Part of massage therapy is encouraging better habits, both amongst ourselves (the therapists) and patients. Taking better care of our bodies is really the name of the game in massage therapy, and it’s why our industry is getting stronger every year.
That said, there are a number of “bad habits” that often show up amongst massage therapists. We’re not talking about bad physical habits, but bad business habits. Developing the following habits will definitely affect your business in negative way, while getting rid of them can really help things flow.
Taking your massage therapy certification into the world is a big step, but too many therapists lack vision, and simply enter the industry without much of a plan or sense of where they want to go. Putting the time and effort into a long-term plan, and visualizing where you’d like your career to go, is enormously helpful and lays the groundwork for greater success.
When you’re new in the massage therapy industry, it’s easy to think that everything will happen more or less automatically for your business. People need and want professional massage, right? But for any number of reasons, things can move slowly. The economy might take a downturn, or the community in which you’re working just might not seem very responsive. Being proactive — including clever promotions and price adjustments — is necessary for new and aspiring therapists in the business.
3. Not listening to clients
You’re the expert — that’s why the patient is here. But don’t forget to listen (and react) to the client’s needs and concerns. A good massage therapy session is based not only on expertise, but on communication between therapist and client.
4. Forgetting to evolve
Graduating with a certification in massage therapy is exciting. Hundreds of hours of classroom study and hands-on experience have paid off. You’ve got the basic skills to be a certified therapist. But too many therapists stop here, in terms of education. The truth is, massage therapy is a never-ending process of learning and evolving. Even the most advanced practitioners are constantly seeking new knowledge. Graduating with certification in massage therapy is a huge milestone, but it’s really only the beginning.
5. Going it alone
Networking is important in this business — especially if you’re an independent practitioner. Too many independent massage therapists becomes an island unto themselves, and view other therapists in the area as a threat. Taking a synergistic approach, and strengthening bonds with your fellow professionals, will produce infinitely better results over the long term, both personally and professionally!
Where to turn for advice
The best massage therapy certification programs don’t leave their students and graduates to figure out the business side of things on their own. A solid groundwork in the administrative and business side of massage therapy is just as important a the knowledge and techniques that allows us to accomplish an effective treatment. If you’re looking for a program, make sure to find one that gives you a complete set of tools to thrive as a massage therapist.