The Top 10 Habits to Have a Long and Successful Career in Massage Therapy

(By Matthew Chan) Wishing to thrive as a massage therapist? Other than professional massage training, being a massage therapist requires you to nurture positive habits. This article will explore the top 10 habits required to thrive after massage training and to have a glorious career ahead!

As you complete your training in massage therapy school, you will be ready to enter the field as a professional. However, there are certain habits that you must practice in order to ensure success and longevity in massage. Here are the top ten habits that can help you have a long and successful career in massage therapy.

Habit # 01: Welcoming Attitude

This habit is not only limited to a massage therapy career. Having a welcoming and positive attitude will help you in every profession. After all, nobody wants to receive a massage from a person with a negative and rude attitude.

Moreover, your attitude comes through in one-on-one experiences like massage therapy. Talking nicely and being helpful will create a peaceful atmosphere for your clients, which plays a role in helping relieve their tensions and aches.

Habit # 02: Communication Skills

There is more to massage therapy than just the technical skills of massage. There is an emotional and energetic component to massage therapy that is often overlooked, leading to a less optimal experience for the client. The ability to listen and communicate with clients will lead to a more pleasing experience and will result in more re-bookings.

Since everybody is different and has diverse needs, it is an integral part of the job to communicate with your clients and understand what they need. Not all of your clients are going to have the same tension spots, pains, aches, and preferences, so make sure that you listen and practice expressive communication to give your clients what they seek.

Non-verbal communication plays an important role in client-based professions such as massage therapy. At least 70% of all communication is non-verbal. Clients will subconsciously pick up on your non-verbal cues that will affect the way they perceive you. Everything from body language, posture, tone of voice, and even the way you dress are very important things to be aware of when dealing with clients, so be sure to always display open and positive body language, and to dress professionally.

Habit # 03: Proper Technique

Massage parlor, female masseuse in white t-shirt doing back massage to man who is lying on massage couch, close-up hands, process of work. concept of health

It is very important to know many types of massage techniques to ensure that you have a diverse “toolkit” to deal with the various issues that clients may ask you to help them with. There are different techniques used for neck pain, back pain, shoulder tension, injuries, etc. and having more certifications will give you the knowledge and confidence to deal with different types of issues that aren’t taught in other massage programs. For example, there is Swedish massage, sports massage, reflexology, etc.—each of which teach you how to treat different types of pains and ailments. Learning various massage styles and techniques will help you a lot in the long run if you wish to grow your career as a massage therapist.

Habit # 04: Cleanliness

Maintaining cleanliness and practicing personal hygiene are important factors for a successful career in massage therapy. In a profession where you need to touch your clients, it is important to always be clean. No one is going to appreciate a messy and disorganized room when they walk in for the massage. The environment is the key to making sure that your client enjoys the experience and pays a return visit.

Moreover, you need to keep yourself clean and your nails nice and short. Keeping your hands smooth by filing away calluses and applying moisturizers regularly will ensure that the surface of your hands do not scratch or harm your clients. Be attentive to your body odor as well. Massage therapy is a physically demanding job, and if you are massaging clients throughout the day, you will surely break a sweat, resulting in offensive body odor. Be sure to shower and wear deodorant before starting your day, and to re-apply between clients when needed.

Habit # 05: Efficient Time Management Skills

Like any other business, massage therapists have many different tasks to complete throughout the day. You have to have time to communicate with your client before their massage session begins, prepare invoices and receipts, do marketing, make follow-up calls, take care of yourself, and prepare the table and room for your next appointment. This is the reason why massage therapists need to have efficient time management skills to equally distribute their attention to all tasks. Keeping an organized agenda and calendar will help you organize your time better.

Habit # 06: Empathy

If any profession requires practicing calm and empathetic energy, it’s massage therapy. Indeed, some people are just not born with the ability to show empathy. If you are thinking of securing a career in massage therapy then it is a good idea to cultivate this skill.

Being empathetic towards your clients means asking them about their needs, communicating with them both emotionally and physically, and listening to their concerns. This also includes checking up on your clients to inquire how they are doing.

Habit # 07: Self-Care

Young woman is smiling while stretching body in gym. Massage therapist self-care routine.

You must take care of yourself in order to better take care of your clients. You should always prioritize self-care before everything else. Massage therapy is a very physically demanding job, so to ensure longevity in this career, you must take care of your weight, exercise regularly, eat well, get enough sleep, and do not smoke or consume alcohol excessively. You need to maintain a strong and healthy body to prevent injury and burnout. Many massage therapists are forced to retire early due to the physical strain that the jobs put on their bodies, which is why it is so important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Habit # 08: Maintaining Your Equipment

If you plan on starting your own massage therapy business, having the right equipment is vital to providing quality services. You will require a comfortable table, linens, lotions, good scents, and a music system. Moreover, any private massage therapy business also requires parking, a restroom, and a private changing room as well. Always keep these things in mind when inviting a client to your business.

Additionally, maintaining your equipment is equally as important. A torn-up massage table, dusty room, and dirty sheets can easily turn off a client.

Habit # 09: Marketing Techniques

If you wish to own your own massage business, it is imperative to learn and implement core marketing techniques to make sure that you can secure a long career in massage therapy. Marketing is the key element to making your practice successful. This includes advisement, building a referral network, and handing out business cards.

In our current digital age, online marketing is one of the best and easiest ways to advertise your services and grow your clientele. Grow your web presence by creating a website for your business, provide online booking, and stay active on social media.

For more tips, check out our blog post on the top 10 ways to grow your massage business.

Habit # 10: Aspire to Learn

People who choose massage therapy for their lifetime career should always aspire to learn more and be better at their job. You cannot just attend a massage therapy school once and be done with it. There are always new techniques to master and more things to learn.

In order to reap all of these benefits, you must enroll in a highly professional institution that will assist you in establishing a positive reputation in the industry. Here at IKRA Academy of Massage Therapy, we believe in a comprehensive approach that enables students to learn, grow and discover in a positive and friendly atmosphere. Check out our amazing massage programs. Good Luck!

If you are still weighing out the pros and cons of signing up for massage therapy training courses, read about it here:

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