Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2011

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enough to change the table, check your phone, stretch, go to the bathroom, return client calls, and breathe? Maybe it should be 30 minutes. Try to schedule yourself so you get the time you need. Next, don't be a martyr. It's really easy to feel like you are the only one who can save everybody and many times our clients treat us this way. We have to remember, though, that the client actually does the healing; we are just facilitators. Make sure you don't let your ego get too involved in what you do. It's very exciting to say you did 10 massages today. People are impressed with that number, but you're going to have quicker burnout if you try to keep up that schedule. Sometimes it's scary to turn down clients and we wonder if we'll ever get them back. Be confident in your abilities and know that the work will be there when you need it. If you're working for someone else and they are forcing you to do more massages than you're comfortable with, ask them to ease up the schedule, go to part time, or consider a job change. It might seem scary now, but in the long run it will be better for you and you'll extend your career. How do you tell if you're getting burned out? If you look at the clock the second you show up for work, you aren't as focused on clients, you rush them out after the session, you're getting cranky, or you skimp on time, it might be time for a break. Sometimes we can just cut back on the scheduling and that solves the problem. Oftentimes, we need to refocus on what our purpose is, which for many of us is to help people and find joy in that. If we get away from our purpose and find we're just churning people through to make a quick buck, we'll start to feel unease with our lives. Reevaluate what you want and make the necessary changes. MIND OVER MATTER Lastly, let's talk more about our minds. We can take all the supplements in the world, meditate daily, have a low body mass index (BMI), and sleep like a baby, but if our minds and thoughts are negative, we are still not truly healthy. Studies estimate that we have 60,000 thoughts per day and that approximately 50,000 are negative. That's just over 80 percent negative thoughts, and, to me, 80 percent negative results. It's no wonder so many people are struggling to be successful, happy, and healthy. I see clients come to my office with the same ailment or disease over and over again. We've all met them. And I've observed the connection between their thoughts and their bodies. Remember, however, that this doesn't just affect the folks on our tables. What is eating at us? Who is the pain in our neck? Are our hands full? These are the types of phrases we've agreed on in this society, and I see a connection between those words and our injuries and illnesses. If we can get to the root of what our bodies are telling us about our minds, we can improve our health. Observe the phrases you use to describe your situations and pain; it gives a hint as to what thought pattern can be changed for greater healing. Changing our mind is hard. We've been programmed for years to think the way we do. But if we can change our minds, then we can change our bodies. And when we are healthy, we can lead by example for those around us. Our clients come to us looking for healing. They expect us to help them through their physical (and often emotional) ailments. If we have done the work on ourselves first, then we are better equipped to help our clients feel better, too. The healthier we can be, the healthier our practice can be, and that's a win-win for everyone. If we can get to the root of what our bodies are telling us about our minds, we can improve our health. naturopath, and author of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet: Hundreds of Ways to Take Charge of Your Health Naturally (Infinity, 2010). For more information, visit Kathy Gruver is a massage therapist, NOTES 1. Sharon P. Fowler et al. "Fueling the Obesity Epidemic? Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long-term Weight Gain," Obesity 16, no. 8 (2008): 1894-1900. 2. Duygu Ozol, "Asthma and Food Allergy," Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine 14, no. 1 (2008): 9-12. earn CE hours at your convenience: abmp's online education center, 43

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