Discomfort can be a wonderful motivator. If you are highly successful and satisfied in your work as a professional massage therapist or bodyworker, then you may have no desire or motivation to change much about how you do your daily work. Perhaps you are correct in assuming all is on course, because you can see it right there on your monthly schedule and bank statement.

However, the truth is there are quite a few professional massage therapists and bodyworkers who may be feeling a bit of discomfort in their careers, especially in these tough economic times. As more people attempt to tighten their budgets and get “back to basics,” sometimes that weekly or monthly massage therapy or bodywork appointment gets cut.

Even if you are fortunate enough to be maintaining a full schedule, making end meets and then some, there may be one or two areas of discomfort in your daily work, such as a client who presents with an issue you are not sure how to address or a throbbing in your right wrist at the end of a particularly busy day.

If you are feeling any kind of discomfort around your daily work as a massage therapist or bodyworker, whether the discomfort is big or small, the key is to allow these feelings to serve as motivating factors for making necessary changes. Often, the discomfort you feel can serve as the perfect guide toward choosing your next continuing education course.

Let’s say your discomfort does not stem from a lack of clients or limited finances at the end of each month, but from that nagging wrist pain you seem to get at the end of those especially busy days. If this is the case, you might be motivated to choose a continuing education class that will give you a much needed refresher on proper body mechanics, and perhaps introduce you to some new concepts in body mechanics—ones that may not have been around when you first attended massage school.

Another angle you could take on bodily discomfort might be enrolling in a continuing education class that will teach you a technique that requires much less physical energy to perform, such as reiki or Healing Touch. That way, you could weave work into each session that will give you a break from the more physically intense techniques you typically use, and you can also offer stand-alone energy work to your clients.

If your discomfort does seem to come from a decrease in the number of clients who come through your door, then you would likely want to form a different strategy for your upcoming continuing education classes. In order to draw more clients to your practice, you could take a continuing education class on how to market your brand of massage therapy or bodywork.

These continuing education classes can teach you how to get your name out to the local community, so that when people want or need massage therapy or bodywork, the first person they think of calling is you.

Don’t be discouraged by discomfort—allow it to act as your guide to create a more rewarding practice.

–Brandi Schlossberg