Massage & Bodywork


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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 35 Due to COVID-19, this past year has been one of the most stressful ever for the massage therapy profession. Many therapists had to face shutdowns; new and intense safety protocols; losing clients who didn't feel safe getting a massage; clients who got angry because they couldn't get massage; and some who, in many cases, tried to get the therapist to ignore the shutdowns and do it anyway. Whew! May 2021 be better! Maintaining your own boundaries is just as important as honoring client boundaries. But when your mind is on your own problems—whether financial, sickness or death of a family member, or some other life- changing issue—it's easy to get so mentally and/or emotionally overwhelmed, you find yourself letting your boundaries slide. You may not be aware that you're letting boundaries slide until one day you suddenly notice that you had numerous no-shows or last-minute cancellations. You may not have noticed until it started hurting you financially. Or you found yourself dumping your problems on a client during a session or ignoring a client making a pass—things you wouldn't normally do. Avoiding boundary burnout is key. You don't want to just do a job, you want to actually enjoy your work while making a living. Once you start to let things slide, it can become a habit. It's a good idea to engage in some healthy introspection even if you haven't noticed anything amiss. Take a look at your schedule. Are you working the way you want to, or are you being too accommodating? Are you coming in on your day off? Are you taking appointments at times you really don't want to because a client says it is the only time they are available? Take a look at your financial situation. In the wake of the pandemic, most therapists who have been able to work have had to spend substantial money on PPE and expand their time between appointments to accommodate sanitation procedures. It may seem like a bad time to raise your prices, but if expenses have gone up, do it—and don't feel bad about it. Take a good look at your client list. Are there clients you have allowed to take advantage of you or who have tried to guilt you into doing something you didn't want to? Sometimes it's best to let people go. Avoiding Boundary Burnout By Laura Allen best practices | HEART OF BODYWORK Maintaining your own boundaries is just as important as honoring client boundaries. If you realize you have been guilty of letting your personal boundaries slide lately, resolve to keep your client sessions on a professional level in the future—and do it. Good boundaries make good therapeutic relationships. Laura Allen has been a licensed massage therapist since 1999 and an approved provider of continuing education since 2000. She is the author of Nina McIntosh's The Educated Heart, now in its 5th edition. Allen lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her husband, James Clayton, and their two rescue dogs.

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