How do you prevent BOREDOM?

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MicBen in Salt Lake City, Utah

62 months ago

Goodness gracious I'm bored out of my mind with massage. I've spent WAY too much money and time on CEUs learning techniques that nobody wants. A few clients humor me by lettin me try out the new stuff on them once or twice. Then it's back to the old deep tissue Swedish with hot stones. Over and over and over...it's the same massage on the same clients in the same room walking around the same table day after day, month after month, year after year.

Has anyone else experienced this? What do you do besides take classes?

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Massag Maiden in Jacksonville, Florida

62 months ago

I know what you mean about massage being incredibly boring after a while. Folks just get in a rut and don't like to go round changin things. I'd like to hear any suggestions too.

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

62 months ago

MicBen in Salt Lake City, Utah said: Has anyone else experienced this? What do you do besides take classes?

Yes, definitely! I resolved it by only massaging 4-6 hours a week. I have a master's degree and enjoyed a very challenging career before trying massage. Looking back my reasoning for switching was faulty. I figured I had good business skills and it sounded like a fun and rewarding career. I was successful at it, but after a few years it just wasn't enough to hold my interest. I enjoy it so much more the less I do it!

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Bridget in Hilo, Hawaii

62 months ago

A fellow therapist mentioned doing "piece" work to get out of ruts and to remember the different skills you have acquired throughout the years. So if a guest comes in with neck issues but still wants a full-body massage, spend some extra time on the neck and incorporate moves you haven't used in awhile. I found that helped somewhat.

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Isis in Klamath, California

62 months ago

No matter what I do massage drives me nuckin' futs from boredom too. I don't recommend it for anyone who is looking for an interesting career with actual responsibilities. Variety IS the spice of life! Bodywork lacks spice.

I'm in my last year of PA school and am seriously looking forward to never massaging anyone ever again. I have to say, though, that massage did help pay for school. I just can't imagine doing it for the rest of my life. Uck.

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Patagonia in Portland, Oregon

62 months ago

It's so good to see other people who dislike massage as much as me. I don't like to dwell on it, just looking for ideas to move on. All of the other bodywork forums won't let people even ask what the disadvantages to a massage career are. It's all part of the groupthink that goes on over there.

For anyone considering massage for a career, this is one of the disadvantages. It is the most boring and unimportant job I've ever done. You aren't allowed to diagnose or treat any condition, yet clients expect you to, and insurance companies want to act like you do and demand all the same charting, but don't pay enough.

On second thought, if you like the same old routine ever day and like being disrespected by the medical community, massage is a good career for you.

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thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington

62 months ago

You have got to be kidding right??? If you are bored then you are in the wrong profession. Each person is different and in need of a different massage that focuses on what they need. Doing cookie cutter massage sessions isn't helping anyone.

In The Heart of The Soul, Gary Zukav says, "Boredom is a flight from what is important. Like workaholism and perfectionism, it is a way of distracting yourself from inner experiences. It occurs when you look outward and do not find anything to engage your attention. Instead of feeling your emotions - becoming aware of the functioning of your energy system - you become bored. Boredom ... is a flight from your higher potential. It is fear of the transformation that wants to occur, and will occur in you, when you explore your emotions. It is your resistance to spiritual growth."

I have done it full time for 20 years and have never been bored. It is always challenging and exciting. Each person is a unique opportunity to learn about yourself. It is sad to think that so many choose a career in massage and find it boring. It tells me more about the massage schools even letting people in who don't love massage and helping people all to make a buck.

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MT n WA in Olympia, Washington

62 months ago

Oh please, not another feel-good platitude from some self-important author. The OP asked for suggestions, not personal insults and psycho-babble about energy system functioning, whatever the heck that is.

When my clients get me in a rut, I ramp up the advertising for the modalities I want to use more. I earned a certification in Lomi Lomi and tried it on a few existing clients, who smiled and said, "that's nice, can we do our regular work next time?" So I printed up some business cards with a Hawaiian theme and "Lomi Lomi Certified". Sure enough, I got clients who specifically wanted it and referred their friends.

Yes, massage can get boring. Even if you tailor each one to the individual client's needs.

