Another common question we hear from aspiring massage therapists is how to best gauge whether they have the personality and characteristics required to become a good massage therapist.
It is helpful to know this before even going to massage school and having invested a significant amount of time, energy and resources pursuing a career that you may later find unsatisfying.
While there is no one size fits all mold that can be memorialized, there are a handful of commonalities we usually see in successful massage therapists who are able to practice massage for several years without burning out in this demanding profession.
Of all the necessary characteristics, being “caring” or having a “care giver” attitude is one of the strongest common traits we see in successful massage practitioners. The desire to provide care is genuine and comes from within. Successful practitioners derive a great deal of self satisfaction from knowing that their direct actions make someone feel better and suffer less from pain.
This is a trait that in our opinion cannot be taught in school. While you can condition yourself over time to become more caring, compassionate and considerate, there will always be a tendency to shift back to the norm if these qualities are not inherent in your personality.
One of the best ways to gauge whether you have what it takes from a care giver perspective is to consider volunteering in a hospice or retirement home where you get to work with elderly folks, who are sometimes disabled, where you are required to give care at all times and show your compassion. Similar activities can be pursued in animal shelters for example.
Join community service groups, charitable functions and similar initiatives that require you to assume the position of the primary care giver. While you are engaged in the activities, try to genuinely assess whether you truly enjoy what you are doing. Evaluate how you feel after the activities have been completed and you’ve had some time to reflect back.
Many people have the care giver quality in them, but they either do not realize it or need to hone the quality through activities such as the ones described above. Engaging in activity sometimes helps bring what’s in our subconscious to our conscious where we become more aware and in tune with our qualities.
This exercise will either confirm your desire to become a massage therapist, or save you from spending your time, energy and resources pursuing a career that may not be a good fit for you. The sooner you can gauge whether your personality is a good fit for this career, the better off you will be.