Spa MANAGEMENT: Boost Your Massage Therapists' Productivity

arm deltoid massage

Over my years of teaching continuing education workshops to massage therapists (MTs), I’ve identified a pattern. On day one of each workshop, I suggest we go around the room so participants can introduce themselves and tell the class where they work, how long they’ve been working and why they chose to take the workshop. And without exception, this is what I learn: The majority of my students, most of whom work in spas, are challenged with body pain. Typical areas of complaint are the wrists, hands (especially the thumbs), back and shoulders. These massage therapists fear for their livelihoods because of their work-related physical strain.

And so I focus on training those MTs on how to preserve their bodies to enable them to work for as long as they can, and without injury. We talk about how to position their bodies while giving massage to avoid unnecessary strain on the back and shoulders. I train them on how to preserve their hands—which are so easily and often injured by performing massage—by using their forearms more.

MTs are an invaluable resource at spas. Clients may love your quiet room and shower facilities, but that’s not why they return or refer their friends. The crux of the spa experience often rests on the massage therapist, and MTs who are healthy and happy give better massages. Conversely, MTs who are experiencing back pain give less to clients. And this ultimately hurts spa businesses.

To help you keep your MTs—and your business—in healthy condition, I’ve taken the grievances I’ve heard from therapists throughout the years and compiled these seven tips to help you support your MTs so they can better support you and your clients. —By Shari Auth, LMT, La.C