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Sharon in Portland, Oregon

62 months ago

Until massage therapists move to rational, scientific thought and language, we will never be taken seriously in the medical world. “Energy” is just another unscientific word that has replaced “bad humors” and “demons”. It's all the same quackery.

Real scientific studies show massage is a low-skill, high-repetition, low-decision task suitable for specific personality types and low to average IQs. If you find massage boring, it is because your personality type requires higher skill, lower repetition, and greater complexity in decision making for job satisfaction (Stephen Robbins, PhD 2002).

In other words, you'll be happier as a physical therapist!

It's so sad to see self-proclaimed "experts" in the field demeaning those who don't agree with their opinions.

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Sharon in Portland, Oregon

62 months ago

Sorry, I was so angry with a particular judgemental post that I didn't tell you how I keep massage interesting for me.

I feel your pain! Working on the same clients does get very boring. I have my regular clients, plus I travel to a hotel for fill-in treatments. It's a tricky business because of the obvious expectation for sexual favors. But I've developed a reputation for being the best "therapy only" practitioner in the area. That way I see different people who need different work, and it stays interesting to say the least!

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thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington

62 months ago

There was no personal insult in my comment just my personal experience from working with hundreds of massage therapists and working for 20 years full time in the profession.

If you are bored taking classes and and trying all of the tricks you can think of will only address the symptoms and not the cause. When you address the cause by looking at your underlying issues boredom won't be an issue ever.

I have had 2 guys coming 2x a week for over 15 and 18 years and have never felt bored. As I said, each is a unique situation and a new day and they bring in new things each time. Interestingly enough one of them was SR mentioned above!

Doing massage takes little skill but lots of personal presence which is about becoming aware of your feelings.

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Sharon in Portland, Oregon

62 months ago

MicBen, don't listen to anyone who tells you something is wrong and you must 'look at your underlying issues'. You're just fine the way you are. Some people require diversity and interest in their work. Others are fine with routine. It's a difference in personality types. Accept it and find ways to make it unique and fun for you!

I dislike the same old routine, as well. I honor my genetics AND my profession by working on new clients in different settings. I find working on the same person's problems week after week is neither interesting nor challenging. Other people do.

I certainly won't let anyone bully me into believing something's 'wrong' with me...

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thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington

62 months ago

Who said that something was wrong with you if you are bored. You made that up yourself from my post.

There is nothing wrong with you if you are bored. NO one is bullying you into thinking that something is wrong with you. Your taking it personally and thinking it means that is very interesting.

Everyone has things to work on and become more conscious of. It will help you more in being successful in whatever you are doing.

If you can't find something interesting about working on the same person every week you can find the answer in your feelings. If you don't want to then you can just try to trick yourself out of being bored and keep doing the same thing over and over. Or you can look at each person for what they bring to the table - a unique body and personality type and see what you can learn new from each person.

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thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington

62 months ago

DNA has nothing to do with feelings. You choose your feelings based on your beliefs. By you taking things personally it means you are working out of some old tape that tells you that something is wrong with you. Show me where they have proven that your DNA is your personality including job task preferences. If you don't believe that you choose your feelings and also create them then you are being a victim and losing your power to all of those things such as your so called DNA that creates your feelings. It is just taking responsibility for your feelings and your life. You can either do that or just let your DNA leave you feeling bored and uninspired with your life.

You can choose jobs that are more to your DNA then. This isn't apparently since you must have the gene for boredom in you.

If you are touching people when you are bored they will know it.
I actually don't believe in energy system functioning or what ever you want to call it. It is just simply psychology that most people learn about before they are 7 - how to stay present with their feelings and be emotionally aware.

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

61 months ago

The depth of your current brainwashing is nothing short of amazing. I'm making a list of every book you ever mentioned so I can AVOID them like the plague. If this is what they do to people, NO THANK YOU!!!!

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thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington

61 months ago

Would you go to a massage therapist who was bored?

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Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

61 months ago

Actually, yes. My personal massage therapist passionately hates her job and is going back to college. A major reason is because it's not challenging at all for her. Best massage I've ever had and no one can tell she hates doing it. I only know because we're good friends.

I have waiting lists for my massage and I'm terribly bored with it.

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MT n WA in Olympia, Washington

61 months ago

thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington said: Show me where they have proven that your DNA is your personality including job task preferences.

