Personality Traits Helpful for a Career in Massage Therapy
For some people, massage therapy is an ideal career. Massage therapists help people, can use their skills in many settings, and meet new people all the time. However, it’s not for everyone. Some personality traits are better suited for massage than others.
Good Traits for an Aspiring Massage Therapist
It’s important for massage therapists to be flexible people. All different kinds of people will come for a massage, and a massage therapist has to be skilled at knowing how to make anyone comfortable, as well as deal with different personality types. For instance, some clients are chatty and want to talk during the whole massage, while others prefer silence or just light music. This time is the client’s, and a massage therapist needs to be able to let the client call the shots.
A good massage therapist has to be adept at improvising. For instance, a client may request an hour long massage only of the back and neck instead of a full body massage. Massage therapists need to be able to think on their feet and adapt a massage routine to fit that particular client.
It helps to be good at thinking ahead, as well. For instance, having a variety of music available for during the massage, to suit the tastes of different clients. It’s also a nice touch to have candles in several scents, as well as unscented ones, and an extra blanket for clients who are easily chilled. Being considerate and thoughtful in this way can make clients enjoy the massage more, as well as want to come back in the future.
A massage therapist must not be squeamish, as clients will present with different body types and ages, some will be very hairy or have skin or medical conditions that, although not contagious, could make some people uncomfortable. Massage should be a safe and comfortable experience for clients, and therapists need to have the ability to put their own feelings and hangups aside to work on clients to the best of their abilities.
Getting Into Massage Therapy for the Wrong Reasons
Going to work will be something to dread for those who get into the career of massage therapy for the wrong reasons or without thinking the decision through. For instance, massage therapists can make about a dollar a minute for a massage in their own practice, although they may make half of that or less when working for someone else. Many consider this good pay, which can make massage therapy sound like a good career choice. But a massage therapist who gets into the field only to make money will be disappointed, as income is often erratic and massage therapy is very difficult, physical work.
Massage therapy is also flexible, with therapists able to work for themselves, in spas, with chiropractors, on cruise ships, and many other opportunities. Many massage therapists work less than 40 hours a week while still making a living wage. And for those that don’t like the monotony of office work, this can seem like a perfect choice. And it is, for many people. However, for those who are shy or don’t enjoy meeting new people, doing massage can be very difficult.
To be a happy and effective massage therapist, prospective therapists should enjoy working with people, be accommodating and flexible, and be able to put aside whatever is going on in their own lives to concentrate on the needs of another for the duration of the massage.