Massage therapists need care much like anyone else does. In fact we can argue that a massage therapist needs more care than your average person.
Why? Because giving massages is physically a lot more demanding on the body than most other professions. Providing massage requires practitioners to be in the best shape possible in order to deliver satisfaction to their patients and clients.
One of the common questions we get from massage students as well as new practitioners is how often they should be getting massages. There is no single answer that is uniform and applicable to all. The best answer to this question is to listen to your body and give it what it needs when it needs it. But before even your body tells you that it needs help, take proactive measures to prevent situations where your body cries for help.
Generally speaking, if you are maintaining a good exercise regimen and diet in your day to day life, you shouldn’t need as much physical care as someone who doesn’t. But then again, everyone is different and even that is not a guaranteed rule of thumb.
Always listen to your body. Being a good massage therapist involves being in tune with thyself. It is one of the top characteristics of massage therapists. This is especially important because you are required to be in tune with your patient’s body as well. How can you expect to understand your patient’s body and deliver high quality service when you don’t understand your own body? That would be like a blind leading the blind.
While you can seek other massage facilities outside of the one you work at to get personal care periodically, many massage therapists who work in larger settings usually find a “partner” they periodically exchange massages with. It’s like a care for the care giver program through a partner exchange.
Every so often, as a massage therapist, you can block out an hour in your day to provide massage to one of your colleagues. The colleague can return the favor by providing you with a massage when you need it. A good rule to go by is at least once a month. You can do this in a school setting as well if you are a student.
If you know that you are generally less busy on a particular day of the week or a particular time of the day, you can schedule massage swaps during those days so they do not interfere with your patients’ schedules. It goes without saying that emergencies are an exception to this suggestion. You shouldn’t wait to get a massage if your back is “killing you”.
It is best to get a regular routine going so that you can get the dates and times on your calendar. In addition, pre scheduled periodic massages are a proactive approach to maintaining your body conditioning as opposed to scheduling one when your body feels like it needs one.
That said you don’t have to wait for your next pre scheduled massage to get one. Again, the key here is to listen to your body. Your body may need an extra massage in between prescheduled sessions. If so, make sure you get one. If you are in pain, you will not be able to relieve others’ pain successfully.
Exchanging massages or massage swaps are very common in the workplace. In addition to ensuring everyone gets the care they need, it creates bonds, friendships and continuous learning opportunities as every therapist is particularly good at some things that others may not be so good at. Take this opportunity to not only maintain good conditioning but also to network and build relationships within your place of work.
So should you get a massage once a week or once a month? It all depends on your body. While once a month is a good rule of thumb to stay proactive about physical conditioning, you may require massages more frequently.