During my 20 years in the Spa and massage sector, I have come across a significant number of massage therapists who feel frustrated and have doubts about their abilities as therapists, at some point of their professional career. Some question themselves to the extent that they finally abandon their professional massage practice. Some massage therapists are not able to accept the fact that they can not help everyone. Just as it is impossible to please everyone in life, it is also impossible to cure, or release everyones suffering, pain or discomfort.
Sometimes it is not in our hands, we might not be able to help at all… other times our technique is effective only on some clients…each individual is totally different, so the same treatment or technique does not apply for everyone. Other times, the client does not want to be helped…in this type of cases, it is very difficult to help them, even if your treatment method is great.
My Tibetan Medicine teachers always told me that any therapy or treatment needs to include the below aspects in order to be truly effective:
THE POSITIVE ENERGY AND INTENTION OF THE GIVER; in this case the massage therapist.
THE POSITIVE ENERGY AND RECEPTIVENESS OF THE RECEIVER; the client or Spa guest.
THE INTRINSIC QUALITY OF THE TREATMENT ITSELF.
Tibetan doctors always insist on that if one of these 3 aspects are not present, the treatment will suffer, and that’s why sometimes the same treatment applied in similar circumstances, could have completely different effects depending on the person.
During my professional practice, as a massage therapist, as a physical therapist and as a health counselor, I am used to meeting people who are looking for the magic pill, for the miracle treatment, without getting themselves off the couch. Unfortunately, there is no cure if there is not a proactive attitude and some collaboration from the client. At least if she/he is looking for a long-term effects.
This society is lazy even when seeking for a cure…we do not want to collaborate in that process, we just want to be cured by the magic pill…These expectations can be frustrating for the therapist and generate fears and insecurities.
How can we release this frustration?
TRAIN YOURSELF AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Never stop learning new working methods and massage modalities in order to gain confidence in your technique and yourself as a professional.
KEEP YOURSELF UP TO DATE with new techniques, methods, studies and research by reading professional magazines, assisting to conferences, fairs, etc.
MEDITATE EVERY DAY FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES in order to clear your mind of distracting thoughts, to build your confidence and to identify your resources.
USE POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY TO ENGAGE AND MOTIVATE YOUR CLIENTS in their own healing process. Let them know that you need their help in order to get 100% of the results.
MOTIVATE YOURSELF AND WHEN YOU FAIL ONCE, REMEMBER THE MANY OTHER TIMES YOU SUCCEEDED. If you fail most of the times, then you should study harder, or maybe, yes, you are right, try another modality or even change career. Not everyone is made to be a football player or mountain climber…maybe this is not your thing.
I am sure that there are many other ways of working against frustration…but these are the ones that I practice.
Have you ever thought about abandoning your massage therapy career for this particular reason? If you have a better method, please share it with us, and let’s learn from each others experiences.
Have a lovely day ahead!