You’ve probably struggled with it – trying to clear your mind and relax while on the massage table. But with your work deadlines, social commitments, and family responsibilities looming in the back of your mind, it can be difficult to disconnect and allow yourself some quiet time during a massage. Industry professionals agree: practicing mindfulness aids in reducing stress, anxiety, and conflict. It can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and increase the ability to control emotional responses. But the practice of mindfulness doesn’t just apply to the person on the table. Mindfulness can be especially beneficial to massage therapists.
Mindfulness can mean something different to every individual, but Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. and one of the innovators of mindfulness teaching in the U.S. defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally,” as quoted in Massage Magazine. With a packed schedule of clients, practicing mindfulness can be a significant way to take care of yourself too. Here career experts share benefits of using mindfulness in your practice.
Benefits to Your Practice
- Mindfulness can improve your relationship to yourself and your clients, providing more success in your massage therapy practice.
- Mindfulness can increase your self-awareness, which allows you to take care of yourself while still taking care of your clients.
- Mindfulness breathing can help you steer your thoughts back to the task at hand. If thoughts and feelings arise during a session, acknowledge them, but move on by focusing on your breath.
- Mindfulness can deepen your awareness and engagement in all aspects of your life, not just your work.
- Mindfulness can help eliminate complaints from clients because you are present during the session and paying attention to how the client responds to pressure, touch, etc.
- Mindfulness can increase your energy, decrease your stressful thinking, and lower your performance anxiety.
- Mindfulness, as it pertains to your massage practice could be summarized as ‘showing up’ for your clients, and being there for yourself as well. Not unlike your clients who have to remind themselves that they deserve to be lying on that table and taking a time out from life, being present during your sessions is a way to remind yourself that you deserve to feel the passion of caring for others.
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