After a heavy day of massage, every MT has asked herself this question: should I quit massage? I certainly have. Massage is physically demanding (and mentally at times). Sometimes we are way underpaid for what we do. Sometimes clients stress us out. And sometimes we have less time than we thought because we have to see clients when it’s inconvenient for us. (Hmm…I don’t remember them telling me about this in massage school, do you?)
If you’re having one of those days, weeks, months, year, ask yourself this question before you “hang up your hands and walk away”: What do I want out of massage? Plain and simple, if you’ve never asked yourself the question, then you honestly can’t say if massage is something that you should stick with or not.
So, what do you want out of massage? I find it helpful to think of this question in terms of meaning (I want massage to be fulfilling), money (I want to make a certain amount of money) and time (I want time to do the things I want to do)? If you’re like me, all three will part of my answer, but in varying degrees and can change over time.
For example, early on I wanted to specialize in a modality that would allow me to help people with acute and chronic pain. The satisfaction that I got from helping someone outweighed the extra time I often put in to get the job done. Now, time is number one. I create a massage schedule that allows me to have the time to research, write and teach.
As you may have noticed in my examples, you may have to give up a little of one thing to get more of another thing. If you’re interested in making more money, you may have to put in more time improving your skills, finding more clients, or adding an extra massage job. Conversely, if you want more time you may have to give up clients whose appointments interrupt potential blocks of discretionary time.
Regardless the trade-offs, massage is a career/job that provides us with the opportunity to have some sort of control over three key elements to a happy life: meaning, money and time. Ultimately, massage may not be the right career/job for you—but you won’t know until you identify what it is you want out of massage.
What’s the most important thing for you with massage? Meaning, money, or time? There’s no right answer. Seriously. Don’t be afraid to be honest. In fact, if you’re not honest, you’re more likely to get stuck in a place where you don’t want to be (been there, done that). Take the first step and start the conversation. Leave a comment or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).