Indeed.com won't allow me to post the link to this study. It's 'A behavior genetic analysis of vocational interests using a modified version of the Jackson Vocational Interest Survey' on sciencedirect.com from January 10, 2008. It proved a 60% correlation between genetic factors and job preference.

There are many, many others.

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Terry Time in Trenton, Florida

61 months ago

Sabeena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma said: Actually, yes. My personal massage therapist passionately hates her job and is going back to college. A major reason is because it's not challenging at all for her. Best massage I've ever had and no one can tell she hates doing it. I only know because we're good friends.

I have waiting lists for my massage and I'm terribly bored with it.


That actually makes sense. In 2008 a University of Alberta psychology team studied multiple groups of workers assembling printed circuits and found the negative, crankier employees produced superior work to their positive-thinking counterparts. The positive-thinking people were too invested in their feeeeeelings and devoted so much energy to perpetuating it. (Who does that remind you of?) Their negative co-workers simply threw themselves into their work and did a better job. They also made half the mistakes.

Yes, studies prove not only do genetics play a large role in personality, but negative people perform better than positive ones. But that's just science, which some people deliberately ignore because it doesn't feeeeeeeeel good!

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Terry Time in Trenton, Florida

61 months ago

BTW, I'm an MT working my way through a PhD in Clinical Psychology. I'm specializing in psychological approaches to pain management. In other words, I have a little bit more expertise in this area than Julie.

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MT n WA in Olympia, Washington

61 months ago

Terry Time in Trenton, Florida said: BTW, I'm an MT working my way through a PhD in Clinical Psychology. I'm specializing in psychological approaches to pain management. In other words, I have a little bit more expertise in this area than Julie.

Dude! That's exactly what I want to do too! That's why I'm studying genetic factors as they relate to personality and how each individual handles stress factors such as pain. Actually I'm considering the master's program. I'm too old for the time commitment required by the PhD program. Are you at UF?

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MicBen in Salt Lake City, Utah

61 months ago

I appreciate the very few good ideas on this thread, not so much the criticism. Didn't ask for it and unless you've got the professional credentials it's not appropriate. I've done more piece work and also put the word out that I'm doing more rotator cuff/plantar fasciitis treatments. So far so good.

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Patagonia in Portland, Oregon

61 months ago

Lesson #1 on how to silence Julie: Introduce cold, hard, indisputable scientific fact to the discussion. Let's all remember this one!

Unfortunately I find the fact that negative people work harder and more accurately to be true. Too bad they're so darned unpleasant to be around much of the time. The best massage therapist I've ever known is bored with it too. She just shuts her trap and doesn't talk about it. The myth that if you're bored/unhappy clients automatically know when you work on them is a complete lie. You don't have to wear your feelings on your sleeves like a medal.

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thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington

61 months ago

Hardly quite - just bored talking to bored massage therapists.

Just wondering why you would waste your time being a massage therapist if you are so deathly bored then. Time is too precious to waste.

The reason I have never become bored is because I see the human body as a miracle really. I engage clients in their sessions getting them to yes - feel their bodies more. I work to bring presence to my massage table which is the key to becoming more intuitive and connecting with the clients presence to create a healing container. Do clinical psychologists know about that?
I learn something new everyday. I am always focused on listening to the body both physically and listening to the clients words. People are so very interesting and all so different. I do a lot of injury work, stress reduction massage and use structural integration and triggerpoint therapy. I often feel like I am a detective working to get to the root cause of each issue/condition. I do this work because I am passionate about learning and working with people.

If you are bored maybe you have chosen the wrong career for your personality.

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lmtkelly in Pleasant View, Tennessee

61 months ago

Boredom is a state of mind not area, facility or genetics.
If you are bored with your chosen profession, determine why. Many experience burnout and call that boredom, that is one reason the fallout is high in the profession. Julie is a very smart lady and does not need scientific eveidence to lay a foundation. She is highly insightful. I'm truly saddened by you ppls that are bored because you simply do not know how to integrate your skills into a lucrative self evolving uplifting practice.

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Rob in San Francisco, California

61 months ago

Wow! Are you folk really bored with doing massage? Perhaps the Phd candidate for Clinical Psychology could offer reasons for (1) How and why boredom could happen when laying hands on different people with different needs and different stories for only one hour (or less) a few times a day could be boring. (2) Why, if it is so boring, you would continue to do this boring and tedious work.

