When we think about massage, we tend to think about the relief that getting a massage can bring to the one receiving it, but have you ever considered the physical demands on the person giving the massage? While rewarding in so many ways, there’s no way around it – massage therapy is a physically demanding career.
To counteract these demands on the body, massage practitioners must develop the ability to keep healthy and fit over the long term. Working out, eating healthy, and maintaining a healthy weight are important for success.
Some practitioners develop pain and discomfort by falling into bad habits. In order to prevent these types of injuries, it is essential that professionals use the proper techniques taught in massage therapy programs. Massage can be physically demanding, primarily because the therapist is standing for long periods of time and using repetitive motions. In addition to proper technique and environment, it’s important for a therapist to schedule breaks and give their muscles time to recover between massages.
Common injuries and ailments massage therapists encounter include:
- Muscle fatigue, particularly in the arms, legs and lower back — It is important to take sufficient time between massages to maintain physical and mental energy.
- Repetitive motion injury, including carpal tunnel syndrome — Understanding ergonomics and using proper body mechanics can help massage therapists avoid this type of injury.
- Back, neck, and shoulder strain — It is absolutely essential that the massage table be the proper height. Make sure the table is adjustable.
- Inflammation in the joints — Due to the demands, massage therapists may experience inflammation, especially in the knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows and fingers.
- Leg and back fatigue from standing for long periods — Because massage practitioners stand for long periods, proper footwear is essential to avoid fatigue in the calves, as well as shin splints and back pain.
Committing to a massage therapy career, should also mean committing to keeping yourself as healthy as possible.
- Get plenty of rest
- Eat right
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise regularly – including cardiovascular and muscle endurance
- Hire a massage therapist or exchange massages with other massage therapists to get regular massages!
Are you considering a massage therapy career? Contact us at (888) 230-3897 for more information.