Not just for the typical reasons you might imagine – such as, an aversion to touching people – and I’ve heard that one plenty of times.  Of course, anyone who cannot get past that thought would never choose to be a massage therapist (or any number of other careers that involve human contact – physical therapy, nursing, etc.).  It’s all about perspective. After all, the healing power of touch has been written about almost since the dawn of civilization, and those who work in careers like this take a positive viewpoint.  Physical contact with other people is not that gross, I promise!  But, hey, it’s not for everyone.
Choosing massage therapy for a career is more than choosing a job.  It’s a way of life, a philosophy.  One cannot follow such a path unless they have a true passion for it and everything it represents.  This career is not like the office job you can leave behind at the office when you go home.  It takes dedication to follow the path of a massage therapist, in part because of the many ways it affects the life of the therapist even when they aren’t on duty.  Not everyone can handle marking “get a manicure” off the to-do list permanently!  I cut my nails off and filed them smooth for the first time in less than a week after beginning massage school, and cut and filed they have remained ever since.  Truly, I jest that this is any real sacrifice (though I know plenty of women who would beg to differ!), but there is so much more to it.

For one, massage therapy is a physically demanding job.  An MT has to take good care of themselves both on and off duty in order to maintain their own physical well-being enough to be able to help the physical well-being of others.  It’s hard to help others in pain if you yourself are suffering.  That means exercise, LOTS of stretching, and receiving massage on a regular basis, as well as drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthy, and taking precautions at all times to avoid illness and injury.  Obviously, the bulk of wear and tear is on the hands, forearms, shoulders, and back.  And, in my case, my right foot.  A key element is self-massage.  I know I do self-massage on my hands and forearms on an almost daily basis.  If I didn’t,