I suspect ADD or some other such thing.

I'm actually in Berkeley, CA.

The Rev

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Rob in Carlsbad, California

61 months ago

This is a great conversation. I've been doing massage in my own practice for over 8 years. "Best massage I ever had" was what I heard right from the beginning when all I kwew was Swedish. After thousands and thousands of massagses, I get awesome therapeutic results. Throughout all this time I have learned to channel energy and spirit guides, connect with the client's higher self, even be used by God for deep healing. I've gotten umpteen referrals from doctors and chiropractors, gotten business from networking groups and the local Chamber of Commerce, even had articles written about me in local newspapers. Yet I now find myself looking for different work. I don't think it is burnout or boredom. Just time for a change. I've mastered it, and now I want to master something else.

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VitalKneads.net in Glendale, Arizona

61 months ago

I have been in the industry for over eight years now. I must say it has NEVER been boring for me. I teach classes offering CEU's. I run a massage forum for local therapists. I work both in a clinic as well as do outcalls. Each client is different. Even the same client may need different treatment at different times. What is boring is when you think more about yourself than the client. This mentality makes you think that 'cookie-cutter' massages are to be expected. My clients know that when they get on the table they are literally in good hands and trust me to do what I think is best and will benefit them most. One day it may be more energy based. While the next time it could be a full body PNF session. Become an expert in your field and never think you've "mastered it". Then and only then will massage no longer be 'boring'.

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lmtkelly in Pleasant View, Tennessee

61 months ago

I must say I agree entirely with VitalKneads' post. A true experienced, caring therapist does NOT get bored withtheir profession. Goodness if my OB got bored with hers my female family members would be in a world of hurt. Not to mention her other patients.

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Healer98 in Phoenix, Arizona

61 months ago

NO; I never get bored of massage! And I've been a therapist for almost 20 years. I'll die while giving a massage but I'll never get bored and I don't know what else I'd do; not at this point. I'll NEVER go back to accounting. Massage is my passion!

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lmtkelly in Pleasant View, Tennessee

61 months ago

thebodyworker in Redmond, Washington said: Who said that something was wrong with you if you are bored. You made that up yourself from my post.

There is nothing wrong with you if you are bored. NO one is bullying you into thinking that something is wrong with you. Your taking it personally and thinking it means that is very interesting.

Everyone has things to work on and become more conscious of. It will help you more in being successful in whatever you are doing.

If you can't find something interesting about working on the same person every week you can find the answer in your feelings. If you don't want to then you can just try to trick yourself out of being bored and keep doing the same thing over and over. Or you can look at each person for what they bring to the table - a unique body and personality type and see what you can learn new from each person.

I work on the same 73 yr old lady every Saturday morning. She started with me in August 03 complaining of restless legs. I researched RLS and told her about it and that maybe she should talk to her Dr. about increasing her magnesium intake. Since then she has had left knee arthoscopy which still causes her some dilema/pain problems but I have now taken a course from Ralph Stephens that has given me ideas on addressing the problem, plus she has recently received a Raindrop session recommended by her sister. She gave me the RD video tape, I studied it became a Doterra essential oil distributor, learned their version called Spinal Technique and have treated 4 clients with amazing results.
I learn something new and fascinating from this one client every week. Even though I'm not trained in animal massage, I taught her how to massage her dogs and she has given very positive feedback.

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Harold Gill in Mesa, Arizona

61 months ago

The guy that proclaimed 20 years experience was right, but angered others because he criticised them for doing 'cookie cutter' massages, and in the wrong profession.
I can relate to him because I too have 20 years exp. For me, though, every massage is a different massage, even with the same client, so I just can't be bored. I get a new client and at the end I get "Awsome" or "Best massage I ever had" or as my Swiss Tri-athelete says "Perfect". But then when they come back 2-3 times they can't believe that the massage got better! No secret, we just got better acquainted, and I can better feel their need. (I was even getting 'Awsome' & 'Best' when I worked for Massage Envy). But that WAS close to 'burn out' although I still cant say it was 'boring'. You know what? I am still learning from my clients. I talk to them, Listen to them and learn how to help them feel better, not just their bodys but the whole person. massage IS a healing profession. If you are a caregiver you will not get bored.

