In massage therapy you often hear about the "burn out." The burn out is when you feel that you physically can no longer practice your trade of massage therapy or have lost the motivation to continue. This may sound crazy for the young, hungry, and passionate practitioners, but it's something we all feel at some point in our career. Whether we pack up our table for the last time or overcome it is what counts.
Throughout my own education and teaching career I realized that many of us get into massage therapy to help others from that which we suffer from ourselves. We have a physical pain, anxiety, or want to help a loved one who is suffering from an ailment. Everyone I've met has a story like this. It becomes our fuel for our sessions but somewhere along the line our passion becomes compromised, our focus drifts, and the burn out begins.
The burn out from my experience comes from a hyper focus on ourselves. We are worried about the financials of our practice, we become intimidated instead of inspired when we meet someone with great skill or knowledge, or we feel like a fraud because how can we help others if we are suffering from pain ourselves?
We try and cure the burn out by seeking more education but again there is a difference from inspiration and imitation. I've taken a class that has greased my gears and inspired me to a higher level of my work but to transform into those you admire will only steal from your talents. After 11 years, I have found that the ingredient for a great session is when I focus on the fact that no matter my level of skill or knowledge I have an opportunity today to make an impact on someone by truly listening instead of impressing, by trusting my hands over theoretical knowledge. That's when the work shines, that is when I can do a full day of books and feel fulfilled.
Trusting in what you feel beneath your fingertips is the freedom to enjoy your work again. This is where confidence comes from. To reach new heights we must reject the fear and break out our sequence. Sometimes to make the plane go further you have to lighten the load. Go back to the first person you wanted to help, who was the first therapist that helped you and inspired you? Through helping others, we free ourselves from the mental afflictions that steal from our work and we complete the transaction of the session by receiving fulfillment from it. We begin to see the benefits of taking better care of ourselves instead of focusing on the headaches of the business. Whatever it is that you do, do it. Be inspired and do your work.