapists if you need some advice or recommendations about these. This blog listing the best apps for massage therapists might be helpful for streamlining your systems. You can read it here.
    • Book an appointment with a financial advisor or create a spreadsheet for your budget - you know the one you have been meaning to do for ages!
    •  Limit your time on social media - stop the scroll! And block time out every week to create your social media posts for the week/month so you don’t have it hanging over you, taking up headspace.
    • Cover yourself with good quality insurance from a registered, professional body so you have peace of mind.
    • Lay your clothes out ready for the next day
    • Think about wearing a uniform, if you find it makes your life easier. Equally, if wearing a uniform stresses you out, consider getting rid of it. 

    Woman smiling in meeting

    4. Spiritual Self-Care is any ritual that connects you to your true self, the real you

    Spirituality means different things for different people and you may associate spirituality with religion or maybe your concept of spirituality is experienced by spending time in nature or through art, music and dance.

    If we want to live a happy and fulfilled life, taking care of our soul is a must!

    Ideas for spiritual self-care -

    • Unplug from technology & spend time in nature
    • Practise yoga and/or meditation
    • Keep a journal & practice breath-work
    • Dance, sing, play a musical instrument
    • Paint, draw, do craft activities, make ceramics…

    Spiritual self-care predominantly involves taking time OUT of your business and doing things that feed your soul! 

     

    someone painting watercolour

    5. Mental self-care stimulates your mind and greatly influences your psychological well-being

    This might include activities such as trying a new hobby, listening to a new podcast, doing a puzzle, finishing a Sudoku etc.

    Boost Your Business with Mental Self-Care -

    In your massage therapy business, mental self-care might look like:

    • Up-skilling in a technique you are interested in
    • Doing a refresher course
    • Offering a new modality
    • Niching down by modality, technique or target audience

    When we step outside our comfort zones and try new activities, we are stimulated by the new sights, sounds and experiences!

    Are you making enough time for activities that mentally stimulate you?

    woman learning massage

    6. Social Self-Care is regular connection with others in order to thrive! 

    Everyone has different social needs but even when life is busy and hectic, socialising with others is essential. And ironically, when life is overwhelming is when we tend to cancel our plans and withdraw! When was the last time you had deliberate fun with others?

    This could be date night with a friend or your partner, zoom call with family, play with your children or fur baby or give someone else a gift (this makes us feel soooo good!).

    Social self-care may also mean NOT spending time with some people. So also give some thought to those relationships that no longer serve you.

    Boost Your Business with Social Self-Care -

    Connecting with other professionals is important for our mental health and our business. If you work alone, it is particularly important that you maintain contact with other massage therapists.

    • Facebook groups are especially useful. Your massage therapy trainer may run a group and Massage Warehouse runs a private Facebook group for massage therapists. It’s a great space for sharing and getting support from other therapists who truly understand the highs and lows of running a massage therapy business! Check it out here.
    • Swap sessions with other massage therapists. You will not only benefit from the massage but also the social interaction with another massage therapist. It's also a good opportunity to get a massage on your own massage table to experience what your clients do.
    • Join a networking group face to face or online, it doesn't have to specifically be for massage therapists. Maybe it could be for complementary therapies or a group for people who live/work in your area. Networking offers not only the possibility of referrals but also brainstorming opportunities and discounts on the services other members offer.

    Important - this type of self-care may involve spending LESS time in your business. Connect with friends and family and have fun!

     

    man smiling and his dog

     

    Self-love is seeing yourself worthy of time, effort and love!  And practising self-care increases happiness in your life encouraging resilience and better health. As a result of feeling confident, content and healthy, you can enjoy a long and satisfying career in your massage therapy business. Your clients are bound to pick up on the good vibes too and want to come back soon. It’s a total no-brainer!


    Let us know in the comments how you show yourself self-love!

     

     

     




    Charlotte Atkinson
    Charlotte Atkinson

    Author



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    Massage Table Size Guide

    Massage tables comes in many different shapes and size. It can be confusing for you, the customer, to choose the right one but we are here to help!

    A lot of customers call us up after they have bought the wrong size massage table elsewhere and we would like to help you avoid this mistake. It normally goes something like this; they like the look of a picture of a massage table on a website, they like the low price and then they check the carrying weight is ok. If the carrying weight fits their needs they click add to cart and the new massage table turns up at their doorstep in a few days. They unfortunately assume all massage tables are pretty much the same width and size.

    The standard size of a massage table is 28 inches wide (71cms) and 73 inches (185cms) long. One of the reasons many "lightweight" budget massage tables are so cheap is because

    1.  They are smaller in size (normally around 61cms wide) and as such have less materials
    2. They are sold by specialist retailers who also sell anything else they can import and turn a profit on. As such they just buy the cheapest massage tables they can find in China. They go for smaller sizes as they are cheaper.

    Make sure the massage table is the right size for you and your clients as the narrow massage tables at 61cms can be very uncomfortable for anyone who isn't petite and many clients cannot relax with their shoulders and arms unsupported.