Harold Gill Magic Hands Holistic Massage Mesa, AZ.

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Healer98 in Phoenix, Arizona

61 months ago

lmtkelly in Pleasant View, Tennessee said: I must say I agree entirely with VitalKneads' post. A true experienced, caring therapist does NOT get bored withtheir profession. Goodness if my OB got bored with hers my female family members would be in a world of hurt. Not to mention her other patients.

Great analogy!

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atlantamassage in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

In over 25 years of practice,I've never been bored, but I have been burned out. That has always been remedied by a break or by taking a massage seminar. If I thought I was doing the same thing over and over, I probably would be bored, too. For me, each massage hour carries a new experience, a new challenge. My attitude around my work is what I make it. Setting goals for the day, week, or hour can add interest to the sessions as well as be an opportunity to diversify and learn something new. In the early days, it was about improving my work on the arm or neck, mastering techniques I've larned, and very frequently working on my body mechanics. Today it's usually asking myself how else can I help this wonderful person on my table.

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Gina in Toronto, Ontario

61 months ago

As a student this conversation concerns me. I have a question for the "bored" MT's. As as someone looking to do this as a career, I am someone who is genuinely interested in helping others not only physically with massage but also in a feeling/emotional level as well. I have just started doing clinic at school this past year and I am amazed at how different everyone is and how depending on even their attitude it guides me on what I should be focusing on. I do love the science of it, but I also love the emotional aspect of it. I have already had the benefit of helping a few self-conscious people feel more comfortable with having their bodies touched. And it's this human connection that draws me to this field of work. I also love to people watch and try to figure out by their posture and gait the possibilities of what their problems might be. So my question is to the bored ones....were you like this when you first started out? Do you become disconnected after a while?

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Rob in Carlsbad, California

61 months ago

I started doing massage at age 50. That was 8 years ago. I loved every second of it. Learned new techniques, helped thousands of people. I thought I would be doing this until I reached age 94. I talked about massage enthusiastically just like the recent posts above. So it is baffling to me that I'm in the process of letting it go. I think my soul just wants me to move on to something different. My advice is to follow your love of this profession, associate with others who share your passion, and disengage from the negative ones. Study and learn, especially trigger point therapy and myofascial release. Those two skill sets will set you apart from most other therapists. And do look into something called Ortho-Bionomy.

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Harold Gill in Mesa, Arizona

61 months ago

This is a very interesting thread. Notice how it is going from 'boring' to interesting!!!

Harold Gill Magic Hands Holistic Massage

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MT n WA in Olympia, Washington

61 months ago

Harold Gill in Mesa, Arizona said: This is a very interesting thread. Notice how it is going from 'boring' to interesting!!!

Harold Gill Magic Hands Holistic Massage

Tell me about your sound therapy, Harold. That sounds very interesting.

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lmtkelly in Pleasant View, Tennessee

61 months ago

Well it looks after re-reading the posts, that some of the earlier bored MTs are getting a few different perspectives. Isn't it great to be enlightened?

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LMTIrish in Smyrna, Tennessee

61 months ago

It's okay to be bored. That happens to everyone in every career once in awhile. Even my doctor friends admit to me they get bored! When that happens to them, and to me, we take classes to study. Find a new technique. I am also working on my PhD in psych now to further my massage practice. People discuss things on my table anyway. I might as well be licensed to enter a discussion legally.
This isn't the 1960s where you stick with a job for life because that is how it is done. I changed careers after many years and I hold two masters degrees. I did it because to me, massage is intersting. Massage therapy is not a get-rich-quick career and I really wish commercials would stop selling it to people that way.

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MicBen in Salt Lake City, Utah

61 months ago

lmtkelly in Pleasant View, Tennessee said: Well it looks after re-reading the posts, that some of the earlier bored MTs are getting a few different perspectives. Isn't it great to be enlightened?

What are the 'different perspectives' the 'earlier bored MTs' are getting?

What is this 'sound therapy'?

