Greetings from The World Massage Festival in beautiful downtown Cherokee NC! I am here learning, networking, and enjoying the company of an eclectic group of therapists. I’m sharing this with you to prove that I practice what I preach. So if you haven’t guessed, my piece of advice to those of you who are asking for help with professional burnout is…….. “Get thee to a gathering of massage therapists and catch some sparks.”
Burn out is prolific, and there are many good articles on how to deal with it. But this suggestion is especially for the wellness professional since most of us are sole practitioners, and being around each other is muy important. There is a story about an individual who had pulled back from his support community. An elder visited him and sat with the man in front of the fireplace. After silently enjoying the warm flames for a while, the elder slid a burning ember away from the fire, and they both watched it start to grow dim and cold. He then moved it back closer to the sparks, where it started glowing again. Enough said.
I have, more than once, in my 25 plus years in this profession, felt the ebbing of my glow. But being in the company of other practitioners has never failed to inspire me (one of the main reasons I like to teach). There is a greater variety of options than ever before, here are just a few to explore:
- Independent Conferences - The World Massage Festival, FSMTA, and AMC.
- Membership Based Events - AMTA National Convention, conferences, and state chapter meetings. ABMP School Issues Forum
- Volunteering Opportunities- sports massage teams, emergency response teams, and community events are great ways to connect.
- Continuing Education - Live/ hands-on. I understand the convenience of online but don’t let it be your only source. Feel the work you are learning, and make sure to form study groups with those who are also exploring.
- Trade Shows, Retreats and Special events – IECSC, Cosmoprof, and Biotone Open Houses: featuring techniques, biz/marketing tips, and networking opportunities
Please don’t think you are alone in this struggle. Because of my own experiences, especially with the Medicine Path Program, I was motivated to start facilitating a number of classes, including a one-day self-care mind, body, and spirit practicum for wellness practitioners. I have been amazed at the response but not surprised. We are all trying to connect on deeper levels: to each other, to our higher self, to our work, and to our clients.
In fact, I just witnessed this when assisting at a Healing Hands (sacredstonemedicine.com) class here at the WMF, where almost 100 therapists participated in a hands-on energy class based on Native American tradition. It was amazing to see the diversity of participants and the connections they made. There were educators, therapists from every approach known to our profession, old and new friends (some who were exploring the esoteric side of our work for the first time). The feedback at the end of class was so heartening. It was a privilege to witness the sparks of inspiration flying.
“Get thee to a gathering of massage therapists and catch some sparks!”
Be well, do good work, and write us about your favorite gathering of therapists