6 Tips to Avoid Burnout as an RMT or Bodyworker

burnout rmt avoid it

Hey there, fellow massage therapists! Let’s talk about something real: burnout. It’s not just a buzzword; it’s a genuine concern for many of us in the field. But fear not, because I’ve got some practical tips to help you navigate your way through the hustle without sacrificing your well-being.

First off, let’s start with the basics: taking care of yourself. I’m talking regular meals, staying hydrated, and actually taking those much-needed breaks. It might seem obvious, but trust me, it’s easier said than done when you’re knee-deep in client appointments.

Now, onto tip number two: never stop learning. Seriously, folks, the moment you think you know it all is the moment you stop growing. Dedicate some time to expanding your skillset, whether it’s through courses, workshops, or just picking the brains of other seasoned therapists. There’s always something new to discover in this ever-evolving field.

Alright, let’s talk time management. Those 15-minute gaps between clients? Yeah, they’re not just for scrolling through Instagram. Use that time to jot down notes, plan your next move, or simply take a breather. Trust me, your future self will thank you for it.

Enhancing your practice is next on the agenda. Think heat therapy, fancy tools, and incorporating assessments into your routine. It’s all about finding what works best for you and your clients to ensure those sessions are top-notch every single time.

Workflow optimization is key, my friends. Switch up those pressure hands, invest in some nifty equipment, and consider diversifying your services. Variety is the spice of life, after all, and offering different styles of massage or specialized treatments can keep things interesting for both you and your clients.

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk self-care. Seriously, folks, it’s non-negotiable. Pay attention to your posture, wind down those sessions gradually, and remember to celebrate your wins along the way. You’re doing amazing work, and you deserve to feel as good as yo

ur clients do after a session.

So there you have it, folks: six tips to help you avoid burnout and keep on thriving in your role as an RMT. Remember, it’s all about finding that balance and prioritizing your well-being along the way.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks from yours truly. Until next time, keep those hands happy and those clients smiling!

Roxanne Derkson RMT GCFP



burnout as an rmt avoid

The Best Chair for Sitting Better

Picture of Ariel Chair Tall and Short versions

The Best Chair for Sitting Better Now Available

link to the QOR360 now and find out more and order one today.

The greatest feature of this chair is that it allows your muscles to be active.  “Ergonomic” chairs on the market provide every support imaginable which ultimately have a negative gain after hours of sitting.

Picture of Ariel Chair Tall and Short versions

Ariel QOR360 Chairs in Red Vinyl

Gold Standard in Chairs

The best chair available on the market today is gold standard in active seating. With QOR360’s patented rocking mechanism and a softer, more comfortable seat designed for all day sitting, the Ariel makes sitting healthy while looking damn good doing it. The award-winning Ariel is rapidly becoming a global best-seller, for good reason.  Click the link above and find out all about it.  You can even download a free book by the inventor.

Designer Dr Turner Osler

Discover more about how a dynamic and responsive and ultimately less supportive chair enhances your full body motion. This chair was developed by Dr. Turner Osler a Trauma Surgeon turned researcher. He designed the patented sitting device that he claims will actually increase your metabolism while sitting!  Follow the link above and get his free download “Sit Better” Book.

Sit Better Book available as a downlaod

Dr. Turner Osler Explains the reality of ergonomic chairs as we currently know it.

How It Works

A recent study[i] found that sitting on a dynamic (tippy) surface resulted in the spine assuming a conformation much closer to that of natural standing as opposed to sitting on a solid surface; as a result, the active chair allowed the spine to express its natural lumbar lordosis. [i] https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/10/21/7567

This chair is designed to connect your head forward posture to your pelvic and leg motion even responding to subtle reaching motion you do all day at your desk or work station.

Avoiding Long Term Effects of Sitting

The case of passive sitting is actually similar to that of smoking: in the 1950’s most people smoked, and it seemed inconceivable that smoking caused lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease and generalized vascular disease. It took decades to persuade people to abandon their addiction to smoking. It’s likely that getting folks to abandon their infatuation with passive sitting require a similarly prolonged effort.

