After years in any business it can be easy to overwork ourselves, start to feel like we are burning out or simply become a bit jaded.
It is always worth checking in regularly and remembering why you started off any venture that you were once so passionate about. So we wanted to share 6 reasons why we love being massage therapists to hopefully inspire our fellow therapists to remember what sparked their love of massage therapy!
There are not many people who get to say they relieve people's pain everyday. There isn't really a greater purpose we could hope to have in life.
When you are feeling jaded and dealing with nightmare clients it can be hard to remember that we are truly blessed as massage therapists to work each day with such a great purpose. Take five at the end of a bad day to read some of your past reviews so you can leave the blues in the office and head home with a more cheery outlook.
Many therapists use reviews as great promotion materials for their massage therapy businesses on social media. However they can also be a really handy reminder on rubbish days as to why you got into this industry... and why you matter to your nice clients.
Many of us as therapists have left unfulfilling jobs looking for something more meaningful.
It is easy to forget how lucky we are to have a job where people are pleased to see you, especially when we are in the middle of a hectic week!
Slow down and take time with your clients to show how much you value them in return. Thank them for their kind words and tell them what it means to you to have them as a client.
Not only will this pay off in terms of your own well being as a massage therapist but it will strengthen the relationship between you and your client and...... hopefully strengthen their loyalty!
Starting out as a massage therapist it can be scary. Trying to fill your books with lovely clients can be really daunting and it can also be easy to give in to working crazy hours, filling up the whole weekend or working late into the night.
But over time as you master your scheduling you will be able to take advantage of another amazing perk of being a massage therapist. Setting your own hours is something people in other lines of work can only dream of, especially if you have children or other commitments that require a bit of flexibility, you can still earn a great salary and be your own boss!
I am sure we have all worked in jobs where every second felt like it lasted an hour! Where each day felt the same as the day before and the day before that.
As we all know when working as a massage therapist you should be striving to provide a tailor made treatment to each of your clients. Not only does this deliver the level of service that will keep your clients coming back, it also means that no two treatments will ever be the same.
Taking this approach will keep pushing you as a massage therapist, will encourage you to keep your skills up to date and will keep you falling in love in our profession!
As massage therapists we can choose to work in a niche that reflects the issues we are passionate about. Whether it is focusing on a particular ailment or working with a particular community group, we can tailor our massage therapy businesses to give back to the issues we care most about.
By focusing on a niche you can use your previous professional and personal experiences to help you relate to clients and work on something you are passionate about. In turn this can help you get ahead, fill up your books and set you up as a specialist, meaning you can earn more money for fewer massage treatments!
this leads us nicely on to...
It can be easy to underestimate the impact we have as massage therapists.
Take time to think back to a time when you have had pain or tension in your muscles. Remember how much you craved relief and how much it impacted your day, week or month!
Being in pain can impact people's jobs, relationships, their family life as well as their health. The relief you bring as a massage therapist will have a massive knock on effect both in their life and those around them.
Just think about it. A client is struggling with back pain, they are a CEO and their pain is making them super grumpy at work! All the employees are struggling to deal with their boss' bad moods and some have even started looking for new jobs. At the end of the day the client struggles to get to the supermarket to pick up some food, at the check out they snap at the checkout attendant who ends their day feeling rubbish too.
and so on and so on....
This might seem a bit cheesy but when we are dealing with creepy clients or having a week of cancellations hold on to the fact that your work is making a difference in your community in ways you might not even realise!
We hope you have all been enjoying our "Ask The Muscle Whisperer" series. This month we asked the UK massage industry's top thought leaders about the shape of the industry today, both good and the bad, focusing on what challenges newly qualified therapists face and what benefits can be taken advantage of today.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.