Hard but Satisfying: 6 Challenges Only a Massage Therapist Would Understand

Massage therapy can be a very satisfying experience. With a unique set of skills that employ “magic hands” and a “magic touch,” massage therapist can uplift, soothe, and relax the body and mind.

It can be an incredibly rewarding yet challenging job, whether you work in a spa, massage clinic, or you operate your own massage therapy business.

Let’s look at six challenges only a massage therapist would understand.

A woman enjoying a wellness session; image source: pexels.com

Protecting Against Lawsuits

Even excellent massage therapists can find themselves faced with a lawsuit for malpractice. Mistakes can be made on the job, or a client can perceive that he/she has been injured as a result of the professional services provided by a massage therapist.

Where clear communication and informed consent fail, massage liability insurance can protect a massage therapist against the risk of litigation.

Risk if Injury

Massage therapy is a physically tedious job in which massage therapists are regularly on their feet carrying out their task. They perform regular, repetitive motions that can lead to strain and fatigue, and standing for extended periods of time can damage the joints, cause achy muscles and even foot issues.

These potential health risks can threaten a massage therapist’s livelihood because they impede the ability to perform the motions necessary for a satisfying massage therapy session.

Job Security Not Guaranteed

Foot massage; image source: healthpress.info

While the massage therapy industry is projected to grow into the year 2026 by 26%, faster than the average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job security is not something that is guaranteed.

Presently, 64% of therapists are self-employed, leaving many workers in the profession without the enjoyment of the benefits that a permanent staff role would provide them, while approximately 42% of all massage therapists worked part time. New massage therapists are likely to find themselves as part-time workers as well. Building a client base is something that takes time.

Pay May or May Not Be Great

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) claims that the median annual wage for massage therapists was $39,990 in 2017, actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization, location and years of experience, along with other factors.

The most common factors that are likely to impact a massage therapist’s earning potential are the workplace and the ability to build a large client base, that can provide a steady income and the opportunity to earn more. Early retirement is no guarantee.

Flexible and Mature in Handling Rescheduling and Cancellations

Calls to reschedule and cancel a massage therapy session is part and parcel of the massage therapy experience. While a client sticking to an appointment is ideal, things happen that can thwart that plan.

Rescheduling can be a challenge when you have a full schedule and cancellations can affect your earnings. However, you cannot let those things upset you and interfere with your ability to be 100% focused in your sessions with clients that actually make their appointments.

Stamina to Perform the Job

Performing massages back-to-back requires much energy and vitality. Massage therapy is physical labor that requires the maintenance of physical strength and agility for a full shift of tending to clients repeatedly.

While the clients’ needs may be different, massage therapy requires some level of exertion. A massage therapist has to be able to recover from one session to be able to perform efficiently and effectively in the next.

Massage therapy has its perks, but is also come with its own set of challenges. Still, these challenges do not have to hinder success or feelings of fulfillment.


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