What do you think about first when you think about becoming a massage therapist? Learning about how the human structure works, and how to work out aches and pains? How about the human interaction you’ll receive working with different clients day in and day out? We’ve put together a list of 4 questions to ask yourself to determine if you have the right stuff to consider a career in massage therapy.
1.) Do you like caring for and helping other people?
It makes sense that this is the number one question to ask yourself, if you’re not interested in helping others (while of course none of us would admit it) a career in massage therapy probably isn’t for you. Based on the fact that 95% of your job is spent interacting and caring for clients if you don’t want to help them, you won’t enjoy your time.
2.) Do you mind working silently, without the normal office chatter?
A massage therapist while they care for many clients in the run of week, don’t get into the same banter as say a hairdresser would with their clients. Often a client is there for a relaxing experience receiving their massage, and would like to lay in silence forgetting about the outside world for 30-60 minutes. It’s important that you’re able to work silently, and not let this get to you.
3.) Do you work well alone? Or do you require supervision
Being able to manage your own time properly both while with a client, and booking appointments etc. is important to being a successful massage therapist. Since the majority of time is spent one-on-one with the client there are no direct supervisors ensuring you’re doing your job correctly. Also if you work for yourself, there is no one around ensuring your looking for new business, and booking appointments to keep your business in growth mode.
While many massage therapy graduates work for spas, medical clinics, or sports facilities and don’t need to look for their own client base it’s important to know that you have that option down the road if you want to go out on your own.
4.) Are you able to empathize with a person’s problem, and keep work separate from your emotions?
Often a massage therapy client will be suffering from an accident or medical situation. This can sometimes be difficult to deal with, as our first instinct maybe to feel bad for the person. It’s important to be able to empathize with them but not feel bad for them. Separating our personal feelings about a situation like this from our professional atmosphere is a must to be able to handle the many different types of patients and clients you’ll encounter during your career as a massage therapist.
Beyond these questions, it’s important that you know you enjoy working with the public, and a strong communicator. Whether you’re working for a spa or for yourself in the massage therapy business one thing is consistent you will be working with members of the public, and you will be supplying them with a service. You must be able to feel comfortable with the situation, and understand what the entire career entails before making your decision.
Massage therapy is a very rewarding career, and can allow a person great flexability in their schedule especially if they choose to work for themselves, but it is not a lazy job. It brings great pride to know your helping others, and making a difference. I hope this article has shed a little more light on what it takes to become a massage therapist besides the certificate and education.