What Does Your Job Say About the Kind of Massage You Need?

Did you know massage is not a one-squeeze-fits-all solution? As massage therapists, we have to ask a lot of questions to make sure we’re creating the right treatment plan for you, and that all starts with an intake form.

Everyone always shudders when they fill out a massage intake form. Why do I have to fill out this stuff? Why does she have to know my job? Why would she care?  Well, your job tells me more about you than you know!

A Pilot:

This tells me so much more than free ticket perks and the fact you have a lot of travel size shampoo bottles. It tells me that you sit down A LOT. In fact, you probably have to sit down more than the average desk jockey.  This is especially true if you fly on long haul routes. Not only that, you have to stay mentally alert even if you’re tired because when something goes wrong in your job, it can go REALLY wrong.

This is why I would automatically work on muscle groups in the low back and hips. Those are the muscles that are the most affected when people sit down all day.  So, even if you came in with shoulder tension, I’d still spend a lot of time on your lower back. Not only that, but I’d recommend a 90 minute massage every month just for maintenance so that you don’t get to the point where getting a massage is more of a necessity because you are in so much pain that it hurts to put your bag in the overhead bin.  

A Copywriter:

 You sit around all day in front of a computer making everyone’s websites, Facebook Ads, or newsletters shine. You live on coffee and might get frequent headaches due to neck tension or eye strain. On top of this, you sit with your shoulders slumped over a keyboard and have horrible posture because you’re also this thing called a human and go back to old patterns. And your wrists…you know you should take longer breaks and massage them, but your clients are on a deadline!

 How do I help with your specific aches and pains?  Again, I spend time on your low back and hips. However I’d also want to suggest a cold stone face massage to help relieve the tension in your neck and face.  And even if you just scheduled a 60 minute massage, I’d make time for a lot of arm and wrist work.  

 A Police Officer:

 You lead a stressful life that very few people can imagine. Aside from some short bursts of adrenaline and some fence scaling, your life is mostly spent sitting behind a wheel or at a desk filling out the day’s paperwork.  On top of that, you carry 40 pounds of equipment on your shoulders.

This tells me, once again, to pay attention to your low back and hips.  (Can you see a pattern here?)  It also tells me to do some focus work on your pectoralis to help combat the hunched shoulders from carrying around all that extra weight.

Now you know what I can determine about your body from your job and why we massage therapists ask those all important questions.  

I’ve left off thousands of jobs, and yours was probably one of them!  Go ahead and tell me what type of job you do in the comments, and I’ll recommend a massage just for you.


photo credit: Naddsy


10 thoughts on “What Does Your Job Say About the Kind of Massage You Need?

    • Beth Patton says:

      Hi Dixie! When I used to watch HGTV all the time, I thought that designers just walk around and directed people all the time. However, after really getting to know some designers, I realize that your typical day is spent at a computer or a desk. You’re checking email, working on designing, drawing, etc. You’re also sitting in the car a lot. You meet clients, go shopping with them, go check out their spaces and you probably drink coffee and eat on the run.

      The massage I’d create for you would be very much like a massage for a copy writer. However, if you were a designer who also spent a lot of hands on time physically building furniture then there’d most likely be a lot of shoulder tension in addition to low back and neck strain.

      And, for an added bonus, I’d let you pick out a scent to diffuse or to add to the warm towels I’d use on your feet.


  1. Liz Applegate says:

    I’m a communication professional by day and then building my own coaching practice in the evening. Sitting at a desk is killing me! Help!

    • Beth Patton says:

      Sitting at our desks is slowly killing everyone I think! We all need to get up and move around more. I’d recommend a lot of low back, hip and neck work and include stretching into the massage. Depending on your level of pain, I might suggest some cupping therapy on your back to help relieve your neck and shoulder tension. And, if you’d be willing, some hemp oil.


  2. robyneschmidt says:

    I spend most of my time walking around, doing household chores and some computer work (sometimes standing). Most of my sitting is running errands in my car.

    • Beth Patton says:

      Being a CEO of a household is certainly a tough job! And, I applaud your efforts to shake things up by doing some computer work standing. I work next door to some folks, and some of them have those standing desks. The key is to do a variety of movements during the day.

      I’d certainly recommend stretching during your massage with focus work on your hips and lower back. And, every mom needs some pampering with warm towels. Additionally, I’d recommend frequent massage. Like teachers and nurses, mothers have to be reminded to take care of themselves!

    • Beth Patton says:

      Hi Nickole! (I went to school with Nickole.) Some massage therapists are afraid to work on other massage therapists. Rest assured that I’m not afraid to show off my skills.

      As massage therapists, we are guilty of the same types of repetitive strain injuries that can be career ending if we’re not careful. Frequent arm, shoulder, neck and wrist stretching is imperative and so I’d want to include stretching as part of your massage. You’d get a very focused massage on your neck, shoulders, arms and hands. I’d like to use hemp oil on these muscle groups as well.

      And, like everyone else, I wouldn’t neglect other muscle groups and finish off with warm towels on your feet.

  3. Lauren says:

    Nailed it! Still planning to come see you so you can fix my neck and wrists again the next time I have a day off. 🙂

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