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The Long Haul Prolonging Your Career Longevity By Susan Epperly Over the course of my (nearly decade-long) massage therapy career, I've encountered various statistics regarding the average length of time massage professionals spend in the industry. I've seen estimates ranging from two to eight years (which is, admittedly, a wide range), but regardless of massage therapists' actual average career span, even the upper end of that spectrum seems like a disappointingly short period of time to practice a trade for which we've trained so diligently. Every year, too many MTs experience despair when they're forced to give up their dream career prematurely due to quality-of-life issues such as burnout or compassion fatigue; physical ailments such as repetitive-use injuries; or the financial stagnation and eventual failure of their businesses. It would be a mistake to assume, however, that mere luck or fate determines which person's career will stand the test of time and which will suffer an untimely demise. There are a number of strategies we can employ in order to prolong our careers, and the more we familiarize ourselves with these tactics, the better our chances of enjoying our life's work for as long as we choose.

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