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Massage therapy can be a very rewarding career, as you get to work autonomously, help people to relax and feel good, and learn a lifelong skill. However, while there are numerous advantages to being a massage therapist, like any other career, there are some downsides as well. These disadvantages may be a reality for massage therapists in business for themselves or those working for a spa or medical facility.
Long Hours Standing
Because massage therapy is a career type that requires long hours spent standing up, it is easy for therapists to get burned out physically. This is particularly so for therapists that see patients repeatedly throughout the day with little to no break in between. There is no way to perform the duties of this profession without doing so, which necessitates alternatives ways to make the job easier, such as costly shoes that offer comfort after hours of standing.
Massage therapy is a client-based business, and during weeks where there are less clients than others, your pay might be affected accordingly. This can make it hard to maintain a healthy budget because you may plan for a certain amount, but not have enough appointments that particular week to sustain it. This can be mitigated some by working with a spa that may pay massage therapists by the hour; however, those that work independently must deal with this issue regularly.
This can be either an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on how well you work autonomously. If you have a hard time staying on track, then working as an independent massage therapists might be a disadvantage. You may have a hard time following through on marketing or keeping appointments, which can affect your bottom line. You must be motivated to try to book new appointments every day in order to make your business a successful one.
Unrealistic Client Expectations
Massage therapy is not a cure-all for disease or medical conditions; however, many clients believe otherwise and have unrealistic expectations for what massage therapy can do. While there are numerous benefits to massage therapy, it has its limitations as well. Massage therapists are at a disadvantage when they try to combat those expectations, as it can result in a dissatisfied clients and a mark against the therapist's reputation.
Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.