Self-care for Therapists

Should a massage therapist massage with an injury. The answer is “it depends.” Every
Joe has an opinion on if you should massage with an injury. Whether an injury was
directly related to massage or due to outside factors. There are three rules to keep in mind
before deciding to massage.

1. Do no harm
Usually we think of do no harm to the client/patient when we hear that term. We
also have a responsibility to ourselves. A therapist who sacrifices their own well
being to work on a client isn’t doing the client any favors. If your body or your
Dr. is telling you not to massage…don’t. Clients will wait for you, especially if
you explain your reasons. They will see you as “practicing what you preach” and
appreciate your openness.

2. Use different tools
If you have a thumb that is injured, replace that tool with another. A knuckle or
fist or even elbow. Nothing gets the creative juices of a therapist flowing more
than “not” being able to use a tool.

3. Train in different modalities
If you’re a Thai therapist with a knee injury, perhaps instead of getting on a mat
you can adapt your treatment to fit the table. Reiki, cranio sacral and reflexology
are modalities you can add to the mix to keep your treatment interesting, useful
and safe.

It sad to hear that some therapist’s work right through injuries directly related to massage.
When asked why they are working with the injury they say they don’t want to lose a
client and don’t know of any other options. Unfortunately many massage schools only
have a single class (or a small part of a class) on “body mechanics” but not even a
mention of injury prevention or what the possible alternatives tool or techniques to use
when they have injuries. Even though many students will experience pain and/or injury
during their massage training and career they are not taught how to keep themselves
injury free and keep their clients happy.

With the proper knowledge and techniques massage therapist can expect a viable long-
term career in massage. The number one thing a Massage Therapist can do for them
selves is get regular massage. It will help keep them healthy and relaxed as well as have
the ability to learn a thing or two!