The massage therapy industry is currently facing a crisis! There are high rates of burnout, almost no upward mobility, and inadequate compensation for practitioners. This crisis has several factors that collectively contribute to a challenging and unsustainable work environment for massage therapists leading most to quit the industry altogether in 2 to 5 years.  

Unlike many other professions, there is often no clear career progression or corporate ladder for massage therapists to climb. This lack of advancement opportunities among other challenges, can lead to feelings of stagnation and frustration among practitioners who aspire to grow and develop their careers as employees not entrepreneurs. Even if a licensed massage therapist (LMT) wishes to be an entrepreneur, running a business and having a refined skill set to compete in a busy market place is something many practitioners are unable or unwilling to do at least initially.

Compounding this issue, is the very real physically demanding work that is most bodywork. Without the proper physical education, fatigue, burnout and injury are almost inevitable.  Another contributing factor is the very real financial challenges most LMT’s face. Whether working as employees or independent contractors, many therapists find themselves underpaid and overworked, unable to support themselves financially and maintain a proper work life balance.

Moreover, becoming an entrepreneur, which is often seen as a potential solution to the financial challenges faced by underpaid LMT employees, comes with its own set of risks and challenges. Many LMT’s who take the plunge into self employment lack the proper business know-how to properly run a business well, they accidentally take on too much expensive overhead that their inconsistent clientele cannot support, or they fail to acquire the true expertise needed to stand out from the crowd, which is necessary to have a steady flow of clients week after week, month after month, year after year. 

In response to these persistent challenges, there is a growing recognition of the need for comprehensive training and support for LMT’s to thrive in their careers.  This is what led me to implement an in-house regular training program for all of my LMT employees as well as create my 6 part workshop series “Bulletproof Body Mechanics and Musculoskeletal Mastery,” for therapists in the greater community.  It isn’t a total fix, but hopefully in a small but important way, it will move the industry in a corrective direction and other businesses will follow. 

LMT’s need regular advance training to hone their craft, compete in the market place and to earn a livable wage.  At the same time, they need to do this without stressing themselves or their clients in the process.  In my workshop series, participants will learn effective techniques for treating pain and dysfunction in their clients without placing undue stress on their own bodies. This workshop series will show therapists how to work smarter rather than harder so they can maximize their earning potential without sacrificing their own well-being in the process. By mastering proper body mechanics and understanding musculoskeletal anatomy inside and out, LMT’s will have much more to give, making them so much more likely to succeed both financially and physically. Perhaps they will even love their career again because it will finally work for them!  This is my hope. 

An LMT doesn’t need to take every course in the workshop series, they can pick and choose to “fill in the gaps” with the information they most need.  Although the 2024 class series is well underway, we still have more offerings and openings this year. 

Learn more and register for a future workshop by visiting our Bulletproof Body Mechanics & Musculoskeletal Mastery page here. It would be aeesome to see you training soon!

Profile Picture of Charuta Ahmaiua, LMT

Chārutā AhMaiua, Licensed Massage Therapist

Owner of Self-Transformations Massage

Specializing in Therapeutic Barefoot, Myofascial ReleaseDeep Tissue & Trigger Point Therapy

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