Being Able to Say "No"

For massage therapists especially, one very difficult challenge seems to be the ability to say “no” to a given situation if we need to. We are such giving people that it can be extremely difficult for us to tell anyone that we cannot accommodate their request. Many of us would almost rather not practice than have to do that, but the unfortunate reality is that we have to draw boundaries in and around various parts of our lives and keep those boundaries intact. Otherwise, we risk overextending ourselves and burning out. There are many situations that may call for a therapist to say “no.” The following are some common potential situations therapists may run into as well as ways to help therapists find out if they are in such situations and how best to say “no” while still being professional.

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Handling Challenging Situations and Misunderstandings as a Massage Therapist – Part 2

Last time, I talked about an interesting case of a significant misunderstanding that had occurred in my massage room and that forced me to amicably part ways with the client, due to different cultural views. In this post, I’ll cover a similar situation that happened, but with communication outside the massage studio being the primary cause of the issue rather than anything that happened in the massage room itself.

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Handling Challenging Situations & Misunderstandings as a Massage Therapist -- Part 1

I once had an unusual case occur in my treatment room. A very nice professional gentleman, whom I will refer to as R for this post, had called me one evening after I had finished up my last client, said that his former therapist had moved away and that he was looking for a new one, and asked if I had availability for one more client. After I told him that I could accommodate him, he informed me that he was a cyclist and proceeded to give me very specific details for what he liked in a massage – preferences accumulated over seventeen or eighteen years of receiving professional work from other licensed therapists. Fortunately for me, I was able to fulfill most of his requests, as they were already part of my usual technique or not too far from it. We agreed to start with a 30-minute session to see if he was satisfied with my work, and we would go from there if he wanted more time.

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Why Relaxation Massage Is Being Left Behind and Left Out -- Part 2

Last week’s post was a story of my own which dealt with relaxation massage and how I found that it was my “niche” in the competitive massage world, despite many people having told me that what I offer isn’t enough to keep a massage practice afloat. This week’s post will explore why relaxation massage no longer seems to be emphasized as much in the industry in general and give some insights into how all massage styles as a whole can be better represented to clients and those outside the world of massage.

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Why Relaxation Massage Is Being Left Behind and Left Out -- Part 1

In the next two posts, I would like to address an issue that I’ve been seeing in the massage and bodywork community. That is, the trend of emphasizing medically oriented massage techniques almost to the exclusion of relaxation massage. The next post will talk more about this trend and how it presents in the industry as a whole. In this first post, though, I’ll begin by telling a story of my own to illustrate how it can affect the lives and practices of individual therapists. It has taken a lot of time and consideration to thoughtfully develop these posts, and I hope that others may benefit from reading my story and my insights.

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Tips for Keeping Seasonal Depression at Bay

Today’s guest post about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was written by Kimberly Hayes of PublicHealthAlert.info. Read on to find out what this disorder is, whether you might have it, and what steps you can take to help alleviate its symptoms.

“Most of us feel less energetic and upbeat during the winter, when the days are short and the weather is inhospitable. However, for some people, the winter blues are more than a fleeting phase. If you find yourself crippled by low energy and sadness throughout the winter, you may be experiencing a type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder.

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Why Don’t More Doctors Look Into Massage for Clients in Physical Pain?

I got asked an excellent question on Quora the other day regarding massage treatments as viable options for pain relief and why more doctors who treat physical pain don’t suggest massage to their patients. The question read, “Why don't more doctors who treat physical pain in patients look into trigger points or myofascial release as a solution?” Keep reading to find out what I replied.

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Tips for Using a Foam Roller

To be frankly honest, I don’t really like foam rollers. Too often, I find that clients or friends will injure themselves by either too aggressively using this tool or simply using it incorrectly. (I mean, honestly, who thought it would be a great idea to put foam spikes on a roller?) I would much prefer that they go see a trained massage therapist or bodyworker who can work with their body to gently encourage it to let go of its adhesions rather than forcing it to do something it may not be ready to do. However, some people have to use their foam roller, whether because they cannot go see a massage therapist regularly or because they consider it a necessary part of their self-care routine, and I respect that. With that in mind, then, here are my tips for using a foam roller effectively and safely.

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The Vocabulary of Massage Therapy

When I had to “fire” my first client, it was due to a unique set of circumstances, largely centered around the language used in text communications with me. He spoke of feeling the “love through my touch” and that he wanted me to “engulf and envelope” him with my “soft and sweet sexy hands.” To his credit, he had been a complete gentleman while in his very first session, and may, in fact, have meant nothing but honest and sincere, if awkward, compliments by the words. But the fact that I had been made uncomfortable, even if unintentionally, by that and other text messages he sent, was enough to cause me to refuse to rebook him. The brand new and still fragile relationship of trust and safety between us had been broken.

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