How to stay positive throughout tiring days of massage practice

buddhism-symbolism-wheel-of-dharma-and-deers

How to stay positive throughout tiring days of massage practice

Do you still work with the same attitude as when you started working as a massage therapist or bodyworker? Or do you feel that sometimes work rhythm and economical goals convert our clients or patients into numbers? I find that Buddhism can provide us with a great tool to make us remember why we started in this profession and keep our attitude healthy at all times. Check this post about the Four Boundless States of Buddhism.

Do you remember why you started working as a massage therapist?

A proper attitude, mentality and behavior are essential for the correct practice of any type of work, but this is especially important when you are working with healing people as a massage therapist, doctor, acupuncturist, etc. Sometimes the heavy workload, the high expectations, the sometimes very long journeys, the economic pressure, and many other aspects, make us forget why we started this wonderful profession in the first place.

During my professional life working in hospitals, clinics and private consultations with massage therapists, physical therapists and other bodyworkers I have seen significant demotivation, unsound objectives and an unproportional focus on personal benefits amongst wellness and health professionals.

During the last years of my life I have been in contact with many traditional doctors and massage therapists from Asia, especially those who practice Buddhism as a religion. And what I found is that their attitude in life and also in relation to their clients is much more positive and kind compared to what I was used to experience back home in the Western countries. Also their professional ethics and deontological code is very present in their daily practice. This got me asking myself why this is so?

The Four Boundless States of Buddhism

According to Tibetan Medicine, one of the fundamental preconditions required of those practicing Tibetan Medicine or massage is the practice of the Four Boundless States of Buddhism, with the purpose of applying a medicine based on loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, rather than on personal challenges and economical ambitions.

This is why every morning before they start with their daily practice they take some time to meditate and recite certain mantras or prayers, to remind them of the real meaning of their daily work and actions. One important part of their recitations is to remember the four Boundless States of Buddhism that are:

  • Nyin-jeeg (loving-kindness): unconditional love for all beings. The desire that all beings would obtain happiness and its causes.
  • Jam-pa (compassion): compassion for those that suffer. The desire that all beings would be free from suffering and its causes.
  • Ga-wa (joy): spontaneous joy as a response of the success of others.
  • Tang-nyung (equanimity): balanced judgment based on the understanding of the true nature of things. Capacity to accept others the way they are.

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How can we apply these states in our daily massage practice?

Do you need to be Buddhist or to practice any religion to put into practice these boundless states? No, I do not think so, this is just an example of the positive mentality and attitude that one should have before starting with one´s daily practice. But of course you can also create your own Statements, and really set out to follow them during your professional practice. I am sure that many of us have our own beliefs, but I guess that if we do not repeat them daily, as a mantra, sometimes because of the pressure, the speed, the heavy workload, etc., we tend to forget them.

So here are some ideas that may help you to keep your own Statements in mind in your practice as a massage therapist, bodyworker or healer:

1. If you work in a group, take some time together and make a brain storming of the Statements that you all think that are important for you. If you work by yourself, take some time to think about them.

  • Note that all your statements should be written in positive terms.
  • Note that the statements should be short and clear. That way they will be easy to remember.
  • Write down all of them and then select the 4-6 best ones.
  • If you work in a group, you can make one statement for the clients, and one for the internal relations of the team.

2. Once you have your statements ready print them out big enough to read them clearly and put them somewhere in the staff room where you and your team are able to read and see them many times per day.

3. Try to read them carefully at least at the start of the day and motivate others to do the same.

4. With the passing of the days you will memorize them and they will be part of your daily routines.

5. Believe it or not, repetition and positive thoughts always generate positive results, not only in your pocket, but also in you client’s feedback, in your personal relations, in your professional satisfaction, and most importantly in your own life and happiness.

Sometimes the most basic and simple things are the most difficult to keep in mind. This is just an exercise for remembering your principles, but I am sure that there are many different ways to do it.

Do you have any other ideas to keep your principles in mind and to keep your motivation up? We would love it if you could share your ideas with us down in the “comments” section!

Wishing you a positive day ahead,

César Tejedor

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2 comments

  • patti02/08/2014 at 02:34Reply

    what a lovely article and a lovely reminder of the 4 boundless states. in yoga they are called mudita, karuna, maitri, and upeksa, and said to bring unalloyed happiness. your statements are a nice way to integrate these positive atributes of character. thank you.

    • César Tejedor03/08/2014 at 12:07Reply

      Dear Patti, thanks for your comment. Yes, here in Thailand they also call them mudita, karuna… I think that it is a wonderful philosophy to follow…but the most important is to keep in mind why we are in this profession and to remember how lucky we are to have the chance to help others. Thanks again for your nice words!

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