As a bodyworker, you are undoubtedly well versed in helping others deal with their soft-tissue pain and stress, as well as customizing self-care recommendations to suit each client’s needs. You may even help clients set short- and long-term goals for their overall treatment. Most likely, you do all of this to help your clients enhance their overall health and well-being.
Conversely, you may have given little thought to determining your own vision and values for your personal health. Once discovered and put in place, your personalized health vision serves as an overall guide for your self-care and renewal plan.
At the most fundamental level, your vision and values create a vivid picture of what you want for your health and the reasons you value that goal. Without that perspective, it is easy to put yourself, and your self-care, at the bottom of your priority list. With it, you have the motivation you need to consistently follow a self-care plan.
Build Your Self-Care Team
If you aren’t taking care of yourself, it will be challenging to encourage your clients to do the same. Your integrity is also at stake. Taking care of yourself includes knowing what professionals you need to have on your self-care team. It should be obvious that the first professional on your team is your own bodyworker (or myriad of bodyworkers). The type and frequency are up to you, but the bottom line is that bodyworkers need to have regular bodywork sessions. From there, assess who else you need to have on your self-care team. These professionals might include, but are not limited to:
The list will shrink or expand based on your personal needs at any given time. You should determine the frequency of your visits and desired outcomes with each individual. Paying attention to your own needs and enlisting the help of a qualified professional demonstrates that you are indeed walking your talk.
Some Things to Do
Get an appointment calendar and use it
Schedule regular physicals
Get weekly/monthly bodywork
Outsource business tasks
Hire an employee to help with the small stuff
—Mary Beth Braun owns and is the chief massage therapist at One Body Therapeutic Massage in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is also a Certified Duke University Integrative Health Coach, RYT200 Yoga Instructor, and coauthor of Introduction to Massage Therapy (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2007) with Stephanie Simonson. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
To read Mary Beth Braun’s full article, click here.
Other ABMP Self-Care Resources
This column, in every issue of Massage & Bodywork magazine, provides tips and thoughts on self-care for MTs and bodyworkers. www.massageandbodyworkdigital.com/i/694071-july-august-2016/33
Massage & Bodywork’s Self-Care Articles
Our May/June 2017 issue is all about self-care! Read the full issue online, including the feature package “Self-Care Starts Here.”
Read our July/August 2013 cover story “Take Care of Yourself, So You Can Take Care of Clients,” and also our helpful guide to personalizing your self-care plan. www.massageandbodyworkdigital.com/i/135515-july-august-2013
ABMP Self-Care Webinar
“Self-Care with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation” will help you learn how to use breathing techniques, dynamic movement, and focused meditation to replenish and nurture yourself. www.abmp.com/members/continuing-education/online-learning/courses/webinar-self-care-kundalini-yoga-and-meditation
Member Discounts on Self-Care
These key discount partners will help you save money on things that will help you stay healthy, happy, and motivated. www.abmp.com/members/business-management/discounts-and-resources/discounts#your-lifestyle-and-self-care
Get a Massage!
Looking for a massage therapist or bodyworker in your area to trade with? Find ABMP members at www.massagetherapy.com.