Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016

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Last year, I had the honor of becoming a regular contributor to this magazine as the author of the Savvy Self-Care column. I am a practicing massage therapist with a small business of my own, and all of my columns were inspired by the challenges and triumphs of my daily work and life. Throughout the year, as I surveyed my life for topics to write about, there was one major issue that kept coming to me as perhaps the biggest self- care issue I could name: money. To be honest, for a long time, I practically considered it a dirty word. Now, after a decade of practice as a massage therapist, I find money becoming a central focus, because I see it as one of the last hurdles to creating a truly sustainable career. I consider money such an important self-care issue for massage therapists because time and again, this issue is revealed as our biggest source of pain and stress, and one of the last obstacles to creating the business and life we love. Most of us were attracted to this profession not because we were chasing money, but because we wanted to help people heal. This purity of intention is a gift to the world and what makes us so adept as healers. And yet, as time goes by and life proceeds, it becomes obvious that unless we can come into balance financially, the gifts we have to offer the world will get buried under our own stress, exhaustion, and debt. So here we are—launching a new column about massage and money. This column is a new way ABMP wants to support us in opening up this conversation. A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY I remember hearing a radio story a while back about the correlation between money and happiness. The study showed that happiness and money were linked, up to about $75,000 a year of annual income. After that amount, making more money did not mean more happiness, but making less money did mean less happiness. This makes sense to me. If you make enough money to pay your bills, eat good food, receive quality health care, go on vacation, and have some savings, life is good. But many of us are living without one or more of these things. When I go on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website and look up "massage therapist," the median pay is listed at just less than $36,000 per year. 1 However, in their member surveys, ABMP members report earning $20,000. These stats strike me as a problem. If the median pay of massage therapists is significantly less than what it takes to be fully happy, I think we, as a profession, need to evolve. I think it is time for massage therapists to own our value and start asking for what we need to be our best selves, so we can create sustainable careers that do not injure our bodies or make martyrs out of us. It is time for us to grow out of old limiting beliefs about money and the value of massage, and learn how to create wealth while also supporting health. Many of the limiting beliefs about money that block us from being more affluent were instilled in us as children. 30 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j a n u a r y / f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 6 MINDFUL MONEY best practices Examining Our Beliefs About Money By Jennie Hastings NEW

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