Massage school is a demanding time in life, especially if you are working while going to school. Don’t let the stress get you down. Use these self-care tips to stay happy and healthy while you’re going to massage school and getting started as a massage therapist.
1. Take care of your body.
Your body is your most important tool as a massage therapist. Learn to listen to your body’s subtle warning signs (aching wrists after a long day of massage, twinges in your thumbs, etc.) and treat minor aches and pains before they turn into career-threatening injuries.
Rest your hands and arms whenever possible, and ice frequently to prevent or reduce inflammation, especially if you are increasing the number of hours you massage per week.
2. Learn proper body mechanics.
Learn how to use your whole body as you massage rather than just your arms and wrists. Proper body mechanics will prolong your career as a massage therapist and greatly reduce your risk for injury. Take the time and effort to learn how to massage correctly in the beginning of your career, and you’ll be grateful for the rest of your career.
3. Adjust the massage table to the right height.
Proper massage table height is important for your body mechanics. Leaning too far down or reaching too high forces you to adapt by changing your posture. For most massage students, the top of the massage table should reach your first set of knuckles when your hand is down by your side. This is a general guideline only; use your best judgment to find the right height for you. Certain types of massage (such as deep tissue) and certain clients with a thicker body structure may require a shorter massage table height.
4. Use massage tools to give your wrists and thumbs a break.
There’s no shame in using massage tools to give your hands a break. A simple thumb saver can allow you to massage longer or apply deeper pressure without risking an injury.
5. Take time for yourself.
Massage therapists can easily fall into the trap of always helping others but never taking time out for themselves. Set aside time each week to do something just for yourself. You can’t give to others what you don’t give to yourself first.
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