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What are the best exercises for massage therapists?

April 25, 2019 3 min read


What are the best exercises for massage therapists?

As we all know, working as a massage therapist can take its toll on your body! Long hours standing and the strain on your joints as you work to remove all the knots and tension from your client's muscles. 

Combined with the stresses of running your own massage therapy business, it is easy to see why many therapists burn out and leave the profession. 

To help, we have taken the most commonly reported aches and pains from massage therapists and found the best exercises, stretches and solutions so you can lengthen your career as a massage therapist and give yourself some much-needed relief.  


1. Sore back from standing all day.

Whilst a lot of attention is paid recently to back pain caused by sitting at desks all day, people in many industries suffer with a sore back from being on their feet all day. However, there is something particularly cruel about suffering from a sore back whilst you massage away the aches of your clients! 


Facebook post from Marianne Amspacher about lower back pain.


Ease the pressure on your lower back with these 7 simple stretches. With no equipment required litter these exercises throughout your day to keep you feeling refreshed for your next client! 




2. Sore feet.

Anyone who has worked standing all day can attest to how this can cause havoc on feet. Without regular self-care, this can turn into serious issues like plantar fasciitis but there are easy tricks you can incorporate into your routine to keep you on your feet. 

Keep a tennis ball in your drawer and take a minute whilst you sit down between clients to rejuvenate your feet. 


Facebook post from Liz Curley about using a tennis ball to relieve pain


This 3-minute video provides some quick exercises you can do between massage treatments to strengthen your ankles and ward off any discomfort. 



Many of you commented that you find yoga useful for keeping your muscles supple and unwinding any aches and pains. 


 Facebook post from Craig Fischer about using yoga to relieve pain. 


If you have space in your clinic to roll out your mat, this 4-minute sequence can help to stretch out any discomfort in the feet and ankles before your next client. 



Alternatively, at the end of the day, run through the sequence and then put your feet up in front of the television with some hot stones and melt all the aches away! 


Facebook post from Amy Blumenson about relieving pain in the feet with a hot towel


3. Sore wrists, forearms and fingers.

Working on client's tight muscles can cause pain in fingers and work its way into wrists and forearms over time.


 Facebook post from Hannah Louise Steele about pain in the hands


Where appropriate try to break up the amount of time you are working with your fingers and thumbs by using tools such as hot stones or a thumb saver and take care of yourself with these simple massage techniques and stretches. 



With this 50 second video, you can relieve the nasty symptoms of carpal tunnel. 



4. Sore scapula and shoulders.

We all know it is important to not be hunched over our clients when delivering our massage treatments and increasingly massage tables are being shaped to allow better access to our client's lumbar area. However, it is still easier said than done to not allowing bad posture to creep in and cause sore shoulders at the end of the day. Over time problems with the scapula can cause serious problems that can impact the number of clients you can see and your massage therapy business as a whole. 


 Facebook post from Nneka Goforth about pain in the scapula


Click the video below to skip straight to 1.02 where you can learn a quick stretch to loosen up any tightness and feel greater stability in your shoulders in just 2 minutes.




5. Sore neck and suboccipitals.

Caused by looking down for prolonged periods of time, massage therapists commonly struggle with problems with their neck and suboccipital muscles.


Facebook post from Beth Fessenden about pain in the neck


Firstly follow this great piece of advice from Larry. 


Facebook post from Larry Lang about how to protect your neck whilst delivering massages


Incorporate this four-minute routine into your day to stretch out your neck after a long day giving massage treatments will nip any soreness in the bud and stop it developing into a more serious issue. 



A final piece of advice that is invaluable. That whatever form of exercise you choose, make sure it is one that you enjoy. 

 Facebook post from Angela Burdette Rios about selecting the best exercises to prevent pain



Do you have any aches and pains you think have been caused by your work as a massage therapist? Are they different to the ones here? Let us know in the comments below! 

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