Most of us have heard the saying about the reed in the wind—if it is flexible, it will only bend, and not break, in the gusts. Applied to your career as a professional massage therapist or bodyworker, the lesson is to remain flexible and open to change, rather than grow rigid and get stuck in stale habits.

One of the crucial keys to keeping yourself and your practice successfully flexible is to stay mindful. This means taking note of more subtle items, such as feelings and your energy levels, as well as more obvious facts, such as the number of clients who come through your door each week and the kinds of issues they present with.

You should also be quite quick to notice when it is time for a change regarding any of the physical details of your practice, from the décor in your session room and the candles you light each day to your massage table and linens.

There is a long list of such details that go into creating a warm and healing environment for your clients, and it is up to you, as the massage therapist or bodyworker, to realize when any one of these details may need to be tweaked, removed or otherwise improved upon.

Begin your foray into greater flexibility and mindfulness within the realm of your career by observing the use of your current massage cream. This small but incredibly important detail can be a great jumping-off point for refining your practice. If you have not taken a look at the label on your massage cream in a long time, start by reading its ingredients.

As you read the ingredient label on your massage cream, stay mindful of what you are feeling and thinking. If you are coming across many long and complex ingredients you cannot identify and can barely pronounce, you may find yourself feeling confused and a little worried about the massage cream you have been using on your clients and absorbing into your own skin as well.

On the other hand, if the ingredient label on your massage cream lists a small number of components, and you can identify and even pronounce them all, you might find yourself feeling even more confident about this massage cream, especially if you know the elements it contains come straight from Mother Nature.

Another step you can take in making sure your massage cream is optimal for you and your clients is to pay extra attention to how well it is working within particular sessions. Be aware of whether your massage cream is providing the right amount of stick when you are doing deeper work on your clients, as well as whether your massage cream is giving you the right glide for lighter techniques that cover a wider range of the client’s body.

As you raise awareness around your massage cream, your new commitment to flexibility, an open mind and the best possible practice should help you determine whether it is time to find a better massage cream.

–Brandi Schlossberg