Regardless if you have four years experience or 40, one thing is certain— running a full-time massage business takes a toll on your body. Many massage therapists develop injuries from the constant movement of their upper extremities. And to make matters worse, a lot of massage therapists learn that taking care of yourself is essential for enjoying a long and lasting career.

Keep reading to learn eight ways to extend your massage therapy career.

#1. Incorporate Clothes-on Treatments

Not only will taking the clothes-on approach help modest patients improve their mobility, but it’ll also make your practice more clinical. Are you wondering how you can incorporate this type of treatment? You can do this by asking your clients to wear a cotton shirt and sweatpants. Having your patients wear these clothes enables you to apply the right amount of pressure with less force.

#2. The Side-Lying Position

There is an additional benefit to the clothes-on treatments. Aside from decreasing the amount of force, it’s much easier to massage using the side-lying position. You may have been out of position, accidentally leaned over a client in the supine position or stressed yourself out too much. Regardless of the reason, the side-lying position fixes these issues. Remember to add pillows underneath the head, knees and feet to make the client more comfortable.

#3. Utilize the Proper Tools

Of course, there’s more to massage than using your hands. You’ll need the help of tools to make your practice the talk of the town. And the best part is that your clients won’t be able to tell the difference with clothes-on.

#4. Pull More, Push Less

Massage isn’t all about pushing, it’s about pulling as well. Using the side-lying in particular, you can use one hand to provide an opposing pressure while you use the other hand to on a multitude of pulls. Pulling instead of pushing reduces wear and tear not only for the client but for you as well.

#5. Have a Speciality

A great way to enhance your massage career is to ditch the basics and specialize in a specific type of massage or treatment.. You can specialize in massaging backs, heads, hands, feet or legs. Not only does specializing in a certain form of massage make you more referable but it also significantly reduces the amount of stress. Furthermore, specializing in a specific form of massage will help treat people who suffer from chronic headaches and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

#6. Purchase a Quality Stool

Patients who suffer from chronic health conditions typically need treatment in specific areas of their body. So, a cheap stool can make treating them a challenge for you, especially since you have to be thorough. Make sure to put some money toward a high-quality stool so you’re as comfortable as the client.

#7. Show Your Clients How to Treat Themselves

Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do for your patients. So, to make sure that they’re still receiving treatment, teach them a few ways to treat themselves. Show them a few range-of-motion exercises and hydrotherapy. As your clients practice at-home care, they become better much quicker and your work becomes easier.

#8. Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself

As we’ve mentioned before, massaging people without taking a break is detrimental to your physical well-being. So, it’s important that you give yourself time to rest in-between your practice. Your hands can only take on so much pressure before they start feeling the effects of wear and tear. 

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