A study published Monday in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that a quarter of respondents who had taken an hour-long class at a Key West massage therapist reported that they had “felt burned out” or “lost interest in the therapy session.”
The study followed about 500 massage therapists in Key Largo, Florida, and found that the vast majority of those who had practiced at least two months were not only enjoying their jobs but also feeling positive about their massage therapy.
“Our findings are consistent with the view that many of the massage therapists who have reported their work as challenging and rewarding are actually enjoying their massage practice and not feeling burnt out,” said Dr. David Zwiers, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
While the majority of massage therapists said they were satisfied with their massage and were happy to see their clients come back, the majority said they had experienced burnout as a result of the therapy sessions.
“Some of the clients had a very positive experience but then it turned out that the massage therapist had not delivered the treatment that they wanted, so the client lost interest and stopped coming to the session,” Zwier said.
“The massage therapist’s client, or clients, then had a negative experience, or a burnout.
The massage therapist was not able to deliver a massage therapy session that was expected.”
The researchers said that this phenomenon was not unique to Key Licket and was common in other massage therapists’ experiences.
“In Key Lobo, Florida’s Key West and the Palm Beach region, the most common response to patients who reported being burned out was to stop attending the massage therapy sessions,” the researchers wrote.
“However, in a similar study in Palm Beach, Florida [which] followed roughly 900 massage therapists and their clients, the same findings were found.
In Palm Beach the most frequent reason for client burnout was to drop out of the program.
This suggests that, in other areas, it is not uncommon for clients to drop from the program due to client dissatisfaction with the therapy experience.”
Zwiers said the findings could have implications for the industry.
“While there are no studies on the topic, it may be time for massage therapists to consider the effects of client dissatisfaction on their massage therapists,” Zvws said.
In addition to Zwiesers findings, Zwias study found that massage therapists were less likely to report burnout and were more likely to have positive feelings toward their clients.
“If a massage therapist has a negative relationship with her or his clients, it could affect how they feel about their clients and the quality of the treatment,” Zweiers said.
The study, which involved approximately 2,000 participants, focused on massage therapists practicing in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Zwier and Zwius conducted their research in conjunction with researchers at the Florida Center for Health and Wellness, an academic research institute at the university.
The survey also asked participants questions about their job and their massage therapist.
The participants also provided their email addresses and telephone numbers, along with the results of their massage sessions.
Researchers found that about two-thirds of massage therapy therapists said that they would “not change their profession or work environment” in response to the survey.
About two-fifths of massage therapist respondents reported that their massage was less effective than expected, while more than one-third said they would reduce the number of clients they treat.
The most common reasons for client dissatisfaction were to drop their massage program, stop doing the massage, and feel that the therapy was not appropriate for their client, the study found.
A full-time massage therapist who practices in Florida has a 2.6 percent chance of experiencing burnout in his or her lifetime, according a study published in December by researchers at Vanderbilt University.
In 2017, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) released a survey of nearly 400 retired people about their jobs and how they felt about their retirement.
The AARP survey found that “retirees report having little or no satisfaction with their current jobs, including the jobs that they want, and are dissatisfied with their future prospects.”
The survey found “fewer than one in 10 retirees say they are satisfied with the quality and value of their retirement.”
The findings were echoed in the new study.
“As individuals retire, their relationship with their employer and the workplace can change,” Zwais study found, citing “personal and professional differences that can affect the quality, level of service, and value that employees receive.”
“These changes can also negatively impact the workplace as employees are forced to choose between fulfilling their career goals or the needs of their employers,” Zwang said.