     

    The Width of the Massage Table:

    Almost all therapists choose the standard 28 inch wide massage table. All our massage tables are the same length so it is only the width and shape our customers need to decide on.

    Your massage table should be wide enough to cater for the wide variety of shapes and sizes of your clients. It needs to be wide enough to comfortably accommodate your treatment style, while being narrow enough to ensure you don’t have to strain your own back during treatments.

    Each therapist's postural training and ability is different, so only you will know what massage table width you can handle. We have spoken to therapists who are five feet tall and get the wider 30 inch massage tables, and we speak to six foot therapists who have back problems and go for a 25 inch wide massage table. Everyone is different.

    Generally speaking, if you are of smaller stature, you may do better with one of the narrower 25-inch massage tables. If you're quite tall, or are particularly keen to offer your clients a very spacious experience, a 30-inch massage table might be more suitable.

    If you are in doubt, see if you can go into your local training college and see whether the massage tables there suit you. However, there is another way to get a feel for what will work of you don’t have access to a couch when you are deciding:

    Cut out a piece of cardboard to the dimensions of both sizes you are deciding between. Put it on top of the kitchen table and lean over it. Visualise a client lying there, and see which width will suit you and your client best.

    measuring the width of a massage table


    Make sure you can get close enough to the table that you can pivot at the waist and have your shoulders squared to the clients hips, with your hands parallel to the clients' spine. Working in this position will ensure an injury-free career, so it's an important factor in your decision.

    The most popular massage table widths are 28 and 30 inches. We sell 25-inch massage tables but you should really only choose this width if you are shorter in height and having a wider massage table might put your own back at risk over the course of your career.

    You can also choose the 25-inch if you want to have the lightest massage table possible. By reducing the width of the massage table, the weight is also reduced. Now, this can mean a trade-off of some client comfort, but this trade is often worthwhile if you are a fully mobile therapist and use public transport frequently, where saving a kilogram or two will make a difference to you over time.

     

    The Height Of the Massage Table

    Nowadays, almost all portable massage tables come with height adjustable legs. Whichever massage table you choose should come with a large height range to accommodate you, and to cater for a broad range of therapies.

    A common height range of massage tables is between 60 to 80cm, and this height range should cater for everyone. To check which height you need your massage table to be at follow this rule of thumb:

    1. Stand up straight with your hands by your sides. Clench your fists.
    2. Measure the distance between the floor and your knuckles
    3. This distance should equal the height of your massage table.
    4. Add a few inches in height to allow for the body of the patient on the massage table.

    The height of a massage table is usually only adjusted when different therapists are using the same massage table, or if you have a client that is outside the average size you normally treat. So for example, if someone with a lot of body depth comes for a treatment after an average size person, you may need to adjust the height a notch or two.

    You should be able to adjust the height of a massage table in just 2-3 minutes. Even though you mightn't adjust the height very often, the faster the better when you do have to!

    There are 2 types of height adjustment mechanisms found on modern massage tables.

    1) Twisting knobs (found only on wooden massage tables):

    If you are working with a wooden massage table, it is better to have two knobs on each of the four legs for greater strength and reliability. When buying online, make sure to check how many knobs are on the legs. Cheap massage tables often only have one knob, and when you raise the legs to the highest heights they are less stable and have been known to snap.

    2) Telescopic push-buttons (found only on aluminium massage tables):

    The mechanism to adjust the height of an aluminium massage table is much the same as the push-button method on aluminium crutches. It only takes a few seconds to adjust each leg, and the mechanism is very reliable. Check out the video to see how it’s done.

     

    Massage Table Shape:

    The following are the different shapes of massage tables on the market.

    1. Rectangle shaped with square corners 

    This is the traditional shape of a massage table and the one you are probably familiar with seeing. Our Combi-lite 3 in 1 and Affinity Portaflex are shaped like this.

    2. Rectangle shaped with rounded corners

    Same as no 1 above in every way except the corners are rounded. Does not affect function in any way, just a different design/look.

     

    3. Hour glass shaped with gradual gradient 

    A fabulous massage table innovation in recent years, which solves a lot of the problems around choosing the correct width is the hourglass shaped massage table.


    This style of massage table is wider at the ends, and tapers somewhat at the middle. This provide a spacious and comfortable experience for your client (as the shoulder and feet area are 30 inches wide) without compromising your own posture and health, as the middle of the couch where you lean over is a much narrower 26 inches wide.Having recently upgraded to one of these hourglass massage tables myself, I can vouch that my working days are much more comfortable, and many of my clients have commented on the extra comfort from the wider shoulder area.

     

    4. Hour glass shaped with sharp gradient
    Same as point above but instead of the it gradually going from wide to narrow, the massage table changes quickly from normal width to narrow width so people of very short stature can get in close.
    5. Oval Shaped

     The name says it all! There are no corners on the massage table. Therapists normally choose this for one of two reasons. They simply like the look of this massage table and it is aesthetically more pleasing in their treatment room and/or they find it easier to move around the massage table during the treatment without having to side step the corners. This is particularly handy when space is limited in your treatment room.

    oval massage table

     

    Have any questions or comments about anything above? Please let us know in the comments below!

     

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