As an RMT you will always be working in the best interest of your patients. You will also be driven to see more patients in order to build your practice as well as your income. However, it is important to remember that overworking yourself during sessions can actually prove detrimental to both you and your patients.
Keeping Patients Comfortable
It can sometimes be tempting to approach each massage full on for a full hour to impress your patients and build your income. However, too long and too intense of treatments can prove troublesome for your patients. It is important to keep in mind that you can actually “overload” a patient’s neuromuscular system if you try to use too many trigger points in one session. Make sure you are addressing no more than six trigger points during a session to keep things effective and comfortable. Overworking with too much deep tissue massage can lead to soreness for some patients which can mean the loss of the patient if they associate the pain with your massage. It can also cause muscle guarding and continued deep tissue massage in an area with muscle guarding may take away from the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Some patients can actually experience dizziness and nausea after or even during a massage with overworking which can negatively affect them and cause them to discontinue treatment. All of these combined possibilities will work together to have patients feel massage is not a pleasant or effective treatment leading to lost patients and lost revenue.
Too Much Effort, Too Much Strain
You have to consider how you approach each massage throughout the day and the physical strain your own body will be under. As an RMT you are more aware than many medical professionals what repetitive strain can do to a body. From your very first patient it is important to get to recognize your maximum effort. Stay in tune with your body and learn to feel how much effort you are exerting with each patient. When you become familiar with this feeling use it to temper your exertion and make a conscious effort to lower the amount of exertion you are using with each patient. Pay attention to the techniques that take the most effort and use these as little as possible. You can even come up with a rating system to estimate how much effort you are using similar to the pain scale you use for your patients. Try to stick to techniques that use six or less points on the scale so you are maintaining a healthy and manageable amount of physical exertion each day. For techniques you must use on most patients each day try to keep your efforts down to two as these will be the techniques most likely to lead to injury for you.
Make sure you are being realistic about your workload. Again, the temptation to see as many patients during the day as possible should not override common sense and how much your body can take each day. Be certain you are taking breaks between patients and a full hour for lunch to rest your body. When “opportunities” are presented to you such as taking on a new shift, helping out a fellow RMT with their patient load or taking too many hands on courses that will demand you use your body when you should be resting will all add to the potential for you to suffer from injuries.