When registered massage therapists (RMTs) first graduate from massage therapy college, they’re usually full of positive energy about applying all they’ve learned to truly make a difference in patients’ lives. It’s an exciting time when you’ll be considering your career options and making plans for the future. Perhaps you’ll join a multidisciplinary clinic, start a private practice, or take your skills overseas to work at a resort. No matter which path you choose, the first few years of practice will fly by. You’ll be very busy marketing your services, attending to clients, honing your technique - finding your footing as a newly certified practitioner. But working as a massage therapist requires stamina. It’s an endurance run, not a short sprint. In order to sustain a long and successful practice, RMT’s need more than sound training and a vigourous work ethic. Here are some essential tips for keeping your passion alive, and your patients happy:
Massage therapy training focuses intently on patient needs. From diagnosis and treatment plan, to bodywork and follow-up, RMT’s learn to put the client first and centre all of their energies on providing the best therapy possible. But over the long run, it is equally as important to assess and care for yourself. Make sure that you take the advice you so often give to clients - eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and of course, receive regular massage treatments yourself! You know better than anyone the effects of repetitive strain or poor posture on one’s overall well-being. Massage therapy is physically demanding work. Self-care must be priority number one for sustaining a long career.
Advertising your services and marketing your expertise is an important part of keeping your practice visible and relevant within your community. And the best marketing a registered massage therapist can generate is testimonials from satisfied patients. You should also be active online, with a well-designed website and social media presence - which are perfect places to publish those positive reviews! For MTs, an enduring practice is built on solid relationships with clients, listening attentively to what they need, and building treatment plans that address those concerns. The best way to differentiate yourself is by going above and beyond for each client. They will do the rest, spreading the word that therapy from you is worth the investment.
Not only does staying on top of new research and techniques help keep your practice fresh and appealing, but all RMTs are legally required to pursue professional development. It’s expected that therapists will continue to reflect on their strengths and weakness and seek to improve long after graduation. Evolving techniques, innovations in healthcare provision, and increasing social awareness of the importance of healthcare emphasize the need for MTs to demonstrate their continued competency - and their commitment to providing patients with the most updated and effective care. Your clients will appreciate your efforts to pursue a higher level of expertise, and will feel completely confident in your professional, attentive, well-informed care.
What do you think is the key to sustaining a long massage therapy career?