Getting discouraging info about massage career

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ACluv3 in Menifee, California

81 months ago

I have wanted to do massage for quite some time now. Latley all I am getting is people trying to discourage me. My hubby doesnt want me to do it because he doesnt want me massaging any "weirdos" or doing house calls. Then my BFF who a few yrs back started massage school but dropped out keeps telling me that its not worth it, its so draining physically and emotionally. I have anxiety issues and she keeps telling me that its not a good career chioce for me because of that. Its funny because one of the things that made me interested in massage was the fact that I do have anxiety issues, so I thought that getting into a career that had a more realxing enviroment I could learn how to relax and help others that need the same. I want to do this but hearing these negative things and not having the ones I love encourage me is very difficult. Has anyone else faced any of these things?? Are jobs very hard to come by?

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Barb in Midlothian, Virginia

81 months ago

Do not let others hold you back. I also "had" a husband that didnt want me to go to massage school. He thought that it wouldnt be profitable and never encouraged me to fulfill my dream. Well we broke up & I went to school, and just passed my Natl. Certification test 2 days ago! I love my work & find it very rewarding. It is physically hard, but enjoy my job!

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Julie in Redmond, Washington

81 months ago

A career in massage can be emotionally and physically draining. What usually causes that is that there are underlying reasons and agendas for wanting to help others and massage therapists give up themselves to be able to help others. The thing is that becoming a massage therapist is more about learning to take care of yourself and get your needs for attention, nurturing and appreciation met outside of a massage practice. It is about becoming aware of yourself.

It is common for family members to not support such decisions. Change brings up a lot of fear for others. You have to stick to your guns and keep sharing with others why you want to do this and what it will mean to you. You will get more support when you actually do go to massage school as there will be plenty of others in the same boat.

Jobs are becoming more plentiful but are still low paying in general. Most massage therapists go on to start and build their own practice which can be much more lucrative

Good luck with your career.

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1prettygirl77 in charleston, South Carolina

81 months ago

Becoming a LMT shouldn't be about making money... it should be about believing in the profession. Period. You will need that conviction to get you through the people who think that it is a world full of "weirdo's". Not saying in my eight years as a LMT I haven't encountered a few. Massage therapy is VERY taxing on your body no matter what you do, if that is how you support yourself. So be prepared. If you are looking for a relaxing career, Spa is great, but go for skin care. This is not as taxing on your body and still very rewarding. Check it out!!!

Good Luck

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Sue

78 months ago

ACluv3 in Menifee, California said: I have wanted to do massage for quite some time now. Latley all I am getting is people trying to discourage me. My hubby doesnt want me to do it because he doesnt want me massaging any "weirdos" or doing house calls. Then my BFF who a few yrs back started massage school but dropped out keeps telling me that its not worth it, its so draining physically and emotionally. I have anxiety issues and she keeps telling me that its not a good career chioce for me because of that. Its funny because one of the things that made me interested in massage was the fact that I do have anxiety issues, so I thought that getting into a career that had a more realxing enviroment I could learn how to relax and help others that need the same. I want to do this but hearing these negative things and not having the ones I love encourage me is very difficult. Has anyone else faced any of these things?? Are jobs very hard to come by?

When I first started telling people I was interested in massage, I got a lot of negative feedback as well. It is a feel that you can truly enjoy if you are really passionate about it. Unfortunately, the unlicensed and professional people out there perpetrating as MT's often give the profession a bad name, if you research this field further, you will find that it is actually a vital and respectable field today.

One of the great advantages of MT is that you have the ability to call the shots about the kind of clients you will deal with since there are so many different environments to work in. For example: spa, medical office/hospital, corporate massage, private practice, mobile massage, parties, events, cruise ship & the list goes on & on.

As for the physical challenge in massage, it is important to take good care of yourself in this profession to ensure career longevity. This is something that you learn in detail in massage school and in massage magazines, associations, etc.

All the best!

