For those of you who don’t know me, Dawn Volpe, I have been a Natural Therapeutic Specialist and active Licensed Massage Therapist for the past 17 years. I have also been an educator in my field for about 10 years. I can testify that one key to a long and successful career is finding time to care for yourself. Therefore when contemplating an article, I immediately knew this was the topic I’d like to address. Each month we will explore some insights, and suggestions on ways to take care of your body, mind and ultimately your spirit.
MARCH SELF CARE: YOU!
Most LMT’s naturally nurture, and many of us grew up in the culture of work work work work work work, well, you get the picture. And that socially cultivated brainwashing in combo with the “giver” in us, often leads us to put ourselves last on the to-do list.
What’s probably running through most folks inner dialogue, right about now? “Yeah yeah, I know, gotta take care of myself in order to take care of others…”, but saying it, and doing it, are two different things.
At a recent chapter meeting, the presenter asked a general question about how many months it had been since we LMTs had received a massage. I was shocked to see so many hands rise indicating that it had been more then 3 months since they had been on someone’s table. Another conversation, with a small group of therapists, less then a week later revealed that for one, it had been 4 years. 4 years!?! “Are you kidding me?!!”, ran through my mind.
Marian Wolfe Dixon, author of Body Mechanics and Self-Care Manual, makes the statement, “It is the responsibility of each LMT to learn how to prepare and renew ourselves physically and emotionally for the demanding role of massage practitioner.”
One of the easiest ways to help keep ourselves renewed is through receiving regular bodywork treatments.
This month I’m not going to ask you to do any stretching exercises, I’m not going to ask you to contemplate restructuring your schedule in order to take better care of your body, or some new way to modify your body mechanics. We’ll explore some of those in the near future. I will make this months self care assignment easy.
I’m asking you to go get a massage (or favorite bodywork preference).
I already can predict what the voice in your head might be saying “I don’t have time in my schedule,” “I can’t put the funds out right now,” “when things slow down after season…”
We’ve all used one or more of these. But it is precisely during these high-volume times, that we need to take care of ourselves all the more.
Deep down, for many of us, this brings up feelings of worth. We’ll take a look at that topic more in depth in an upcoming article. But for now, simply remember this:
You are a professional therapist. You work very hard.
It is your responsibility to take care of yourself.
Having a reliable LMT associate to barter with is a great arrangement.
However for many of us, this is the first appointment that gets cut when the high demands of our clientele come pressing down.
(Look for our new section in upcoming news letters to locate other therapists who are looking for a barter relationship)
I’m suggesting a more reliable source of self care.
Once a month or so, go ahead and book an appointment with someone you know who will make it worth your time and money. And now commit to showing up. The benefits of a massage to your mind/body will be greatly increased if you actually keep the appointment.
You’ve earned it! And you’ll still have enough funds for your rent!
So I leave you with this final thought on the Law of Reciprocity.
How in the world can you expect your clients to continue to come see you, and pay for a massage again and again, when you, a member of the industry, won’t even justify putting money out to another fellow therapist in order for you to receive a massage?!?
Dawn Volpe NTS, LMT
Dawn practices bodywork in Bonita Springs at Hummingbird Energy Healing Arts on the historical Shangri-La property.
Please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Dawn: www.HarmonyTherpeutics.net