5. Help therapists stay in shape. Massage is a very physical practice; productivity and career longevity depend on good physical conditioning.
✷ Healthy advice: If your spa has a gym or group classes, offer access to these amenities at a discount or free to your MTs. If not, partner with a local gym or yoga/Pilates studio to offer a mutual discount to each others’ employees. Post a “break time” stretch routine in the break room with simple wrist, shoulder and back stretches.
6. Have MTs use sustainable massage techniques. The more options at a massage therapist’s disposal, the better. MTs who know how to use their forearms, feet or a massage tool (such as a stone or ball) in addition to their hands, have a longevity advantage. Such tools preserve the massage therapist’s fragile hands, and are a particular asset when performing deep-tissue massage. Because the forearms are more durable than the hands, and the surface area of contact is broader, they enable MTs to lean their body weight into the tissue instead of using muscular force.
✷ Healthy advice: Train MTs thoroughly on the use of forearms and massage tools to relieve stress on hands, especially when performing deep-tissue work. An MT who is trained in giving an effortless deep-tissue massage is an asset to any spa.