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Sue

78 months ago

ACluv3 in Menifee, California said: I have wanted to do massage for quite some time now. Latley all I am getting is people trying to discourage me. My hubby doesnt want me to do it because he doesnt want me massaging any "weirdos" or doing house calls. Then my BFF who a few yrs back started massage school but dropped out keeps telling me that its not worth it, its so draining physically and emotionally. I have anxiety issues and she keeps telling me that its not a good career chioce for me because of that. Its funny because one of the things that made me interested in massage was the fact that I do have anxiety issues, so I thought that getting into a career that had a more realxing enviroment I could learn how to relax and help others that need the same. I want to do this but hearing these negative things and not having the ones I love encourage me is very difficult. Has anyone else faced any of these things?? Are jobs very hard to come by?

Oh, and I forgot to add that job availability may vary by location. I live in FL, so opportunities abound here. The fact though is that you can create the opportunities yourself in massage by starting your own practice. I am female and personally prefer to work with female clients. Another option is to specialize in infant/pediatric massage or events as I do if you are concerned about security matters.

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Brianna in Franklin, Massachusetts

75 months ago

1prettygirl77 in charleston, South Carolina said: Becoming a LMT shouldn't be about making money... it should be about believing in the profession. Period. You will need that conviction to get you through the people who think that it is a world full of "weirdo's". Not saying in my eight years as a LMT I haven't encountered a few. Massage therapy is VERY taxing on your body no matter what you do, if that is how you support yourself. So be prepared. If you are looking for a relaxing career, Spa is great, but go for skin care. This is not as taxing on your body and still very rewarding. Check it out!!!

Good Luck

your basically crush her dreams just like her husband she needs to do what she wants and be independent she needs follow the path which she thinks will be best for her. good luck honey.

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Erica in Toledo, Oh

74 months ago

I will be starting school in april 09' and I constantly have negative people telling me that I will not make any money and so on. My boyfriend is supporting me, and I am slowly gaining my family's support. As they see that I am so persistnat. I tell you to stay strong and stand up for who you are. Be confident!! You will be okay.

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Gregory in Schaumburg, Illinois

74 months ago

Hi i have just moved to IL couple of weeks ago with my wife from NYC and was actually thinking about fresh start as a Massage Therapist, please don't get wrong impression but i have always loved helping others and i think it would be a great way for me to do something important while making money that pay bills. Are there a lot of men in this field and is there anything You think of that would discouraging for me to go for it? There is a school near by but I'm bit hesitant to work in this field. Thank You for all your feedback
Sincerely
Greg

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julie in Redmond, Washington

74 months ago

There are not a lot of men in the field but that doesn't mean much unless you let it. There are many leaders in the massage profession who are men so they carved out a niche for themselves.

Many people and yourself could think up discouraging things but the whole thing you need to figure out for yourself is - is it true?

www.thebodyworker.com/malemassagetherapistissues.htm

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massage therapist in Brockton, Massachusetts

74 months ago

Gregory in Schaumburg, Illinois said: Hi i have just moved to IL couple of weeks ago with my wife from NYC and was actually thinking about fresh start as a Massage Therapist, please don't get wrong impression but i have always loved helping others and i think it would be a great way for me to do something important while making money that pay bills. Are there a lot of men in this field and is there anything You think of that would discouraging for me to go for it? There is a school near by but I'm bit hesitant to work in this field. Thank You for all your feedback
Sincerely
Greg

Greg,
It all depends on the area that you live in. I'd go and ask the local therapists what your area is like. The area that I practice in is more geared toward female therapists. Not just the homophobic guy thing (a lot of guys don't want to be rubbed by another guy). The females in my area prefer females and God's honest, I really don't know why. I did ask one once and she just said "I would never have any guy touch me but my husband". I just left it at that. So Greg, you'll just have to have a look around and see what it's like in your area.

By the way, just starting out, the pay isn't that great. It takes a couple of years to get established and have a steady clientele. Plus there's the whole economy thing. Folks have less disposable income nowadays and even though massage is really a necessity, folks really think it's a luxury.

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LMT NYC in Astoria, New York

72 months ago

Massage is a wonderful thing yet being an LMT is not as relaxing as you may think. There are many factors to consider before going to school. It is not a walk in the park by any means and there are plenty of other career choices to choose from. Do Research... If you want it after that... Go for it. Just take everything they tell you in school with a grain of salt.

