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I wanted to ask for people who have been in a  profession full time for a long time. i have been an LMT for about two years now full time, i have my own practice and perform about 20-30 hours of pure massage hours a week. other time in a week I use to run business, advertising etc. 

My question is is this possible to continue until lets say age 65, did you found that your traffic decreases with age or increases. I am not sure if people would like to see a 60 year old massage therapist. I am 29 now and have plenty of energy to do deep tissue and ashiatsu work and people trust me with their problems.

I have a fear will I have to do less massage as i get older.  I am used to a certain amount of income  and not looking to make less but more and thinking if I need to think of hiring others younger therapists too when I get older. 

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I'm 63 years old, and have been a practicing therapist for over 30 years, and I'm still going strong. As a matter of fact, I recently got a new job. Working with an anesthesiologist in his pain management clinic.
You have to maintain a certain level of fitness. You don't have to be athletic, but you want to take care of yourself. I've always been relatively busy with slow times here and there. But that has nothing to do with age. Experience makes you better at whatever you do.
You get an associates degree at 2 years. A bachelors at 4 years. A masters at 5, and maybe a Phd in 6 or 7 years. I've been doing this kind of work for over 30. I use to joke, many years ago, when I noticed that I was improving....that if I keep improving , pretty soon all I will have to do Is just touch people and their pain will go away. And guess what? That's what I'm doing now. Most of the time anyway.
If you have passion for what you do, dispite the ups and downs, you just keep doing it, and it's easier.
All that being said. The average career span for a massage therapist is not very long. What gets me is....soft tissue work work is the best therapy for repetitive stress injuries. Yet, that's the thing that ruins massage careers most often. How can you fix somebody else if ya can't fix yourself? Our education system just perpetuates a very short average career span. There is just no doubt about it. I've been harping about it for years. Check the attachment out. I'm guessing it's pretty close to reality, give or take a year.
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Thanks for your reply. good to hear story like yours. I am using a variety of different techniques which tremendously helps. however the part about cupping is something I have not learned yet how to do. maybe i should take classes on that.

I'm 50 y.o. and have been practicing massage since 2002.  I don't like to do more than 20-25 hours of massage per week, if I don't have to (at least not on a consistent basis, and I didn't like more than this even when I was younger).   Over the years, I have found that a consistent 18 hours/week, is my happy number.

It is very possible to continue in practice until age 65.  You will find that your work changes as you get older.  I have found that I work much smarter and with less effort as I have aged (therapeutic and deep tissue is the bulk of my practice).  I have also slowed my actual in-session massage pace significantly.  I can't believe how fast I would move during a session when I was younger.  :O

Another interesting thing that I have noticed:  When I was younger, a day of 7 in a row would cause my joints to be inflamed for 2-3 days to follow.  Last Monday I provided 7½ hours of massage back to back (11am - 10:30pm) and was lightly sore in one joint for one half of the next day. 

To be sure, there are many weeks I only see 13-15 hours of massage in our current economy.  I had expected this to be coming, and this most recent time raised to my current rates, a few years in advance.  That gave my practice time to take the hit due to  a number of people moving on to find a lesser rate (though now, those are starting to make their way back), and for me to get known by a new group of people.  Currently, my session is double the rate of what I charged when I began the massage portion of my practice in 2002.  I usually set a significant rate increase every 3-5 years by $10 - $20.  Other people choose to raise by $5 every year or so. 

You may have to do less massage as you get older, but raising your rates will allow you to work with a clientele with more discretionary income which will also allow you to lighten your load.  Not *having* to work heavy hours is certainly something to work toward.  :)

I am 65 years old and most days, I do 5 hands-on hours of massage. I probably work more now than I did 10 years ago and much more efficiently. I don't have many aches or pains, but I do sleep well every night. I work with regular clients of all ages and I enjoy them all. I plan on working a few more years, although with fewer hours. Not because the work is too strenuous, but because I want to travel.
Thanks for wonderful replies! This makes me so happy to hear. I have also found that in two years I work much more efficiently that I did before I started. I have raised my rates and it's an average what the private good therapists charge in the area, and less what the "high end spa" would charge. My type of clients usually recognize that the spa massage is not usually a deep tissue massage so I don't compete with spas. I signed up for a cupping class in November too in Boston.

Jolita Brilliant said:

I signed up for a cupping class in November too in Boston.
Definitely check out this wonderful Cupping Equipment review.  It's a long read through all of the posts, but well worth it!  Photos included.  :)


thanks!


Pueppi Texas said:

Jolita Brilliant said:

I signed up for a cupping class in November too in Boston.
Definitely check out this wonderful Cupping Equipment review.  It's a long read through all of the posts, but well worth it!  Photos included.  :)

As you gain experience, and confidence, and local reputation, you will gradually increase your rates.  But do pay attention to your own health to ensure longevity: body stance as you work, working with supported thumbs, etc. I am 69, do have arthritic hands so now limit the amount of sessions I do.  But, you're 29, not something you will need to worry about for decades. 

Thanks for your reply.

when did you started having problem with arthritis? I am going to lean cupping on November, than thinking to learn also advanced reflexology, anything after that i should learn to lighten up my work. 

Gary W Addis, LMT said:

As you gain experience, and confidence, and local reputation, you will gradually increase your rates.  But do pay attention to your own health to ensure longevity: body stance as you work, working with supported thumbs, etc. I am 69, do have arthritic hands so now limit the amount of sessions I do.  But, you're 29, not something you will need to worry about for decades. 

The massages didn't create the arthritis.  In the '80s I was a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter: to excel in any competitive sport you have to push push push; weightlifting is especially stressful to tendons and joints.  Damage incurred, and re-occured.

There are several types of arthritis.  Rheumatic and Psoriatic result from immune system attacking joints, maybe due to residue of long dead viral or bacterial infection.  Osteoarthritis is caused by damage to the joint structures caused by...in my case, lifting heavy weights repetitiously six days per week for a decade.  Since only my hands are affected, it's likely that doing massage professionally kick-started already existing damage.   Stroking doesn't bother the phalange joints too much, but my most effective Swedish Massage technique is kneading the muscles-- and that is very hard on the hands.     

Jolita Brilliant said:

when did you started having problem with arthritis? I am going to lean cupping on November, than thinking to learn also advanced reflexology, anything after that i should learn to lighten up my work. 

Gary W Addis, LMT said:

As you gain experience, and confidence, and local reputation, you will gradually increase your rates.  But do pay attention to your own health to ensure longevity: body stance as you work, working with supported thumbs, etc. I am 69, do have arthritic hands so now limit the amount of sessions I do.  But, you're 29, not something you will need to worry about for decades. 

Ah. Thanks for sharing. Well I've done lifting for about 2 years and endurance running for about 3 as well, before bodybuilding. But stopped any competitive sports to save my body for massage career. Glad I did.

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