Looking into a mirror is one way to get a direct reflection of your physical self. However, in a more abstract or figurative sense, all sorts of aspects of our lives serve as reflections of one’s self, from the way we keep our homes and the clothing we wear to how we spend our free time and the company we choose to keep. For massage therapists and bodyworkers, one of the most important reflections of your professional self is your practice and all it entails.

Whether you run a solo practice, manage a clinic full of other employees or work in a session room within a larger business, your surroundings serve as a reflection of who you are as a professional massage therapist or bodyworker, and this reflection can have an impact on how your clients view you and the overall experience of receiving your massage or bodywork services.

Therefore, it may be important to take the time to assess your practice as if looking through a client’s eyes, and try to make sure each aspect of your practice is an accurate representation of you and your values. For the purposes of this article, we will use something as simple as massage cream as an example of how one can begin to better align his or her practice with any personal values and preferences, to achieve a more accurate professional reflection.

Start by taking a look at your current massage cream. See if you like the way it is packaged, the initial look of the massage cream, and then move on to the smell and texture. If you notice, perhaps not for the first time, that the massage cream seems to come with too much packaging, this may bother you if you are committed to eco-friendly practices and aiming to create a greener practice. In this case, you have found one way in which your massage cream is not a suitable reflection of who you are and the values you hold important.

On the other hand, one of the factors you may love best about your current massage cream is that it comes with minimal packaging, and the manufacturers make it easy to reuse and refill bottles from larger containers of the massage cream. In this instance, if you are a person who values eco-friendly practices, then your massage cream would be in harmony with your principles regarding a green practice for our planet.

Moving on, the smell and texture of the massage cream you use are of the utmost importance. Of course, if you are currently using a massage cream it would stand to reason you are quite satisfied with both the texture and smell—or lack of smell—of that particular massage cream. If there is anything about the scent or texture of your current massage cream that does not please you, now would be the time to begin searching for a more suitable massage cream.

Perhaps the most important method of ensuring your massage cream offers up the best reflection of you and your practice is to study the label of ingredients your massage cream contains. Take your time, and make sure you believe in the benefits and safety of each ingredient within the massage cream you use.