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Massage Therapist in Atlanta, Georgia

71 months ago

I do not recommend it as a career if you suffer from anxiety. You will be touching people who may suffer themselves from anxiety and deep rooted issues and how are you going to respond to them? Becoming a massage therapist will not alleviate your anxieties they will just bring them out more unless you address them.

I have met several massage therapists who need lots of help and don't even know it. It's sad. Smart ladies with alter egos that take over.

By the way, massage therapist love their profession and also DO WANT TO MAKE MONEY! The person who made that statement is not a full time professional. I could confidently bet my money on that one.

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Leigh21 in Spokane, Washington

71 months ago

I think if you want to become a massage therapist, you should do it. I was on the fence about it for 5 years and I finally did it, and I love it. There are ways of getting around the weirdos. Try explaining to your husband that massage is not only for relaxation, but many people are now getting referred by doctors and chiros, because they are truly in need of pain relief. Hopefully this will help in your decision. These people that are being negative towards you, are not living your life. I say you do it and prove them wrong.

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LMT PDX in Portland, Oregon

69 months ago

Does anyone know what burned out massage therapists go on to do with their careers? I am getting to the end of my endurance levels and am casting around for ideas of what to do next. Any help would be much appreciated!

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thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington

69 months ago

Figure out why you burned out because it will just keep happening in anything you choose. Doing massage is more about taking care of yourself. Starting a business or working for someone is more about setting clear boundaries to support you so you don't burn out.
thebodyworker.com/selfcare.htm

Consider getting supervision to help you overcome your burnout.
www.massage-career-guides.com/peer-supervision.html

Start creating websites and writing about massage and health.
That's what I did so combined with peer supervision, I am no longer burned out but can't wait to get to the office.

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Sharon Moak in Vancouver, Washington

69 months ago

thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington said: Figure out why you burned out because it will just keep happening in anything you choose. Doing massage is more about taking care of yourself. Starting a business or working for someone is more about setting clear boundaries to support you so you don't burn out.

Wow, I could not disagree with you any more. This statement is completely off base. Massage is a high burnout job because it is physically and emotionally draining and doesn't pay enough to compensate for the toll it takes.

I worked as a computer programmer 12 years and never burned out. I switched to massage because it sounded fun and my company was downsizing. 5 years into my massage career I'm frazzled to a crisp. I've gone back to computer programming and plan to keep doing it the rest of my life without burning out.

Here are things my friends have done. One is a cosmetologist and specializes in wigs, nails and skin treatments for cancer patients...7 years strong.

Another became a physical therapy assistant. It's tough but pays better, offers good benefits and is MUCH easier on her body...4 years no burnout.

An ex-coworker just got her degree in nursing. She worked 4 years through school doing home health care and will continue. Nursing is also a high burnout job, but non-hospital work is better. She loves it and gets paid twice as much.

A male friend is a personal trainer with a specialized certification in corrective exercise...10 years happy facing no discrimination in the workplace. Another friend just quit massage to spend more time teaching and playing music full time...he's done this 40 years and has never burned out.

THIS PROVES BURNOUT ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT KEEP HAPPENING IN ANYTHING YOU CHOOSE!!!!!! It keeps happening with brutal jobs.

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Sharon Moak in Vancouver, Washington

69 months ago

LMT PDX in Portland, Oregon said: Does anyone know what burned out massage therapists go on to do with their careers? I am getting to the end of my endurance levels and am casting around for ideas of what to do next. Any help would be much appreciated!

Do you enjoy the in general helping others as a profession, or is that part of your burnout?

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LMT PDX in Portland, Oregon

69 months ago

I do enjoy helping others. The burnout is purely physical. Sore hands, sore shoulders, muscle weakness... Even weekly massages, working out and hot baths are not helping...

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Sharon Moak in Vancouver, Washington

69 months ago

LMT PDX in Portland, Oregon said: I do enjoy helping others. The burnout is purely physical. Sore hands, sore shoulders, muscle weakness... Even weekly massages, working out and hot baths are not helping...

email me at sharon.moak at mac.com and we'll talk

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

69 months ago

Oklahoma doesn't regulate massage like most states. I'm burned out too. My partner and I are starting a sandwich shop. I work even longer hours and don't face the same kind of burnout I did as a massage therapist.

Best wishes no matter what you choose!

