You’ve just graduated and maybe you have scored your first job. Congratulations, Go YOU! It’s exciting, but it can also be super intimidating working side by side with other therapists who have x number of years experience. Its easy to go from “I’m a massage ROCK STAR!” in clinic, to “Do I even belong here!?” at work. And of course your confidence levels pale in comparison to other MT’s. They know their clients likes and dislikes, how to print a new client intake form, and where everything goes right down to the extra stash of face cradle covers. But take heart! I’m here to tell you that those therapists who zip around, and have all the answers to your questions, actually NEED you. Believe it sistah.. (or brutha!)
1. This one JUST happened to me personally…. Your body mechanics are damn near perfect.
We had a new therapist join our team last month, and recently she and I had a couples massage. I was so blown away at the way she seamlessly glided between lunges and horse stance the ENTIRE hour. Her shoulders were always down, she used her thumbs only when necessary, and she used her body weight to apply deeper pressure. (I wasn’t spying… I swear.)
A seasoned therapist may have more techniques in her tool belt, and a quick solution to a sticky situation but he/she also most likely needs a body mechanic brush up. Often times, thumbs get used more than they should, and our shoulders creep up to our ears while working on particularly tight clients. Its easy for us to forget, and let proper alignment fall by the way side. Preserving our joints isn’t in the forefront of our minds. Until of course, you show up to silently and unknowingly school us in what we know we should have been doing all along; giving treatments that are safe for our bodies. Let me just say that I wasnt proud of my recent body mechanics up until that appointment and this brand new therapist has given me a renewed sense of body awareness.
2. Your mind is fresh. The knowledge is fresh. You can most likely name all 206 muscles, and you know precisely where the insertions and origins are.
You remember the exact differences between passive, passive-active, active-assisted, and active stretching. You are a recent massage school graduate, and this is the time in your career where the terminology will never be better. You are so on your game. There are many aspects of being an MT that only years of experience can sweeten. You will learn so many great techniques never learned in school, and which of those techniques works best on which body type and in which circumstances. But trust me when I tell you, that the seasoned MT’s cant help but be a tad jealous of your dictionary-type vocabulary, thoroughly formal SOAP notes, and your commitment to centering yourself before every single massage. HIGH FIVE!
3. You are new blood! This is exciting!
Now, some therapists may not agree with me here, some therapists simply want to come to work, see their client, and go home. They may have no interest in mentoring you or helping you out more than necessary. But many therapists are itching at the chance to be the leader and show you the way. You are bringing in a fresh young energy to the space. And remember all those really great things youll learn through experience, that I was speaking of? All those fun new things that you didn’t learn in school? Who do you think is going to teach you those things? US! We are so excited to be able to pass down our knowledge. We want to show you the ropes. So trade with us, and often. Ask for advice, and come to us with your questions. Take a mental note of a technique you see us using while we’re giving a couples massage, and then ask us to show you how. Who knows, we might just learn something from you.
So, you see? You do belong in the work place.
You have studied, and practiced, taken test after test, massaged, and massaged some more. You have done your clinical hours, and undoubtedly asked 2 billion questions. You have seen countless flash cards, and taken more notes than you’ll ever read again. You DESERVE to be where you are. So hold your head high (but not too high) and go show the world what you’re made of. And by the way, Congratulations!
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