Making Work Joy in Massage Therapy

foam roller

5 Steps to Freedom and Success
Success as a massage therapist comes down to serving in spiritual love. Although my experience is in massage, these guiding principles carry over to any service-oriented profession. It’s all a matter of heart and mind: heart over mind and mind over matter! Nothing like getting a good massage cushion.

1. Serve Love, not Money
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be paid well for your service. But if you think you’re just working for a paycheck, you’re missing something extremely profound. Whatever you do for love is easy, joyful, and energizing. Ask yourself what you wouldn’t do for someone you love? Now carry that fire over to every massage client.
Greet people with a genuine smile. Clients sense your sincerity. That smile might be the one thing keeping them from suicide. Imagine that! You just saved that person’s life. How do you know you didn’t?

2. Pygmalion Power
In massage therapy and all service professions, the Pygmalion Effect and the Golem Effect are always in effect.
To illustrate, I was an independent therapist, and my co-worker, let’s call her Tina, did facials. Once, a woman visited the spa and Tina whispered, “Oh, no! I know her! My friend did a facial on her and she said she was a terror. She wanted everything just so, and then she didn’t even leave a tip.”

I told her to forget everything her friend told her and treat the woman like she was her favorite aunt, to show her love, straight from her heart. Tina did, and the woman was completely gracious in return, left her a $20 tip, and became one of her best regulars.

3. The Extra Mile
The old adage “go the extra mile” was never about giving 200% at your job. It’s about treating everyone with love, and claiming your freedom.
In Jesus’ day, any Roman could conscript any Jewish person to carry his burdens for a mile. Looking through the lens of love, the extra mile turns that conscript from a slave to a friend. Freedom!

4. Right Livelihood

Do you love seeing your clients float out the door in bliss? If not, quit. No amount of money will give you peace if you can’t look back on your life and know it had meaning.

5. Give!
Truly successful therapists know: Give, give, give! Serve from your heart, and offer little gift bags occasionally (with business cards!) Joy will be the measure of your success!