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Terry Time in Trenton, Florida

69 months ago

I'm feeling the time to cut way down is quickly approaching. I might keep 10 massages a week, no more. That won't be enough money so I'm going to be a medical esthetician.

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Ann in San Diego, California

69 months ago

Burnout happens rather quickly for a massage therapist. After 13 years as a MT, I went to school for physical therapy assistant and I am glad I did. I've been in that field for 3 yrs and while it is somewhat physical it doesn't compare to the energy it took to do 6 massages a day!
I would recommend to anyone working as a massage therapist to have a plan B in place before you burnout.

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LMT PDX in Portland, Oregon

69 months ago

Thanks for the info. How long was your PTA training? Was it expensive? Do you find it fulfilling?

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Horizon in Portland, Oregon

69 months ago

I'm a second year PTA student at Mt Hood Community College. I also burned out as a massage therapist after 9 years. The program here takes 8 quarters to finish and will cost around $12,000 with books and tuition. For me it's so much more rewarding than massage! I have more knowledge of the body and therapeutic treatments. I feel better working under the direction of an actual PT who can accurately diagnose musculoskeletal conditions and give me a real plan of action. It's better than the guesswork I did as a massage therapist.

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VerbalGurl in Brooklyn, New York

69 months ago

LMT PDX in Portland, Oregon said: Does anyone know what burned out massage therapists go on to do with their careers? I am getting to the end of my endurance levels and am casting around for ideas of what to do next. Any help would be much appreciated!

A lot of LMTs I know have taken the next step in their careers and become Physical Therapists, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, RNs, even DOs. It all depends on you. Write your own story!

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thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington

69 months ago

Yes you can write your own story and not burn out and even make $50,000-$100,000 if you learn that massage is more about taking care of yourself and that includes financially.

Massage is a high burnout job because you let yourself be walked all over by employers and by not charging enough for your services if you have your own business or not charging for noshows and late fees. It is physically and emotionally draining when you choose to work on less than nourishing clients who don't want to pay you a decent rate or do what you need to do to take care of yourself - getting weekly massage, supervision, therapy to get your needs met so you don't have to let clients drain you.

It is all what you want it to be.

Julie
www.thebodyworker.com
www.massagepracticebuilder.com
www.massage-career-guides.com

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Sum Bunny in Orlando, Florida

69 months ago

Oh god. Not again.

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lola1107 in Bronx, New York

69 months ago

LOL!! Find a new job already.
I love massage therapy and learned not to
get burned out. However, I'm going back to
school simply because during these times
we have to reinvent ourselves.

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Sum Bunny in Orlando, Florida

69 months ago

I love my massage job! Doesn't burn me out either.

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LMT PDX in Portland, Oregon

69 months ago

To lola1107: If it were that easy to find a job, I wouldn't be on this forum. But thanks for the input.

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MicBen in Salt Lake City, Utah

69 months ago

thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington said: Yes you can write your own story and not burn out and even make $50,000-$100,000 if you learn that massage is more about taking care of yourself and that includes financially.

Massage is a high burnout job because you let yourself be walked all over by employers and by not charging enough for your services if you have your own business or not charging for noshows and late fees. It is physically and emotionally draining when you choose to work on less than nourishing clients who don't want to pay you a decent rate or do what you need to do to take care of yourself - getting weekly massage, supervision, therapy to get your needs met so you don't have to let clients drain you.

I see you've adjusted down your income estimates from $100K firm to $50-100K. Interesting.

I work at a small chain med spa that does all of those things, which are very good. All it does is change the average length of our careers from 6 to 8 years. So those self care techniques do help, but they are not a permanent solution. It does not change the fact that massage is very damaging to the body.

I too have received regular massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care for 9 years. A difficult thing for me to admit is that massage just does not work for therapeutic purposes. It's fine for relaxation but does very little to actually heal the body. And I've devoted my life to it. So sad.

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tranettew in Chicago, Illinois

69 months ago

Okay, people can burn out in anything they do, period. Let's not trivialize someone else's situation just because you are in it. There are people who want to do massage for the rest of their lives. More power to those people, but it is a natural thing to want to move on. I love being a MT but my goal is to be the owner of a spa. I don't see myself continuing to give so much of myself to clients on an everyday basis. That's including all the self-care in the world. So to LMT PDX, I can appreciate the situation you find yourself in. I think you need to do one of those old school, career evaluation tests and see if you want to stay in a healthcare related field or move in a completely new direction. Good luck on your journey.

