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Why massage therapists need regular massages

close up of a young woman receiving a massage from a female massage therapist

When was the last time you had a massage?


Do you find yourself making excuses?

  • “I don’t have time”

  • “I don’t have the money”

  • “I will go next month”

Ever think you are starting to sound a little bit like your clients!


Any salesman will tell you, without experiencing your product it's pretty hard to convince anyone! As massage therapists, we are always trying to persuade people that massage is an ongoing method to take care of your body and not a one-off treat! So why as massage therapists would we not regularly get treatments ourselves?


Why you need to make time to get regular massage treatments.


  • Your body is central to your work. Without it, you cannot serve your clients and keep growing your massage therapy business. You know massage is great for maintaining a healthy body and helping with a wide range of aches and pains. So practice what you preach and schedule the time to take care of your business' most important asset!

  • Refresh your knowledge without the need for expensive training. By visiting a therapist who delivers the same type of massage, you can check in on your techniques and potentially pick up some new ones. Massage Swaps


  • Some massage therapists prefer opting for a different style for their massage swap to have a more relaxing experience. When scheduling your appointment think about your needs. What do you need from this treatment? Are you looking to do a bit of research for your own massage therapy business or are you in need of some TLC and bodywork of your own.

  • Clients prefer therapists who can talk from experience. Not just from delivering a massage, but also receiving. When talking to your clients about the treatment you are giving, the trust between you is strengthened when you know how it feels on your own body.

  • Take the opportunity to see how others set up their treatment spaces, whether in a clinic or as mobile massage therapists. You may see something new or spark ideas of how you can upgrade your space.

  • Massage treatments vary widely in different cultures. By experiencing massage treatments abroad you can pick up some knowledge you might not be exposed to at home. For example, in the UK most of our clients prefer to keep their underwear on during massages. However, in most of the world, it is normal for clients to remove their underwear during treatments, to allow for smoother movements when working on the glutes.

  • It is not uncommon for therapists to practice a traditional type of massage without ever setting foot in its country of origin such as Thailand or Japan. If you do get a chance to visit, make time to check out a few different local massages. Notice what is the same and what might be different from your training. It will add colourful detail to your conversation with clients who will no doubt be impressed with your in-depth knowledge and passion.

So how can you schedule regular massage treatments when time and resources are tight?


Massage swaps are popular among therapists but people’s experiences can vary. There are also different ways to approach this relationship. Some prefer to pay for their appointments and others set up an exchange system.

Before getting started, research your local area for different types of massage therapists. Is there anyone you know already and have a good relationship with? Are there any clinics you have seen in passing and have been really curious to try out! Check on social media to see if any massage therapists near you are offering any special introductory deals or seasonal offers so you can save money if you do decide to pay for your treatment.

Which brings us to …


Massage swaps - the good, the bad and the ugly!


Some of you have shared the good experiences you have had with taking part in massage exchanges.

Good massage swap experience comment from Facebook from Kizzys Relaxatiehuis

However, lots of therapists reported finding massage swaps stressful after some bad experiences.


Bad experiences with massage swaps comment from Facebook from Marika Klejment


It was clear one of the biggest challenge putting you off massage swaps was scheduling.


Problems with massage swaps comment from Facebook from Erin Detka


It can definitely be frustrating to lose a paying client and work/life balance is hard to maintain as a self-employed massage therapist.

If you would still like to do a swap with a therapist you know or are getting to know, there are lots of different approaches depending on schedules and sentiments.


Tips for massage swap success


  • Be upfront. A great suggestion here. Starting off your arrangement with honesty is the best way to be sure both parties are on the same page and minimise the risk for any hurt feelings.

    Tip for a successful massage swap. Facebook comment from Nick Wilde

    • Try to analyse together which times in your schedule are often empty. Some therapists prefer to commit to one treatment a month each. Others schedule less regularly, but keeping track can be difficult and bring unnecessary stress to the arrangement. Decide on a timescale that suits you both and commit!  
    • Many massage therapists prefer to pay for their swaps. Some go completely anonymously, to get the same treatment as a client others want to contribute to the cost of their treatment and avoid the situation where either therapist risks losing a paying customer. However, some massage therapists want to network and build connections but would still prefer to pay. Establish a fixed fee and pop it in an envelope that way the money is always to hand and if the arrangement comes to an end no one is out of pocket or feeling like they are still owed. 

      Tip for a successful massage swap. Facebook comment from Michelle S Krause lmt

      • If you are struggling to find a therapist to swap with, reach out on massage therapist groups on Facebook or if you are happy with an unpaid swap then might be useful to you.
      • Whether you charge a fee or not, treat the therapists you swap with like a paying client! Use the experience to test your skills and as a potential job interview! If that therapist is ever sick and needs a last-minute stand-in, they could be calling you if they like your massage techniques.
      • If your massage swap is no longer working for you there are ways you can end the agreement without hurting anyone’s feelings. If you have been upfront about your arrangement it should be easy enough to back out, even if you haven’t found the next therapist to work with yet, sometimes a little white lie doesn’t hurt!

        Tip for how to leave a massage swap. Facebook comment from Ian Harvey


        Tip for how to leave a massage swap. Facebook comment from Allissa Haines

        How often do you go for a massage yourself? Have you ever taken part in a massage swap with another therapist? We would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

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