How Do Massage Therapists Prevent Burnout

Jan 27, 2022

Massage therapists give so much of themselves to their clients, that they often forget to look after themselves.

As a massage therapist, you are spending a good amount of time on your feet and using a lot of physical exertion. On a particularly busy day, you may be seeing so many clients that finding time for a quick break may be impossible!

If you’re tired, sore, lacking motivation and are feeling more stressed than blessed at work, then you’re probably suffering from massage therapist burnout.

Here are some helpful ways you can prevent burnout as a massage therapist so that it doesn’t interfere with your work and wellbeing:

Burning out

The term “burnout” was coined to describe the consequences of high stress. Prolonged, stress can ignite into a fiery inferno before exhausting itself.

Burnout can be perpetuated by the following factors:

  1. A busy schedule
  2. Lack of resources needed to do your work efficiently
  3. Unclear job expectations
  4. Unhealthy workplace dynamics
  5. Monotonous activity
  6. Lack of social support
  7. Lack of work-life balance


Unfortunately, many massage therapists are at risk of burnout and the common injuries that can occur because of it.

Massage is physically demanding and often comes with a heavy workload. It also involves interacting with a lot of people each day and having to multitask. Without taking sufficient time to rest and recharge, massage therapists may find that burnout can stop them from feeling their best and performing their job well.

How to prevent burnout

Massage therapy is a rewarding career, but it’s also a demanding one. In order for massage therapists to prevent burnout, they need to carve out some time for regular self-care.

How can you expect to help others to be healthy when you’re not? As a massage therapist, pouring from an empty cup will have a detrimental effect on your health and performance. As a result, you won’t be giving your clients the best care that they need.

Here are some easy self-care practices that you can do as a massage therapist. Set aside time each day to tend to yourself and prevent burnout and injury.

1. Rearrange your schedule

Have a look at your current schedule and see if there’s anything you can change to reduce your workload but still provide quality care. For example, you might want to change your treatment timetable. Maybe you can streamline your practice by utilising shorter treatment times instead of long blocks. Maybe you can lengthen the time between clients so you have more time to recoup. Finding a balance between your needs and your client’s needs will help you to give your best and prevent burnout at the same time.

2. Get your own therapy

As a massage therapist, it’s often a good idea to practise what you preach! Getting a massage can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Just one massage session every week or two can help you to keep up with the physical demands of your job and get rid of any niggles and pains you may have from being on your feet all day long. You can also use self-massage techniques at home to further your relaxation and tend to injury-prone areas such as your hands, neck and shoulders.

3. Enlist help

If you’re tackling more clients than you can handle, then maybe it’s a good idea to recruit an extra pair of hands. Business management software for massage therapy provides on-demand staffing solutions that can help you operate your business more efficiently. From recruiting to staffing, treatment and scheduling, these tools are a blessing for any massage therapist who is struggling to keep up with their daily demands.

4. Listen to your mind and body

Always find ways to take care of yourself before and after your massage therapy. This can include doing breathwork, meditating, eating complete and healthy meals & snacks, making sure you’re hydrated and taking the time to stretch in between clients. Such little acts of self-care can give you the energy boost and motivation you need to get out of that rut and prevent further burnout from occurring.

Burnout occurs when your mind and body has been overworked. As a massage therapist, it’s important to practice self-care to manage burnout and prevent it from occurring in the future. Remember, the quality of the care you give to your client is a reflection of the care you give to yourself! So take time to look after your health and make changes to your schedule if needed.

Discover Massage Australia can help you to have a successful and fulfilling career in massage therapy through a wide range of certified courses. Get in touch if you’d love to know more about the courses, products and support we offer.

Cameron Aubrey

Cameron Aubrey has over 20 years experience in the massage industry, and leads the team as Course Director at Discover Massage Australia. Cameron holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage, and his expertise runs across a large range of massage techniques, particularly sports, Swedish and whole body massage.