As for MicBen, I cannot believe you came in here and said that massage doesn't work for therapeutic purposes! It's completely UNBELIEVABLE that a person who claims to be an MT could even think that. I've been amazed at the results that I and many clients have had with consistent, therapeutic bodywork.

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tranettew in Chicago, Illinois

69 months ago

*aren't in it.

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MicBen in Salt Lake City, Utah

69 months ago

tranettew in Chicago, Illinois said: Let's not trivialize someone else's situation just because you are in it.
But you are free to trivialize my situation. Interesting.

tranettew in Chicago, Illinois said: As for MicBen, I cannot believe you came in here and said that massage doesn't work for therapeutic purposes! It's completely UNBELIEVABLE that a person who claims to be an MT could even think that. I've been amazed at the results that I and many clients have had with consistent, therapeutic bodywork.
Tell me about one.

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tranettew in Chicago, Illinois

69 months ago

Just one? Okay.

I had a client who woke up a couple of times during the night with severe lower back pain and couldn't perform many of the yoga poses in her class that involved lumbar functions. The first time she saw me, she had the HARDEST time rolling over on the table. After 10 weeks of consistent bodywork and her doing her stretches at home, she was sleeping better, flipping over with no problem and could do most, still not all, of those poses.

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tranettew in Chicago, Illinois

69 months ago

And who trivialized your situation?! You came in here with an untrue statement. You didn't say you personally never received any therapeutic benefit, which would have been TOTALLY different.

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MicBen in Salt Lake City, Utah

69 months ago

tranettew in Chicago, Illinois said: And who trivialized your situation?!

tranettew in Chicago, Illinois said: *aren't in it.

According to studies, 80% of all back pain improves itself within 1 MONTH.

www.medscape.com/viewarticle/563639

How do you know massage helped your client? Perhaps it actually made her worse since she took over twice as long as average to improve. Perhaps it actually did help her. How do you know? You're quite adamant that massage DOES help, and you don't seem to be open to any other data. How can you be objective about the treatment you offer?

Just something to think about.

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

69 months ago

OMG, I wonder the same thing, how effective if at all massage is as a therapy. I have actually experienced worse muscle spasms after a therapeutic massage than before. Sometimes it can fire up already sensitized muscles. Plus we're not trained at all in diagnostic skills. It's like 'hunt and peck' most of the time. Just don't talk about this topic out loud with other LMT's...you see what happens! I think their identity is too wrapped up in the idea that they are offering a great healing service.

So many reasons to get out of the biz...

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Leigh21 in Spokane, Washington

69 months ago

So, I guess you would rather see people get pumped full of 20 different prescription pills,instead of getting healed in a healthy way?

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MicBen in Salt Lake City, Utah

69 months ago

Leigh21 in Spokane, Washington said: So, I guess you would rather see people get pumped full of 20 different prescription pills,instead of getting healed in a healthy way?
Resorting to extreme, illogical statements isn't helpful.

The healthy way to heal is to acknowledge a state of dis-ease in the body, listen to yourself, and let the body heal itself. Let it heal from within, don't force therapies from outside and expect the body to comply.

80% of all back pain relieves itself without any outside intervention within 1 month. I do believe external manipulation CAN harm rather than help. Sometimes it does help, but we're not in touch with our bodies enough as a society to really know when we need it.

I am starting to teach techniques that encourage this process such as progressive relaxation and Hanna Somatics.

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Jenn-Jenn in Oakland, California

68 months ago

Agreed agreed. I have been doing massage for 10 years now. Yes it will eventually burn your body out. Maybe if you're made of steal or a robot that doesn't feel pain you might not burn out. Or if all you do is Relaxation massage, well then again no burn-out.
If you do massage like me, deep tissue, and therapeutic work, you know the stuff most people request, yes..... talk about "OUCH!"

