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15 Common Mistakes Massage Therapists Make

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Strong work ethics and an in-depth understanding of the profession are prerequisites for becoming a massage therapist. Being polite and following regulations may be challenging for some massage therapists, particularly if they feel pressured to be perfect. Additionally, some people tend to forget the simple steps that signify negligence. It is important to stay vigilant and always make it about the patient.

The benefits of massage for both physical and emotional healing have long been recognized. It was described as a precursor to mental well-being and one of the most efficient ways to relieve pain. One must be aware of their actions at all times and exhibit the highest level of respect and superb service to succeed as a massage therapist. Making a mistake is disheartening but it is critical to not make it a pattern. Here is a brief list of the blunders that massage therapists often make.

1. Lack of professionalism

Patients will start to go elsewhere if you often cancel appointments or don't answer messages. Before leaving for the day, return all calls and messages. Only cancel in cases of genuine emergencies. Patients won't look for you otherwise. You must exhibit the same level of professionalism as other healthcare practitioners if you want to be regarded as one.

2. Delaying Your Treatment

You risk losing clientele if you regularly interrupt their therapy. You are implying that you value your time more than the patient on your table. If you don't employ a receptionist, you should either implement online booking or post a notice in your waiting area inviting walk-ins to leave a note when they arrive.

3. Noise

Patients will anticipate some degree of noise if your office is located in a loud environment, such as a gym. Particularly strange sounds, such as a dog barking or youngsters yelling, mainly if you work from home can be a disruption most patients might not tolerate.   While some noise is beyond your control, try to limit it as much as possible.

4. Cold Therapy Room

Your patient can't unwind if they're chilly. A heated table pad and blankets are helpful but may not be sufficient since patients will get chilly when a section of their body is exposed. If you put the heat down overnight, turn it back on when you get there or use a timer to turn it on earlier so your office is warm when your first patient shows up. Wear lighter clothing if you start to become too hot, but avoid trying to make your patient less comfortable while taking care of yourself.

5. Uncomfortable Table

It may be bad for business if you don't have a face cradle, arm support, and other bolsters to make the patient as comfortable as possible. Your patient won't be able to unwind if they have to continue shifting their arms to reach more comfortable positions or if they have to stiffen up to hold their arms on the table. You must provide a supportive face restraint, a place for arms to rest comfortably in different positions, and bolsters and cushions for the patient's ankles, knees, and other body parts that may need support. Therapists may cite cost as a justification for not investing in comfortable equipment, but you will lose out financially long-term. It is among the smartest investments you can make in your company.

6. Damaged office or equipment

A messy workplace, broken equipment, and ripped and discolored sheets and towels negatively affect your company. Maintain a tidy office and replace any damaged or soiled equipment.

7. Talking too much

Your patient could wish to talk and interact occasionally, but they might not. The key in this situation is to follow the patient's lead. When your patient begins to speak just when they want to (and only about what they wish to), fade them out.

8. Failing to fulfill promises you advertise

You better be willing and ready to do deep tissue massage if you say you provide it. You had better understand where all the muscles are and how to work on them if you promote medical massage services. The patient will be dissatisfied if you pretend to know how to provide the sought service. Concerning your qualifications and experience, you should be open and honest with your patients.

9. Exaggerated Experience Claims

I've found that some institutions provide 15-hour courses in various modalities. When students graduate, they believe they have learned all there is to know about those modalities, and they go on to market themselves as experts. In 15 hours, you won't get much more than a general review of each modality. Swedish massage, acupressure, trigger point treatment, myofascial release, and medical massage cannot be learned in 15 hours! You must be able to fulfill your promise if you've advertised that you provide medical massage, trigger point therapy, or myofascial release. If you don't, and your patients are familiar with a specific technique, they will be able to tell that you are untrained, and you will lose credibility. Choose one or two and continue your studies until you are an expert in those modalities if you want to promote yourself as one.

10. Asking Insufficient Questions

During the first appointment and at the start of each subsequent visit, you must get a comprehensive medical history if you provide any form of medical massage. By gathering information, you may choose the beginning point for the therapy, pinpoint the sources and aggressors of pain (and other symptoms), and learn what worked and what did not during the previous treatment so that you can modify the present one. Also, inquire if there is anything they need in terms of comfort. "Am I missing any areas you wish to be worked on?" Ask whether the depth is too firm or light, and make the appropriate adjustments.

11. Ignoring the patient's input

They might not like or want procedures done on a certain bodily area. They may not like being stretched. They may have had negative encounters in the past with therapists who utilized harmful techniques or areas to treat them. Whether or not you agree with the patient that they should feel that way, you must respect their wants regardless of your personal opinion. You should avoid harming the patient while maintaining their comfort throughout any given therapy.

12. Ignoring the patient's requests

I'm not referring to anything forbidden, unethical, immoral, or unlawful. Decline the patient's request if it is contraindicated and explain to them why. But if feasible, you should consider the patient's interests and preferences and tailor your therapy to them. It usually boils down to bad time management, which is fairly typical. Don't spend 40 minutes on your patient's upper back and neck (even if you believe it needs it), 10 minutes on the back of their legs, and then be unable to finish the full body massage with the additional time on their sore quads if your patient requests it. Their upper back and neck may be tense and need further therapy, but that specific treatment does not place a high priority on those areas. To have 35 minutes left for the anterior body, including 15 minutes on the quads, you may need to be sure to turn the patient face up after 25 minutes of therapy.

The therapist must keep an eye on the time and calculate how much time may be spent on each task while still taking care of the patient's priorities. Even if it's out of order from your typical "routine," it may be preferable to treat the priority region first to ensure that you spend as much time there as the patient desires and then split the remaining time appropriately. Giving the patient the option of spending a lot of time on one or two key areas or a full-body massage may be necessary, but regardless of what the patient chooses, you are in charge of controlling your time.

13. Not targeting the whole muscle

As massage therapists, I'm sure we've all experienced having another therapist move their fingers up a painful muscle and stop just as they were about to reach a spot that needed some serious attention. Learn the muscles, their origins, and their insertions, and treat the complete muscle.

14. Poor hygiene

When a therapist approached my head, I had to hold my breath because their feet, armpits, or hands stank so terrible. Even if you haven't smoked in your clothing, a smoker's clothes, hair, and hands may be quite off-putting to someone who doesn't smoke. Hands drenched in massage oil can be particularly offensive.

15. Negative Attitude

For most massage therapists, a rapid mood change might be expected. While everyone has a unique style of coping with emotions, professionalism involves maintaining a cheerful attitude while working. Maintaining a pleasant outlook at work is a method to protect client service.

Even if you choose to behave like a diva, it may be career suicide since most customers, of course, prefer to deal with kind and courteous massage therapists. To prevent future disappointments, think about how your attitude can affect the company you are in and take a chill pill.

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