What is really important?
Reflections on what a massage therapist needs to develop
The massage therapist career requires a flexible mind, a hardy body and, most importantly, their strong connection. We have a great responsibility – we must not only help our clients, but also serve as an example for them of a responsible and informed attitude to our health. I believe that the cornerstone of our success in the field of massage and a long career is taking care of ourselves and adhering to the principles of personal ethics.
The ethical framework defines the professional boundaries of what is permitted and guides us in the process of development as specialists, helping to build real plans and correctly prioritize. Of course, no one can avoid mistakes, including in terms of ethics, but any mistake is a good lesson, an occasion to become even better not only as a specialist, but also as a person.
Experience is the best teacher, and the ability to use other people’s experience and learn from the mistakes of other people is a sign of prudence and wisdom. You can learn from someone you trust, who have extensive knowledge and experience in your field, from those who are professionally able to communicate with clients and are familiar with psychology, and sometimes it’s good to take a lesson from the simplest people around us. You should have a teacher, a guideline that helps you make decisions that will really benefit your practice and help reveal your best points. Not only a person can become such a mentor, but also a book (or books), biographies, even films … the list is huge!
Intuition is an innate ability of each of us, and it can be used as a powerful tool for solving a variety of problems in the process of massage, manual therapy, chiropractic and so on. However, sometimes our intuition can be erroneous, and even more often, as many people think, simply do not work out, be silent. But in fact, in some cases, we simply do not notice the work of intuition. A person with experience, a good mentor will point out the subtlest manifestations of intuition, various unconscious actions in the massage process, which you yourself cannot notice.
Another pillar of successful practice is honesty, respecting the rules of confidentiality and respect for the personal space and life of clients.
Discussing people who come to us with colleagues or even family is wrong and, I think, it’s not worth talking about it. It is equally unethical (and moreover, unproductive and unprofessional) to express non-constructive criticism behind the backs of your colleagues, people involved in educational activities and so on.
Modern massage is a developed, diverse and very deep branch of knowledge, one might say science – and science has adopted open, motivated, constructive discussions, the purpose of which is not to demonstrate superiority and, all the more so, is not empty criticism, but to achieve consensus, the discovery of which something new, in general – creation. And do not forget – your personal beliefs that are not related to the subject of discussion and the field as a whole are not always appropriate to demonstrate. At least, I think so, a massage therapist with thirty years of experience and the vast majority of my colleagues.
Now let’s talk about such an interesting way of expanding horizons and gaining new knowledge and skills, such as working in groups and at seminars. It is there that you can discuss various ideas that undoubtedly come to your mind every day, hear the pros and cons, get constructive criticism and, of course, no less constructive and motivating approval from your colleagues. Communicating with other professionals, you expand the boundaries of your perception and open up to new ideas – this will help you avoid professional stagnation and move on.
And finally, what I mentioned at the beginning of the article is taking care of myself and my body. This is very, very important! What we do, such as massage, manual therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and other holistic techniques, can help us maintain physical and psychological balance. And mental and physical balance is essential for work – we all know that massage and other manual techniques require a lot from our mind and body. We must adhere to the same rules of self-care that we recommend to our customers. We must take care of our bodies in the same way that we take care of the bodies of our clients on a daily basis.
Do not forget about the conscious attitude to food – proper nutrition is the key to high performance, maximum concentration and, of course, longevity. To maintain energy at a high level throughout the day, you should eat fractionally, in small portions, eat foods rich in nutrients, and avoid foods that cause a sharp rise in blood sugar, and then its equally sharp drop. Of course, first of all we are talking about fast carbohydrates. However, with severe fatigue, a few slices of chocolate will not hurt!