Due date 25 September 2009
What does it mean by being a sustainable massage practitioner and what would you do to achieve this?
Understanding the sustainability issues in today’s society is something to become familiar with. Not only for the environment but also for you own health, safety and benefits.
There are three elements of sustainability, environmental, social and economical, that I am going to talk about with regards to me as a massage therapist and a having a massage practise set up. The first being environmental;
There are some issues and considerations that one must look at for becoming a sustainable massage practitioner and that is to think about what type of products you are using for example, laundry detergent. This is not only full of harsh chemicals that are damaging to the product, but also to the skin and to the environment. It is something to think about when and if you have clients that have very sensitive skin. For example, I had a client once who was on medication for a skin condition, immediately I thought about the linen she was lying on and whether or not it would become irritating. I personally have very sensitive skin and can only use sensitive type powders and I am a fan of the eco-friendly type. It also gets to a point when the detergent becomes harmful to the environment.
Paper use is another issue that came up. Although it is not such a big deal at the current day, it would be good to start thinking about keeping an electronic client database on a laptop or computer to think about minimising paper use. Even though, it is one of the easiest materials to recycle.
Product purchases are another one to think about and the way that it is packaged, is it eco-friendly? biodegradable? And can it be recycled? If you are that way inclined are pro-environment it is good to look into things such as this.
These days, as we are in an economic crisis, power is one thing that has tried to be cut back on. With regards to a massage practise, simple things can be done to avoid using too much power, however with some negative aspects. Instead of using the drier to dry linen, hang out the washing, However sometimes it’s not always going to be possible due to weather implications. As far as the ‘eco-friendly’ light bulbs go, not always such a positive idea. They contain a substance called mercury which is very harmful and dangerous especially to pregnant woman. Considering you are working in a clinic, it is likely you will get a pregnant client. Another downfall to our ‘eco-friendly’ power saving light bulbs is that they take several minutes to even reach their full watt capacity, which isn’t such a big deal in a massage clinic as we like dim shades anyway; still, it’s not so ideal.
When it comes to maintaining the well-being of the environment and yourselves , it has got a lot to do with what we do to maintain the relationships of the community to the input of sustainability and how we go about doing so. Positive and negative remarks and discussions on eco-friendly products etc creates a bad impression on the product. It’s reminds me of the plastic bag situation at New World Supermarket at the moment. Having to pay an extra 5c for each plastic bag seems ridiculous but at the same time good for the environment. People generally kick up a fuss whenever they have to pay up for something. I know that I don’t buy a plastic bag for 5c because people have convinced me that it’s a stupid thing to do, but at the same time, we are effectively helping the environment by protecting it from plastic rubbish bags. So it’s a win/win situation, and a more positive one relating to social sustainability.
Social sustainability also looks at the health of the society and maintaining good positive sustainable relationships between yourself and the work you do and the activities you do.
Furthermore, economical sustainability is the financial aspect of the operation. It is also another element to look at. Everything over laps each other with regards to a sustainable massage practise, the environmental aspect, the social aspect and the economical aspect all intertwine to make it continuous and efficient. As long as you have the work coming in, to create the funds that you need to make the practise sustainable you will be able to provide the sustainable environment that you want that benefits you and your staff as well as you clients to maintain health and a safe environment.
Fritz, S. (2004). Mosby’s fundamentals of therapeutic massage (3rd ed.). Missouri: Mosby.
My Own Thoughts.