Massage is intended to be a calming treatment whether it is for therapeutic or relaxation purposes. When you are able to leave your own stresses behind you will be able to offer a completely serene atmosphere as well as increase your own concentration. Mindfulness teaches you to be completely absorbed in the moment allowing you to face each task with complete concentration. As an RMT mindfulness can prove an excellent mindset for you to provide more attentive treatment to your clients as well as keep your mind in a stress free state.
Here are five reasons mindfulness will improve your massage abilities.
- Empathy: Even when a client is moody, rude or difficult you will have the ability to remain empathetic and compassionate without being overly emotional.
- Focus: Your complete absorption in your job will allow you to focus completely on your patient during your assessments and when taking down their history. This will allow you to be more open and receptive to their cues as well as more attentive when listening to their concerns. You will then be able to address their issues more effectively.
- Concentration: A good massage therapist is always concentrating on the connection between their hands and their patient’s body. As you perform your treatment you will be able to concentrate on your patient’s responses, sense trigger points and work more effectively.
- Confidence: Mindfulness helps increase your own confidence. This will make you a better business person and allow you to do the things you might not like such as asking for money, charging for missed appointments or sticking to your schedule. Confidence will allow you to feel you are allowed to do these things and not be worried about rejection or conflict.
- Stress Relief: Mindfulness teaches you to live in the moment and not worry about the next patient, or money, or even that your feet hurt. You will be in the moment; worry free which means you will be able to make your way through your day with a calm state of mind. That calmness will be felt by your patients. This will increase their sense of calm as well as their confidence in you as a medical professional.
Teaching Yourself Mindfulness
There are a few easy steps to help teach yourself to be more mindful. The more you practice and are aware of mindfulness the more mindful you will become. If you stick to it mindfulness will become second nature. Here are some exercises to assist you in becoming mindful:
- Breathing: You are very familiar with the concept of deep breathing. Find a comfortable place and begin to take deep breaths being very aware of how you are breathing, feeling the air come in and out of your body. As you do so, be very aware of your thoughts. You will be amazed at how your mind flits about from thought to thought and feeling to feeling. Part of mindfulness is acknowledging thoughts and emotions, but then letting them go instead of dwelling on them.
- Equanimity: This exercise will teach you to be empathetic. Sit and relax and try to imagine a person you love, someone you are close to and then someone who is causing you stress. Imagine all of them as you do yourself and try to imagine all of you want the same thing: happiness. Remind yourself all of you feel unhappiness and can suffer and therefore perhaps the person who is making life difficult for you is doing so because they are having trouble in their own lives. Recognize this as a possibility and use it to be empathetic.
- Gratitude: You have probably heard the mention of gratitude as one of the most important aspects of happiness. When we learn to feel gratitude for what we have it allows us to have less focus on want. Allow yourself to envision all that you have from food and shelter to loved ones in your life. Spend time reflecting on this everyday and imagine all of the people involved in bringing this to you. Imagine that everyone you meet is deserving of kindness as part of your gratitude as the world works together to produce the things we all need and share. Allow this to teach you not only gratitude but affection for your fellow man.
Mindfulness will allow you to improve your life keeping you less stressed and more focused. This in turn will help you become a better massage therapist.