Research has linked carpel tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, back pain, neck pain, back and neck tension, headaches, nerve compression and disc degeneration to long periods of static posture at a desk or repetitive seated tasks.

Take a positive step to moving more while sitting purchase the Ariel Now


Looking for ways to use your empty essential oil bottles?

essential oil

If like me you have loads of empty essential oil bottles lying around and are wondering what to do with them then I just might have the answer!

However, remember that essential oils are just like any other oil and cling to the sides of the bottle they are in. This means that there is always a little bit left in there even when you think the bottle looks empty.

So as not to waste the residual oil clinging to the inside of the bottle check out the followings tips –

Run yourself a lovely relaxing warm bath and leave your empty uncapped bottles in the bottom while the water runs. The remnants of oil will get washed out with the warm water and fragrance it leaving you with a deliciously scented soak.

Keep the empty bottles somewhere safe and use them as aromatherapy tools. If you are having a bad day, have a headache or are feeling particularly emotional or stressed out, take one of your bottles, remove the top and breathe in the fragrance (for headaches eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender or spearmint work well).

Use a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil to fill up your empty bottles. This gently fragranced oil can then be used to moisturize dry hands, feet, elbows etc. The small size is great for throwing in your purse for moisturizing on the go! Alternatively tie some pretty twine or ribbon around the neck of the bottle, attach a tag and you have a great little gift. I know Christmas is a long way off yet but they can even be hung on the tree (remember this idea for the next one!)

Use good quality vodka or distilled water to fill your empty bottles. Shake well to incorporate then pour into a spray bottle. Use the finished product as an air freshener or linen spray.

ViVi Therapy stocks a large selection of organic essential oils.  Did you know we carry 5 signature blends we had custom blended by a local Registered Aromatherapist. These special blends include all our favourite scents and have enhanced therapeutic benefits from the combinations chosen for each.  If you don’t where to start when buying single scents try these you can’t go wrong. Check them out online or shop in store today.

Holly Oil vs Fractionated Coconut Oil

fractionated coconut oil
Holly Oil

Many massage therapists still purchase Holly oil in large quantities for massage. They like the thin liquid feel of the product, finding it goes a long way and is more economical than other nut, seed or plant-based oils.

The trouble I find with Holly Oil is the name. It is misleading…

You would think that it was plant-based but in fact, Holly Oil contains over 90% liquid paraffin and at best the holly content is an essence or holly extract in minute quantity. The ingredients are often not included on the bottles purchased from distributors of this oil and I feel it unfair not to fully disclose ingredient listings on the bottles of product used on the skin. Massage Therapists know how much is absorbed through the skin after all and most people also know that paraffin is a petroleum derivative and therefore should be avoided for use on the skin.

When Googled just now, here is what two different sellers of massage supplies had to say about Holly Oil. Note the second one which does not fully disclose the ingredients on their labels and uses words like “holly oil is derived from a cold-pressed process”. They avoid saying cold-pressed from what? This is misleading. Holly oil is liquid paraffin. It also gives you the idea the oil is jojoba and vitamin e which again is less than 10% of the overall product.

Description 1: Holly Oil has long been a popular massage oil. It is extremely light to the point where sheets will not be stained. It also has a pleasant cooling effect. Nonetheless, this is offset by the mineral oil in the blend that blocks pores and limits the effects of a therapeutic massage.

Description 2: Holly Oil is derived from a cold-press process. A water-based Vitamin E, (Cyclo-Alocaine) is then added along with Jojoba as a therapeutic moisturizer and to add glide. This non-nut-based oil is unscented and non-staining. Holly Oil has a 5-year shelf life and is the perfect carrier for essential oils.

Fractionated Coconut Oil

This oil is derived from coconuts. The difference is it stays liquid at room temperature where most other coconut oil is solid. For massage therapists, the liquid oil is more convenient and more hygienic keeping the quality of the oil without repetitive heating to turn it liquid in our long winters.

I think it is a perfect replacement for holly oil.

