The Plea of a Massage Therapist

As a massage therapist no one tells you that you go from being well taken care of, to having little to no time or desire to get massages and chiropractic adjustments.

Most people go to work and find some time to get a massage, or get adjusted…
But here’s the thing, on your weekend that you get, we are working so you can relax and enjoy your weekend.
On your holiday, we are working so you can enjoy your long weekend/vacation.
When you get off work, we stay late so you can get taken care of.
Before you go to work we get up early so you can get taken care of…
Sundays and National Holidays we are closed, no one is open… so we don’t have the choice to get a massage…
By the time we get off work at 6:45 or 8. We are hungry. We want to go home, eat and go to bed. Most of us have kids or a husband or animals that we want to get back to. Some of us have things that just need doing. We don’t want to be social, we don’t want to talk to anyone, we just want to go home. We work a 9-12 hour day, on our feet with no breaks, we are lucky if we get a 45 minute lunch break. People think our 10 minute recovery time should be included into our 15 minute lunch break.
And heaven forbid someone is running behind and you are told to extend the Massage another 15 minutes and you only have a 30 minute lunch…
We can’t get up early and get a massage because no one is open, plus, it just sucks to get a massage before you work all day.
If you are a homebody then the one or two days you might have off, you don’t want to go anywhere, see anyone, or do anything. It drains you to work everyday.
Then we go to work with people complaining about their pains and they just want you to fix them. Then they want to complain because it wasn’t good enough, it was too rough, too soft, not enough kneading, no hot stones, no oils, too much oils, still can’t move this, still hurts there, and we as the massage therapist do what is necessary to fix it. Or completely prevent the problem in the first place…

We either don’t have time, due to animals and/or family and work, or we are just too tired to go anywhere on a day off…
But no one sees the blood, sweat and tears that goes into being a massage therapist…
No one knows how much physical pain the massage therapist is in, or how tired they are…

Part of why I wanted to join this line of work was because it is such a positive environment. Massage therapists and chiropractors are both generally very friendly, very chirpy, very kind hearted and down-to-earth people. Those were the kind of people I wanted to work with.
And being with other therapists as well as being a therapist myself gives me a new perspective on things. Sometimes we have to try to be chirpy and happy, but we do it because at the end of the day, the fact that we helped someone be in less pain, or destress after work, or just enjoy their day, is what makes us feel good.
We endure our pain so that you can get taken care of.
And you know, I’m sure my Chiro has done it for me. I’m sure out of the 7 years he’s worked on me he’s had at least one day that he’s been sore, or tired, or both.
So now it’s my turn.
And you know what, I get to work everyday and I’m excited. I love my job and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I love my clients, I love my co-workers, and it really is the best job…
All I ask, is that you let your massage therapist know that you appreciate them. As long as they were respectful and tried their best to do their job, take care of them, tip them well and let them know that they helped.
Also, be honest with them during your massage. They can better accommodate you while you are on their table. Once you get off the table they can’t help when it comes to your massage. At least not till the next time. I guess I can’t speak for everyone but I would much rather you tell me at that moment “Hey, I don’t like this.” Than go behind me and tell everyone how I don’t listen and I hurt you and wouldn’t lighten the pressure… because I’ll tell you what, when you get off that table saying everything was great and you loved it, and then you complain up a storm, somehow it always gets back to the therapist… so please, just be honest. Don’t worry about hurting our feelings. Constructive criticism is always good. Just don’t abuse it… please…

“Hello, my name is Jessica, and even though I’ve been working 8 hours already today, my feet feel like they are walking on needles, my shoulders feel like they are on fire, my low back aches, I’m having trouble baring weight on my left leg, my thumbs are killing me and I’m ready to fall asleep while standing here, I am excited to be your massage therapist today and I’m happy to help! Where can we start? What would you like for me to do? And do you only want to relax or would you like me to see where we can make changes so you don’t hurt tomorrow?”

We start face down and I happily give 60-90 minutes of my work to my client. All for about $12.

It sounds like a rough gig. And I’m not going to say it’s easy.
But again, I love it and I wouldn’t change a thing! It’s all worth it at the end of the day. And my clients who are regulars that I see every week make it well worth my time. When I see certain people hit my schedule I get excited and I know it’s going to be a good day!
But on the same note, every day is a good day when you genuinely enjoy your work…

Have a great weekend! And get lots of massages!

Jessica

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