Choosing a professional path is rarely an easy thing. Massage therapy should be something you enjoy, especially helping others. When someone decides that they want to be a massage therapist they should be aware of what it takes to become one. There are many contributing factors to becoming a massage therapist that will determine how successful you are.
Genuinely Care About Your Clients
Your success as a massage therapist can be measured by a lot of different factors, but none of them will be as valuable as your reputation among your clients. If you are a massage therapist who sincerely hopes to help people live better, healthier lives through your work, then people will usually respond to that authenticity. Marketing efforts and word-of-mouth are much stronger when there is an established trust behind what a massage therapist is selling. Here are a few tips to help keep an eye on what is important and make clients feel comfortable and safe.
Empathize with a Client’s Discomfort
When a client comes to a massage therapist, they will likely be looking for help solving a problem. They have a physical issue they need help working out. They may simply need some help relaxing. Whether it is manipulating a physical issue or helping to facilitate stress relief, a massage therapist should always approach their client with a specific situation in mind and look to make the client as comfortable as possible. Keeping clients’ unique circumstances in mind will help a massage therapist come up with the best solutions for their health and well-being while also keeping themselves from treating everyone’s bodies and challenges the same. Empathy will help a massage therapist prioritize the client’s individuality.
Avoid Embarrassing Your Clients
There are many factors that can make it difficult for a client to book a massage therapy appointment. It can be a skin condition or body hair issue. It can also be a disability that requires extra sensitivity. Whatever the circumstances for the client is, be understanding and thoughtful whenever and where ever possible.
Be Aware of the Client Throughout the Appointment
It can be easy to get distracted no matter how much a massage therapist loves their job. Stay engaged with and aware of the client during their appointment. This will help a massage therapist locate trouble spots and help their client feel important. Ensuring their comfort and truly listening to them will make the clients feel safe and at ease.
Obtain the Proper Education
As with any specialized field, massage therapy requires training. Amateur massages can actually do significant damage in certain circumstances. This is why a massage therapist will need to understand muscular and tissue anatomy, how to assess and address certain conditions or minor injuries and be able to properly advertise and fairly price their services. There are a lot of different program options available. Let’s take a look at some of the things that will help a student pick the right options.
Pick a Reliable Educator
Research programs with the proper accreditation and a track record of success in your area. Students can also look through reviews of the program online to see what people thought.
Find a Program with a Pace That Fits
Life is demanding. Whether being a massage therapist is the first career goal or a change in career, chances are that the student already has a few things going on in their life. Families, day jobs, and social activities are a few of the things that can occupy one’s time. When a student is looking to further their education in any capacity, they are going to need a program and a path that is manageable for everyone involved. If they jump into a program without considering the demands first it can feel like they are setting themselves up for failure.
A student is going to need a certificate of learning to have any credibility as a massage therapist. However, their education should not be focused solely on the licensing. A massage therapist student should also be concerned with learning the material and understanding how it can benefit their career. Having a piece of paper won’t make someone a successful or helpful massage therapist. Being able to apply what one learned is crucial if they want to be able help people and maintain a career in such a personal profession.
Consider Career Path Options
Once a massage therapist student has been trained and certified, the job of finding a job begins. This is the part that can seem daunting to those just beginning their careers in massage. There are several options for all types of massage therapists. Three most common ways of modern massage therapy work include spas, in home client appointments and in massage therapist home appointments. However, this industry of healing is an extremely mobile and versatile one, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box to give clients the best experience possible.
This is the most traditional career route for a massage therapist to take. Particularly just after they have completed their training. Working at a spa will allow them to gain valuable experience and focus on perfecting their skills without the stress of promotion and business management that comes with the more independent options. It will give a massage therapist time to focus on their client relational skills and get a feel for the work itself without any additional pressures. Some choose to continue pursuing their career goals in collaboration with an establishment for that very reason
Client Home Appointments
Seeing clients in the comfort of their own homes is an option that is growing in popularity. It saves on time finding an establishment and allows for opportunities right away. Massage therapists who travel to their clients have a couple of main options when it comes to advertising their services. Some begin with an initial client base of people they already know and rely more heavily on word-of-mouth and other lighter forms of marketing. Others go more boldly with social media marketing and community events participation. It all depends on the goals and one’s comfort level.
Massage Therapist In-Home Appointments
A massage therapist also has the option to invite clients to their own home if they prefer that over renting a traditional establishment. This is an option for those who are looking for a smaller client base tailored to a more personalized experiences and are not looking to commute from client to client. It does pose its own set of challenges, however. They will need a secure, separate space to see clients and need to take safety into consideration if they are inviting clients into their home. As someone who wants to connect to their clients, inviting them into their space for their session can be a great option for a massage therapy practice.
A massage therapist should always be learning. Techniques and products evolve and change at an increasingly rapid pace and it is important to keep up with as much as one can. Keeping learning current and up to date will give a massage therapist more options to help their clients w. It will also help them maintain their professional reputation and relevance in the industry community and among the general public. Here are some great ways to keep up to speed even when busy.
Stay Aware of New Techniques
Life is busy. Particularly when a massage therapist is first starting out. No one is assuming that they will be able to know about everything going on in massage therapy. However, as a massage therapist it will be important for them to take responsibility for staying somewhat aware of what is happening in the industry. It will benefit both the massage therapist and their clients if they are knowledgeable regarding trending products and new techniques. This kind of continuous, cumulative learning will give the massage therapist more tools to better help the people who need it.
Continue Taking Classes
Just because a program is complete doesn’t mean a massage therapist should abandon the classroom. There are new learnings throughout the industry all the time. If massage therapist is interested in learning a new philosophy in massage or feel a new method may benefit one of their clients, then there is no better way to learn those things than from an expert. Trained professionals can answer questions, provide demonstrations and give hands-on learning opportunities.
Don’t Be Afraid to Brush Up on the Basics
Routines are easy to fall into. When a massage therapist sees the same types of clients for an extended period of time their skill set can begin to reflect that. Reviewing the fundamentals will give a massage therapist a solid foundation to work from no matter who comes for help. Especially focus on areas that aren’t utilized to stay ready to help when needed.
Beginning a career in massage therapy can be extremely exciting. Knowing where to start and where to go can be difficult. The important thing to remember is that there are a lot of different options for a skilled and dedicated massage therapist. From there it is a question of what one’s preferences are and what their level of dedication is.
Did this information about how to become a massage therapist interest you? If you are interested in the healing powers of massage, you can begin your career in massage therapy at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Our short-term massage therapy training program is designed to be completed in as little as 5 months with full time enrollment*. Our massage therapy training program is designed as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their clients as well as develop positive habits for the therapist. Together, those two areas will provide a foundation that can lead to longevity in the career field.
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*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.