When I embarked on my journey into massage therapy, I encountered discouraging statistics about the average career lifespan for Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs). I was told by an instructor at my school that 2-5 years was the average. Not exactly what you want to hear when you have just taken on the financial burden of student loans, but my passion for helping people with their health struggles motivated me to persevere. Today, with over 15 years of experience as an RMT, I have made the difficult decision to step away from the practice. However, my journey has taught me valuable lessons about self-care and sustainability in this physically demanding profession, which I would like to share with you.
To ensure a long and prosperous career as a massage therapist, I quickly realized the importance of being intelligent about my approach. Within the early days of my schooling I can remember going to martial arts class and not being able to make a fist. The inflammation and pain was taking away the strength in my hands to squeeze a full fist. While I developed the strength and conditioning required for the job over time, I also prioritized self-care techniques learned in school, such as rest, hydrotherapy, and receiving massages myself. This mindset continued throughout my career, as I listened to my body's signals and avoided activities that strained my hands and forearms. I explored and recruited other avenues to my career as well, including personal training, wellness coaching, and teaching martial arts, to supplement my income while maximizing the effectiveness and longevity of my massage services.
Passion alone is not enough to sustain a fulfilling career or any other passionate goal. It requires a systematic approach to establish a solid foundation for continued progress. In my own journey, I realized the importance of creating a sustainable system that allowed for passion to thrive. It takes self awareness and a commitment to reserve for the long term goals. This understanding emerged from the initial fear instilled by the average career lifespan of an RMT and the early physical toll it took on my body. It compelled me to plan strategically and take necessary steps to ensure sustainability. Within your own journey, create self awareness about what it will take for you to continue with your progress long-term and create a system that supports the longevity of your success.
Over the course of 15+ years working as a massage therapist in Calgary, I honed my skills and professionalism, gradually becoming an exceptional practitioner. Despite starting as a young male in a predominantly female industry, I dedicated myself to gaining extensive experience and serving clients with the utmost professionalism. I worked tirelessly, accepting clients from all walks of life, ranging from professional athletes to wheelchair-bound seniors. This diverse experience taught me that wellness needs are universal, regardless of societal status, physical abilities, or mental state. It also broadened my perspective on individual passions and the joy of helping people live life to the fullest, whether it meant returning to the sports field or enjoying pain-free activities with loved ones.
As my career evolved, I realized the importance of daring to be different. While I began as a massage therapist, my wellness journey has expanded beyond this identity. Today, I take pride in the team I have assembled, which shares the same passion and expertise I have cultivated over the years. At The Wellness Dojo, we strive to provide the same level of care and dedication to our clients, ensuring a seamless transition even as I step into a new chapter of my professional life.
Likely, you also have life-long goals that you are passionate about. I encourage you to not limit yourself to one path. Try new things, take opportunities with an open mind, and don’t be afraid to do things a little bit differently than you have done them before (or a lot differently)! Pay attention to those things that provide that tug and lean in to them, but don’t ever put yourself in a box.
Change can be challenging, but it also brings strength and growth. I am excited for the elevation of our services as The Wellness Dojo team flourishes alongside me in this next chapter. If you have had the privilege of connecting with an RMT who resonates with you and delivers a massage style that suits your needs, you understand the difficulty of finding a suitable replacement. Rest assured, our carefully selected team of practitioners at The Wellness Dojo is committed to upholding the legacy of excellence. Experience it for yourself by booking a session with one of our practitioners today!