3 Ways Massage Therapists Can Avoid Burnout

The physical and emotional demands of being a massage therapist can sometimes be overwhelming, resulting in burnout. Burnout symptoms can include fatigue, diminishing joy, loss of confidence or injury.

recent American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) survey indicates that 90 percent of massage therapists are practicing in some level of pain. And massage therapistslike many wellness professionals—often put the needs of their clients first, sometimes sacrificing their own needs.

That's where self-care comes in. By learning habits and strategies to keep burnout at bay, massage therapists can ensure a healthy and rewarding massage therapy career for years to come.

Expert Advice on Avoiding Burnout

How Massage Therapists Can Improve Self-care

David Lobenstine is a massage therapist from New York and a speaker from the AMTA 2017 National Convention. Combining deep tissue and myofascial work with attention to breath, he helps both clients and fellow massage therapists inhabit their bodies with greater ease and effectiveness.

David shares three takeaways from his hands-on continuing education session Pour, Don't Push: How to Massage With Greater Depth & Ease. 

1. One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is to let go of our own judgment. We are so determined to do a good job that we tend to be very hard on ourselves. That judgment is useless—it doesn’t help the therapist, and it doesn’t help the client. By working with mindful awareness, we can help ourselves as we help our clients.

2. One of the greatest gifts we can give to our clients is to not try to do so much. In “Pour, Don’t Push,” we discover that a massage session is often more effective, and feels better, if you work slower rather than faster, and if you do fewer strokes rather than more.

3. Pay attention to your body. You are already a good massage therapist. You are already helping your clients. But if you pay as much attention to your own body as you do to your client’s body, your work will be easier and more effective and more enjoyable.

Continue reading about David & his work »

Self-Care Resources

Don't Get Sidelined: Self-Care for Massage Therapists

Healthy Hands: How to Properly Take Care of Forearms, Wrists & Hands | 2 CE Credits

Self-Care: Listening to Your Body

FREE Self-Care Continuing Education for the Massage Therapy Profession!

Take Care of Yourself & Earn 5 Free CE Credits

Upwards of 90% of massage therapists say they are in pain at any given time. Take care of yourself and earn 5 CE credits with AMTA's Self-Care Continuing Education for Massage Therapists—FREE for the massage therapy profession!

Register now for free CE »

"I chose AMTA because they are committed to advancing the profession."

Jackie R., AMTA member since 2011