Today, I heard a woman who recently turned 50 years old say, "I could never do massage."
When I asked her why, she moved her hands as if to massage and said, "Oh, it would hurt too much at my age."
I immediately responded that I have been doing massage for 22 years and my hands never hurt. She looked at me, quite surprised.
"How do you manage that?" she asked. I told her when choosing a massage school, make sure the faculty teaches proper body mechanics and leverage. She said she never thought of that.
I also explained to her that after massage school I made sure to learn a variety of modalities that would be less stressful to my body, and learned yoga was an ideal tool to stay fit.
Change Your Career
It was interesting that she was at Privai Academy for her daughter, who was considering a career change to the esthetics field from being a respiratory therapist. She was looking for something she could do as well, but never considered massage—until she bumped into me.
I asked her what she enjoyed doing in life, her previous work experience, background and where she saw herself now. I easily related to her, being of the same age and understanding certain concerns about the body.
It was interesting to hear her speak about her life and experiences. She shared her love for interior design and feng shui; she worked in business and management. She liked to help people, and years ago she obtained a cosmetology license she never used.
I said, "Well, many therapists I know pride themselves in their art of feng shui to create an environment that is relaxing and conducive to healing. Your background in business and management is an advantage because many people entering the profession of massage do not understand all that it takes to succeed in business. The license you hold in cosmetology would be an excellent adjunct to massage and make you more marketable." Since she liked to help people, massage seemed like a good match.
Find the Right Place
She then explained that she gets bored easily. I responded, "Did you know massage can be done in a variety of fields?
"For instance, if you enjoy working with the elderly and geriatric population, you could specialize in that and the work is definitely gentler on your body," I continued. "If you see yourself in a more clinical setting, you would want to specialize in modalities that can treat specific conditions. This would allow you to work along with chiropractors, for instance."
As she nodded, I watched her body language and expressions. Since she expressed to me that she liked beautiful environments, I suggested the spa industry might be an ideal place for her.
"Spa treatments are fun to do and very beneficial," I explained. I also explained that if a person loves essential oils and their smells, aromatherapy massage might be an ideal offering.
Choose Your Clientele
I proceeded to tell her how I spent years working with women who were survivors of abuse. She curiously responded, "That is something I never thought of. Tell me more."
"There are modalities, such as craniosacral therapy, somatoemotional release and other massage tools and skills, that can help you facilitate this sort of work," I responded.
As we continued to discuss all of the possibilities massage can offer this clientele, she said, "You know, I need to look into this more. I never realized all the options the massage field presented. Thank you."
You're Not Too Old for a Massage Career
Today's world of massage offers so many options. If you think you can't do massage because it will hurt, you are wrong. It only hurts when we don't take care of ourselves.
Many people in their 50s or older seek a career change, something to fulfill their life and give back while earning a decent wage. Massage can provide all of this and more. Life experiences can also add to the quality of your practice.
Think of all the people in the world who have some sort of stress or physical ailment. Massage and the multitude of modalities and working environments accommodate almost every avenue.
Our industry has grown enormously in the last 20 years. Our educational providers keep exploring possibilities and expanding. With this expansion and growth of massage schools, teaching massage might be a consideration at some point as well.
No matter what age, there is something for everyone in this service-oriented industry. If you're looking for a career change, consider entering the rewarding field of massage.