I am getting symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome now, and that's only been since the past week. For the last 5 years, my body has hurt. I seem to get over the hurtles but every month it's something new. It's either chronic neck and shoulder pain, headaches, tight jaw, you name it.
Some people are just not made for this job. It's soooo nice to be touched and it's imperative that we are touched... a lot! It's something that our government should make everyone do. Massage doesn't allow for making that much money. We have to pay our own health care, sick pay, everything and high taxes. If this continues to be a strong profession, then therapists should be taken care of by our country. They should get brakes. It's physically insanely demanding. Don't let anyone tell you differently.
You can do relaxation massage, but it takes twice as long to build up a practice. Everyone is a massage therapist now too. Go into something else like Rolfing or cranio sacral stuff. Be different!

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tiffany in Washington, District of Columbia

68 months ago

you know what half of ya'll problem is use massage to get in the door then expand your practice to learn more things duhh so you don't get burned out by just doing straight massages

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Breakfast in West Linn, Oregon

68 months ago

Thank you, tiffany. Very helpful, encouraging, and most of all articulate. Spoken like a true professional.

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brandon in lafayette louisiana

67 months ago

wow everyone has completely confused me i am supose to start mt school here in about a month and i see there are equally good comments as well as bad but i was going to school for nursing i know that the pay is great ...but my mom is an rn and she said the money isnt even worth it because it drains her like no tomorrow and the paper work just builds it seems like every shift she said and i am currently manageing at a restuarant and everyone even my family tells me i have magic fingers ...it feels so relaxing when i massage them so i know i can make a career out of mt and i know that it will not drain me becuase im physically fit and i could make a courpse fill relaxed if i tried ...so yeah i am sorry that i came here and confused myself but i am going to make a load of money and i going to love what i do at the same time but i will not work for anyone i will do house visits and different events and i will market myself until i cant go anymore and i will have people calling me five times a day and there will be a waiting list .....i guess its just about thinking positive and my country se;f is one person that can do that .......

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Patagonia in Portland, Oregon

67 months ago

Yeah...good luck with that! You sound just like every other enthusiastic, inexperienced massage newbie...before the reality of a massage career shreds your body, robs your enthusiasm for life, or leaves you destitute. Or all the above. Keep your contacts in the restaurant world!

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thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington

67 months ago

Being drained by a job is much more than physical. It has to do with giving of your time and not feeling appreciated or rewarded. Many in the helping professions have a tendency to give too much thinking it will get them somewhere when all it does is deplete you. You can stop it by setting good boundaries and taking care of yourself not only physically but emotionally and mentally too.

thebodyworker.com/1selfcare.htm

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Jenn-Jenn in Oakland, California

67 months ago

This is so true! Being drained comes from the emotional state of personal boundaries not being met. I think that most body workers really need another non-physical job to supplement their income with. Or give their bodies breaks with other modalities that aren't so straining.
Some full-time therapists I've known have had such chronic injuries that they've had to quit massage. People in the Bay where I am like a ton of deep tissue massage, and if you are doing more than 3 days of that a week then watch out. Being aware of working too much and giving too much is a constant struggle within ourselves. We have to empower ourselves in saying ,"No" or "OK, I'm now finished with this massage," and knowing that it's fine.

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Harmonee in Boise, Idaho

67 months ago

thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington said: Being drained by a job is much more than physical. It has to do with giving of your time and not feeling appreciated or rewarded. Many in the helping professions have a tendency to give too much thinking it will get them somewhere when all it does is deplete you. You can stop it by setting good boundaries and taking care of yourself not only physically but emotionally and mentally too.

Unfortunately it hasn't worked that way for me at all. My clients and peers are VERY appreciative of my work. My peer supervision & I have decided that for me 18 massages a week is enough and I strictly adhere to it. I'm still so exhausted at the end of every day that all I do is crash in the bed and cry myself to sleep. Some jobs themselves are just too much. I agree with Jen, it's only good for a part-time gig.

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thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington

67 months ago

Then something is still not right - Do you love what you are doing? Do you charge enough? Do you know why you help? Are you giving too much in each session? Are you working only on your ideal client? Are you getting (paying) for a massage once a week yourself? Addressing the issues underneath these things can help.

At 18 massages a week is pretty good actually and you should be able to make $70,000 a year or so.

Julie

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