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aliciasv in Saint Louis, Missouri

61 months ago

I've practiced full time since 1991 & I've rarely been bored. I thought about what keeps it interesting. First of all, I don't do the same thing every day over & over. Even when a person is coming primarily for full-body relaxation massage, they often have an area of complaint that needs attention. I don't use a lot of different modalities, I prefer to focus on doing a few things really well & having a deep understanding of them. However, I vary what I am doing to suit the individual on my table. I pay attention to what my hand feel and respond accordingly. Each person is different & I enjoy the variety.

I have a private practice & am free to practice as I please. I know some people in spas that have to do the same thing over & over & that would bore me quickly. One question I'd ask: are you bored in the rest of your life? If so, being bored inside the massage room could be an extension of that.

Other thoughts: make sure you are eating well and getting enough sleep. I have not always done this & fatigue saps your energy and then doing massage is a chore & not fun. Also, the room in which I work makes a difference. I have natural light and I love my room. There are things in my room that I enjoy looking at & they remind me of places I've traveled and people I love. I'm picky about music and find most "massage music" to be audio valium. I have a hard time finding music that I enjoy listening to but when I do, I play it a lot.

Some of the continuing education I've taken hasn't been all that useful over the long term, but it still added to my understanding and is still useful now & then.

A lot of my work is problem-solving and that's endlessly interesting. I sometimes work sports events and that's very intense, high-energy work. Mixing it up like that provides variety.

Some of my clients like it when I learn something new, some don't. It's okay.

I consider it my job to keep it interesting. If I was bored over long term, I'd probably change jobs.

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martin in Corvallis, Oregon

61 months ago

MicBen in Salt Lake City, Utah said: Goodness gracious I'm bored out of my mind with massage. I've spent WAY too much money and time on CEUs learning techniques that nobody wants. A few clients humor me by lettin me try out the new stuff on them once or twice. Then it's back to the old deep tissue Swedish with hot stones. Over and over and over...it's the same massage on the same clients in the same room walking around the same table day after day, month after month, year after year.

Has anyone else experienced this? What do you do besides take classes?

yes I have been bored sometimes...some clients just dont want to try new things and that can be very frustrating but I try to meet their needs and do what they ask for since I am massage therapist and massage is about customer service. it is a very humbling thing to put my expectations away and just do what the client wants...working in a variety of settings or moving to a different location can be helpful in getting a different kind of client. I have worked for sports teams, day spas and hospices- the variety of clients/work is a blessing it keeps it interesting. I have also gone and done some work(massage) with a previouse employer in another state for 2 weeks time just to break up the routine of my life..bordom is an awful thing, I wish you the best in fighting it!

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MicBen in Salt Lake City, Utah

61 months ago

I see both sides here. 'Nature' probably does contribute some. My father has like 6 college degrees and constantly changes jobs from boredom. Seeing him do that that my whole life is also a 'nurture' problem too. Most people do change jobs frequently these days, but that doesn't mean it's the best thing for us.

Admittedly I haven't tried enough things to keep myself interested either, other than taking classes. Advertising for specific treatments that I'd like to do more of has helped.

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Sum Bunny in Orlando, Florida

61 months ago

What is your favorite method and why is it good?

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Harold Gill in Mesa, Arizona

61 months ago

MT n WA in Olympia, Washington said: Tell me about your sound therapy, Harold. That sounds very interesting.

Aparently, you have accessed my web page: magichandsholisticmassage.com Most of the information and the reason and benefits of "sound Therapy" are there. I induce the lower frequencys into the massage table with low frequency transducers to gently relax the body. Sound therapy is an ancient medium and can be used in various ways for many therapeutic reasons. I use it primarily to enhence relaxation. Room speakers also cary the full spectrum of the massage music.
I do convert portable massage tables for this purpose.
Harold Gill

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Sum Bunny in Orlando, Florida

61 months ago

Thats a new one on me. How did you discover sound therapy? Do you have a music background?

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Harold Gill in Mesa, Arizona

61 months ago

I do have a 'music background'. Went to music school at 10, played in band in HS, was in a band with my 2 older brothers, and have done a lot of singing including barberShop quartet shows. Music is an important part of my massage business. I choose only the best in massage therapy music.
Harold

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Sum Bunny in Orlando, Florida

61 months ago

Awesome and thanks. Shows me that inspiration for massage can come from other areas in my life too.

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Sum Bunny in Orlando, Florida

61 months ago

One more question. Whats your favorite massage music?

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