Massage therapy is all about helping your clients relieve stress, ease pain and release tension. However, without proper care, while you are helping others, you may be damaging your own body. From physical pain to mental stress, one of your main priorities as a massage therapist should be to practice self-care and be sure your mind and body are in excellent shape. This will allow you to maintain your current and future health while giving your clients the individual care they need. Here are some tips to help keep you feeling great, so you can enjoy every day of your career.
Practice Better Nutrition
Being a massage therapist means a lot of time on your feet and plenty of stress on your body. That is why it is important to choose foods that will keep your energy up and reduce strain and inflammation.
Instead of simple carbohydrates that will spike your energy and leave you feeling sluggish after lunch, choose complex carbs. Complex carbs like sweet potatoes, yams and brown rice will keep you feeling energized all day, and they can even relieve muscle soreness.
Omega-3, a fatty acid found in fish oil, can do wonders for your memory and even relieve depression. Additionally, Omega-3 is an all-natural anti-inflammatory that can help relieve joint pain and stiffness in your arms and fingers.
Fruits and Vegetables
Along with keeping you hydrated throughout the work day, fruits and vegetables can help keep your muscle tissue healthy. Recent studies have shown that vegetables and fruits are an excellent source of bioflavonoids, which are essential in reducing free radicals in your system that can be harmful to your healthy tissue.
Without enough magnesium, even the smallest pressure on joints and bones can put you at risk for stress fractures, and as a massage therapist, it is vital that you keep your bones and muscles strong. You can take magnesium as a supplement, or eat foods rich in magnesium such as broccoli, almonds, fish, yogurt, and even chocolate.
Proper hydration is important for every part of your body, including your joints. If you are feeling joint pain throughout the day, you may think you need to rest or take an anti-inflammatory. However, the first thing you should do is check to see if you’ve had enough water. Be sure to start each morning by drinking a glass or two of water and continue throughout the day. You can also supplement your fluid intake by snacking on water-dense fruits and vegetables like melon and cucumber.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital for your health, cognitive ability and mood. Not getting adequate amounts of sleep for prolonged periods of time can cause you to make poor nutritional and life choices. Maintain your health, energy levels, focus, and happiness by developing a schedule to go to bed and wake up at the same each day.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
As a massage therapist, it can sometimes be hard to say no to clients. Maybe a regular client has had a tough week and wants to schedule a last-minute appointment when you are already exhausted or booked solid. It can be tempting to skip your break or work extra hours to squeeze them in. However, if doing so is going to take a toll on your own health, it is always better to say no.
You can turn down a client’s request nicely by simply asking if you can schedule them for next week instead or even referring them to one of your colleagues if it is an emergency. Your client is likely to understand and will appreciate you taking the time to help them.
Manage Your Stress
As a massage therapist, your job is relieving other’s stress through massage. However, if you are not taking care of your own mental health, your stress could be building up. Be sure to take time every day to maintain your own mental health in a way that works for you. This could mean visiting a therapist once a week or month, practicing yoga, going for a run, or using a meditation app on your phone. Taking some time to relieve your own stress or anxiety can go a long way in your personal and professional life.
Use Proper Technique Every Time
Using the proper technique when giving massages is important for the client and also for you. Technique is taught for a reason. From the way you position your feet on the ground to how you apply pressure with your fingers, everything works together to keep your joints and muscles healthy and strong. Due to the rise of repetitive stress injuries in massage therapists, try to limit the amount of work for your hands and fingers and let your forearms take over whenever possible.
Are you considering a job in massage therapy? Launch your career with Woodruff Medical’s massage therapy training today.