Habits of Highly Effective Massage Therapists

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Being a massage therapist is so much more than giving someone a moment of relief; it is also the opportunity to heal them holistically and improve their well-being. Not many professionals can do that. While there are many approaches to learning about massage practices, there are a few tricks from Stephen R. Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that can help you stand out from other massage therapists. 

Be Proactive

Practitioners don’t plan to fail – they fail to plan. Successful massage therapists recognize the necessity to be proactive in developing their business. They are active in letting others know who they are and what they offer. They look for creative ways to bring people in through holiday specials, workshops, etc. They also take the time to encourage loyalty through service packages, referrals, membership perks, etc.

Begin with the End in Mind 

Have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish. Ask yourself questions like: 

  • Where do I want to be in one year or 5 years? 
  • Where is my practice going? 
  • What treatment plan is best to achieve the client’s desired results? 
  • What is the goal of the client’s treatment? 

Put First Things First

No matter how skilled you are as a massage therapist, you can’t help others unless you are healthy and strong yourself. That is why keeping a healthy work/life balance is crucial to becoming a successful massage therapist. You will need to determine how you define success and then prioritize your time, respectively. Scheduling time to re-charge and connect with others ensures you can continue to care for others.

Think Win-Win 

This scenario is based on cooperation and a belief that there is plenty for everyone. It is a mentality of “we can do more by working together.” It challenges us to look for and create opportunities that mutually benefit clients. For example, you could offer clients a free massage or credit toward a massage for every client that they refer you to. 

Try to First Understand, Then to be Understood

You should first understand your client’s needs before you can design a treatment plan for them. Ask appropriate questions and pay attention to their answers. Check with your client during the treatment to ensure their comfort. Regulate your pressure to accommodate their body’s unique condition. As a professional, you will need to be aware of both verbal and non-verbal cues.


This concept is all about open-minded teamwork to bring about new solutions and fresh ideas. Networking with other massage therapists, chiropractors or physical therapists can be mutually beneficial. Not only can you both exchange and refer clients, but it is also a great way to expand your knowledge.

Sharpen the Saw

That is an old saying that refers to change, growth and evolution. For some massage therapists, that might mean learning new or advanced techniques. For others, it could be mastering integrative therapies, like nutrition. Some might just need to try a new creative or recreational pursuit to renew their enthusiasm and energy.

Utilizing these tools can help you be a better massage therapist which, in turn, helps you be more successful and fulfilled with what you are doing. 

For a comprehensive start to a rewarding career in massage therapy, contact Vancouver College of Massage Therapy.

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