Why is it so important for massage therapists to have good posture? Good posture is important because massage therapy is a physically demanding career. In order to have longevity in massage therapy, it requires that the body function optimally. For that to happen, one of the most important elements necessary is good body mechanics.
According to LearnMuscles.com,
“On average, a massage therapist stays in the field for only 7.8 years. While not all individuals leave as a result of injury, certainly a good number of them leave because of injury or due to the burnout that occurs from the physicality of doing massage. Giving massage and engaging tissue can be hard work, especially when done with poor technique!”
What should be strived for is to work smarter and more efficiently so that there is less fatigue and injury is avoided. How is that accomplished? Let’s look at what is probably the most important tool of the trade for a massage therapist; their table. To get the most out of the table, its height is very important. More pressure can be applied if the table is lower, but if improper body mechanics are used at a lower height, it can cause back problems.
What is the proper height for massage table use? Standing by your table, you should be able to touch the table with your fingertips, palm or knuckles without hunching your shoulders. If the table is too high is can cause achy shoulders, if it is too low an achy back can be the result. It may take a few massages to come up with the best height for each individual.
Just as important as table height, is how the body aligns with the table and the technique used. Some tips to remember in order to work with less effort:
- Keep the trunk of the body vertical and face the same direction as the stroke
- Do not stoop
- Squat with the legs
- Strive to be on top of and behind each stroke
- Feet should always be either parallel or perpendicular to each other
There are other factors, but these are the basics to start with. Hopefully these few tips about body/table mechanics will help you to work more efficiently so that you may enjoy a long and happy career in massage therapy.