People often ask me how I am able to keep up the very busy schedule I have created with my regular clients, contracting at our local hospital, high end gym, and weekly outcalls. All this without feeling tired and achy but energetic and loving every moment. Upon reflection I think the answer is a technique that I have incorporated over the years with my work - and that is what I call Mindful Massage.
Apply Mindful Massage to Your Clients
I like to educate my clients. I like to give them the tools they need to go home and keep themselves pain free. This may be through teaching them certain stretches or suggesting a product that i feel will help them with their stress and pain level between massage sessions.
Every client is different and every one needs suggestions tailored just for them. However the one suggestion that I seem to repeat over and over is how to manage their stress when at the computer or lap top or phone or tablet or whatever screen device they use.
I start by explaining that 30 years ago when I started doing massage we didn't even have computers in our homes! And that 90% of my clients issues now are mostly ALL related to over indulgence of our many devices - neck, shoulder and upper back discomfort is at an all time high and that is where I focus most of my work with techniques that few other therapists use.
Two Easy Tricks Your Clients Can Use Today
Put a timer on the computer and have it go off every 20 minutes so you remember to take a Mindful Break. Incorporate stretching, breathing, or just a walk to the water cooler for a drink. Consistency is the key. Several small breaks per hour are much better than one big break after four hours!
The 4-7-8 Routine:
Breath in through the nostrils for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and exhale through the mouth for the count of 8, so you exhale twice as much as you inhale.
Offering such suggestions empowers your clients to make the right choice for themselves. They will see you as an expert in your field and not only come to you when they need help but also readily sing your praises and market for you.
Apply Mindful Massage to Yourself
Over the years I have not only taught and guided my clients I have also guided myself
Just as my clients can get locked in a state of tension while working its also very easy for massage therapists to fall into that trap while working too.
At first, many years ago, I needed to put up a little 5 x 7 card at the end of my massage table on the wall that simply read "BE STILL" and while working i would glance over, read it, and instantly take a breathe, check in with my body mechanics, consciously relax MY muscles and/or tune in with the energetics of the area I was working on - because as a bodyworker if you are relaxed and totally in the flow of your session - you not only pass that on to your client but also your are gifting it to yourself.
Mindful Massage in the Midst of a Pandemic
As I write this post we are day 3 of a pretty much national lock-down.
Our nerves are shattered and our freedom has been taken away, now more than ever we are challenged to be mindful of ourselves and of others. We need to stay calm and centered for ourselves but once this lifts and we start work again we will be challenged to keep our calm and focus when our clients are coming to us for help and solace.
Our Invitation To You:
Signature Session will be hosting a weekly online gathering of Massage Therapists to offer tips and advice and a forum for sharing what is or isn't working in your practice right now. This is a difficult time and it is our sincere wish to help in every way we are able. CLICK HERE for more information and to join!
P.S. If you'd like some help managing your COVID-19 related stress, a dear friend and colleague of mine is offering weekly tips on mindfulness and looking after yourself every Monday at 3 pm Eastern time until the pandemic is over. When it's time, join in by clicking here.