Thursday, February 21, 2008

Massage Therapist: Finding Balance to Avoid Burn-Out

Yesterday, I ran into a fellow colleague and inquired about how her massage practice was going. “I got out of it altogether”, she said with an air of frustration.

I went on to assume it was because of an injury but she soon corrected me. “It was emotionally exhausting, working with people who are in pain each and every day. I finally had to just give it up.”

Testimonials like this, although completely understandable, break my heart, especially when you hear an overtone of longing in the therapist’s voice. My mind immediately starts to wonder what steps could have been taken to prevent the loss of a practice, of a career.

I believe massage is a mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually draining job, even on good days. The same profession that feeds our souls with endless wonder can also be ruthless in its ability to deplete us.

I was laughing uncontrollably with another therapist at the clinic the other day. It was the end of our workweek and we both had a client no-show. What normally is an agitation, turned into a joyous event. We both looked at each other and somehow knew that we were out of gas; there was nothing left to “give”. The powers at be knew it too, and helped us out. In our exhaustion, we could do nothing but laugh.

What steps are you taking today to balance your life? How are you replenishing the energy that you expend each day as a massage therapist?

Let us continue to find the balance between what our clients need from us and what we need for ourselves.

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