There is a silent killer in the massage profession.
This destroyer of dreams has been responsible for massage therapists’ low income averages, increased burnout incidence, and the alarming attrition rate we are currently seeing in our profession.
This killer is known as Starving Healer Syndrome.
Today, we take a giant step toward unlocking our true potential as an industry, and answer the crucial question: How do we eliminate this syndrome?
First, we have to understand it.
Starving Healer Syndrome is a disease of the mind, and begins as a simple set of limiting beliefs.
This is good news, because that actually makes the cure incredibly simple. In fact, I’m going to share with you the same three-R formula I use with my personal mentoring clients, and we are going to run through it together.
Now the bad news.
In order to completely uproot this disease, you must remain open-minded enough to entertain the possibility that you may have been operating under false information for quite some time.
For most people, this is not an easy thing to recognize.
You see, these are the types of limiting beliefs that have most likely been indoctrinated in you since childhood. They came from your parents, the news you watched, movies you saw, and 90 percent of the people you’ve ever known or spent time with.
The courage to confront such deeply rooted beliefs is extremely rare.
That’s why the first step of my formula is the hardest.
Recognize Limiting Beliefs
To recognize is defined as “to perceive clearly,” and “to acknowledge formally.”
For the first step, we will go through each of the four stages of Starving Healer Syndrome and identify the limiting beliefs behind that particular stage.
Once you understand, and have acknowledged to yourself that each one is indeed a limiting belief, you will be ready to move on to step two for a better belief.
Re-educate with Empowering Beliefs
To re-educate means “to train again, especially to rehabilitate through education.”
The goal of this step is to replace the old limiting beliefs with new, empowering beliefs. These will form a new foundation for you, and act as a guidepost for you to take actions that will bring you closer to your true potential.
Reactivate to reinforce
When you reactivate something, you “restore something to a state of activity.”
In this case, the thing we are bringing back into action is you, but in a new direction.
With your improved beliefs in place to guide and propel you, your actions will naturally be more in line with your lifetime goals. You may even find yourself setting some new goals you wouldn’t have dared to dream possible before.
And that’s it. That’s my 3-Step Formula for eliminating Starving Healer Syndrome. I told you it was simple, didn’t I?
Now let’s put it to work.
- “There isn’t enough for everybody to live well.”
- “The rich got rich by screwing other people over. They are greedy, and if I wanted to set ambitious financial goals, I would also have to be greedy to achieve them.”
- “We live in a time of unparalleled prosperity, and there is more than enough for everybody.”
- “Wealth is society’s way of rewarding individuals who provide a lot of value to others. I can have everything I want in life, if I will just help enough others get what they want.”
- For a single day, look at everything you see as money. From the cars driving by, to the houses you pass, to the buildings on the side of the street. Imagine what they are worth, and add it up. Somebody has paid, or is paying for all of them. You will quickly realize the MASSIVE amount of money that is in our society.
- Pick two people who are famous for being rich, then type their name followed by “charity” into google. You will be amazed at the amount of money they have donated. Tony Robbins fed over 20 million people last Thanksgiving; guess how many I fed? Zero. My parents provided the turkey.
- “Massages are expensive, and people in my area can’t afford regular sessions.”
- “I’m a Healer, and I’m not in this for the money.”
- “My massage is worth more than the price I ask. There are plenty of people in my community who can afford regular massages from me. I just need to find them.”
- “The more money I accumulate, the greater the impact I will be able to make on myself, my family, and my community.”
- Start watching what people have in their carts at the store. Notice the clothes/accessories they are wearing, and what vehicles they get into. Begin to observe the millions of ways that people in your community are recklessly spending their money.
- Sit down and calculate exactly how much income you would need to be earning to have a significant impact on yourself, your family, your community—and maybe even the world. Picture all of the ways you would like to serve people with that amount of money. Then, commit to achieving that income level, and start working toward it one step at a time.
- “Because I am a healer, I don’t need to learn business skills like advertising and selling. I don’t like those subjects anyway.”
- “I will be able to ‘manifest’ my ideal clients, and the right people will find me.”
- “The laws of business apply to all service providers, and I am not an exception. If I want the right people to find me, I will need to learn how to advertise. If I want those people to come back consistently, I will need to learn how to sell.”
- “I will be able to “manifest” my ideal clients, and the right people will find me if I take the right actions.
- Even if you don’t like them, or believe you’re no good with business skills, commit to learning advertising and selling as if your career depended on it—because it does.
- Find somebody who has figured out how to advertise and sell successfully, and pay them to teach you. This can be via mentoring, a book or an online course. If it’s mentoring, actually do what they tell you to do. If you buy a book or enroll in an online course, finish it.
- “I’m not doing well as a massage therapist because: my school didn’t prepare me well enough, the franchises devalued massage, there is too much competition” (or any other outside factor you blame for your lack of success).
- “It’s not possible to earn a great living as a massage therapist, at least not in my area.”
- “Any lack of success that I feel is because of the choices that I’ve made. I either adopted limiting beliefs as my own, gave into excuses along the way, or both. I can easily change my beliefs and make new choices at any time.”
- “With a fresh perspective, the right tools, and a proper plan of action, I can certainly be successful as a massage therapist, in any area.”
- Go grab a piece of paper, sit back down, and look over all of the limiting beliefs we covered above. Pick out all of the ones you had adopted as your own, and write them on the paper. Look over each one really well, and understand that it didn’t come from you; you simply borrowed it from somebody else.
- Once that thought clicks for every single one, forgive yourself and give yourself permission to adopt the corresponding empowering belief in its place.
Finally, take the recommended actions and break free from it for good.
You’ve got the fresh perspective and a proper plan of action. Start working those two aspects, and I guarantee the right tools (books, courses, mentors) will become clear soon enough.
But make the commitment now to invest in those tools, and to use them, because that’s when your potential truly becomes unlocked.
It’s Simple, But Not Easy
The hard part is seeing those limiting beliefs for what they truly are: opinions of other people who have been passed on to you either on purpose or by accident.
If you found yourself arguing with me in your head during any of my descriptions of limiting beliefs, then those are the ones you really need to examine, because they are the ones holding you back the most.
It is my life’s mission to get this crucial information out to those who need it, so I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to you for having taken the time to read these articles.
Together, we will elevate our industry’s income level to heights nobody thought was possible.
We will help thousands of therapists realize how much they are truly worth, so they can enjoy a sustainable career without burning out their bodies—and most importantly, we will take our profession back from this devastating disease which has crippled us for decades.
Together, we will stop the spread of Starving Healer Syndrome for good.
Together, we will be the cure.
About the Author
Scott Lindquist, LMT’s mission is to give you the tools and strategies that will propel you to prosperity as a massage therapist. He is obsessed with creating win/win outcomes and empowering therapists, and believes you can have everything you want in life by helping enough people get what they want. He is creating a video to train massage therapists on his Rs process. Email him at email@example.com and he will notify you when the course is ready.
If you enjoyed reading this MASSAGE Magazine online article, subscribe to the monthly print magazine for more articles about massage news, techniques, self-care, research, business and more, delivered monthly. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for additional unique content, including product announcements and special offers.