Self-care is exactly what it sounds like—caring for one’s self. As massage therapists and future massage therapists, your career is based on providing care to others. . . but that cannot come at the expense of self-care. In fact, a lack of self-care can affect our ability to care for others.
When you’re sick with the flu, it’s practically impossible to care for your family, isn’t it? To be the best massage therapist you can be, in fact, to be your best self, you must take care of yourself first.
“Is important to start from the beginning for your health and longevity in the career of massage therapy,” advises Damien A. Archambeau, RMP, BCTMB, and lead instructor at Central Maryland School of Massage (CMSM). “Massage helps the body to rebalance, boosting immune system function by means of circulation and the lowering of stress levels. So any other forms of self-care like Yoga, or stretching, working out, or meditating will add to the general health and well-being of the practitioner,” he adds.
Self-care involves both the mind and body, and fortunately, there are several ways to “take care” of both. We polled instructors from Finger Lakes School of Massage and they offered the following tips for administering self-care:
- Good body mechanics
- Good Nutrition
- Baths (bubble, epsom salts, hot, you name it!)
- Chiropractic visits
- Acupuncture sessions
- Saunas/Steam rooms
- And of course, massage!
MIND & EMOTIONS
- Alone/quiet time
- Listening to music
- Peacefully enjoying nature
Director of ASIS Massage Education Joe Rongo emphasizes the importance of self-care: “If nothing else, we should see self-care as a means of keeping our stress from deteriorating a balanced and healthy nervous system. With a successful regular self-care regime, we can begin to see results instantly, from a satisfactory perspective of our life choices, to increased focus and productivity.”
“Self-care is basically taking care of your tools—which happens to be our bodies,” adds Athena Boyd, an LMT and lead instructor at CMSM.