Americans are increasingly sedentary. People sit more. Shoulders hunch forward, necks lean out, and pain increases. It is likely that you see plenty of clients with problems related to poor posture and lack of ergonomic planning. Using your required continuing education units to learn more about ergonomics, posture, and how those factors can be used to reduce pain may provide you with more tools and knowledge to lessen your clients’ pain.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that musculoskeletal disorders are one of the “leading causes of lost workday injury and illness.” Although it is an employer’s responsibility to provide workers with a safe and appropriate work space, workers need to be informed about what is appropriate for their own bodies. A course in ergonomics and or posture can give you the tools to inform your clients about what will work for them.
How You Can Help
As a massage therapist, you already know how to relieve the pain your clients feel as a result of poor posture. However, if the client goes back to doing the same things that brought on the pain—sitting in an inappropriate chair, for example—the pain will be back soon enough. In the worst-case scenario, the client could believe you were not doing anything to help and stop making appointments.
A course in posture and ergonomics can teach you how to explain why the pain is returning, as well as provide the ability to help clients know what they can do between appointments, how their work environments are impacting their health on a day-to-day basis, and what must happen in order for the pain to be alleviated.
The Return on Your Investment
Any time you spend money on a continuing education course, you are making an investment in your business and career. You are likely looking for some return on that investment. At first glance, if you are teaching people how to avoid pain through better posture and ergonomics, you may be losing business. After all, people are less likely to book appointments when they are experiencing less or no pain. However, two important factors will likely lead to more business.
One is that, as you are educating your clients on better posture and creating a more comfortable, less hazardous work environment, you will also be able to explain how regular massage therapy can combat the damage of repetitive movements. No matter how well a desk is set up, people who work in offices with computers still have to type and do other movements over and over again.
The second factor is that happy clients are much more likely to make referrals. Instead of simply not coming back and possibly telling other people you didn’t help them, your clients will be telling their co-workers, friends, and families how much difference correct posture made for them, or how much better they feel after adjusting their chair height. Word of mouth is powerful, and a course in posture and ergonomics can help you gain access to referrals and positive reviews.