A natural product that has had some refinement but is naturally based not petroleum-based and it has almost the identical feel and slip.
It is water dispersible and does not stain sheets or linen if washed soon after use.

We have sold many therapists on the conversion to fractionated oil. We think it is a good move. Telling your clients they have coconut oil on them never hurts.

So what do they do to Fractionated Coconut Oil to keep it liquid?

“Fractionated coconut oil” has had the lauric acid component removed. Lauric acid from coconut oil is known as a strong antimicrobial component and therefore is used as a preservative in many commercial applications. Anytime you refine a product you take away some of the natural goodness. Here is the microbial action of the original oil. The fractionated oil can be derived from different qualities of coconut oil so make sure you are purchasing from a trusted supplier.

You can test our fractionated coconut oil and organic coconut oil in store or order online.

Like Lotions and cremes better? Then try our popular Organic Body or Sacred Earth Botanical lines with vegan options too. sign on to our monthly newsletter for product and bodywork tips, sales and vip discount codes. View these products in our online store.

How to Buy the Best Massage Table

At ViVi Therapy, we know how to buy the best massage table for your practice. We have built and sold thousands of massage tables and other equipment since 2008 when we started our supply branch of ViVI Therapy.

We have also grown our clinic since that time and as a practitioner and owner of ViVi Therapy,  I understand what features are actually important to a practice.

At ViVi we have built tables with all features and level of quality, while keeping our price points affordable for everyone. I am here to help you choose the best table for your needs as a therapist, practitioner, or clinic or salon owner.

What to Consider:

  1. Adjustability
  2. Width and Length
  3. Material
  4. Weight
  5. Accessories
  6. Practices

When thinking about purchasing a new table you first have to ask yourself some very important questions:

Who will be using this table (both practitioner and patient)?

What features, size, height and weight capacity will they need?

If you have an integrated clinic then different features would be important to different practitioners that are using the same table.

Let’s look at some of the main features that you’ll need to consider.


1) Adjustability

There are 3 ways to adjust the height and features of a massage table: manually, electrically, or hydraulically. The options can be adjusted by hand-held device, foot pedal, or a touch bar around the table. Convenience and preference determine which one is best.

Manual Adjustment:

Wooden tables use 1 or 2 knobs that screw into designated holes on the legs to adjust to the desired height. Aluminum tables, most often, have telescoping legs that adjust more efficiently than the knobs. This can save time by simply pressing in the notch device while telescoping the leg to the desired height.

Another option is a spring loaded device with a screw to loosen and slide into the designated holes on the aluminum legs. This is probably a better option in an economy priced table.

Manual lift for back, leg, or neck features usually have preset angles. Back and leg lift features will always add extra weight to a table. Face rests, or face cradles, can have easy bicycle lock adjusting features for patients’ neck and head comfort. An adjustable face cradle or face rest is superior to a face hole built into the table which often is uncomfortable for the client.

Electric Adjustment:

Electric height adjustments are also known in the industry as “Hi Lo”. This is an important feature especially when using a table in a multi-practitioner environment. Assessment, treatment protocols and different height practitioners all benefit from easy electric hi lo adjustments. The greater the range of Hi Lo the more versatile the table.  Check out our featured multi adjustable table here its hi lo is 20 – 40 inches.

Electric lift tables can have foot pedals, hand-held controllers, or a foot activation bar to adjust the height. Leg lifting features save treatment room space by eliminating the need for a lumbar and knee bolster or pillows. Back, neck, and pelvic lifts are useful in a clinic with practitioners of varying specialties and aging or pregnant clientele.

Don’t be deterred by an electric table with manual leg and back lifts, the lifting feature are still touch sensitive and not hard to adjust if the table is well built.


ViVi Therapy Luxe Lift Multi Adjustable Electric Table


2) Width and Length

Width is key to comfort for both the person receiving the treatment and the practitioner. Tables are most commonly around 6 feet, or 72 inches, long and have an additional 8-12 inches for the face cradle and cushion. Massage table extenders are available for both the head and foot of the table. The extensions can usually add up to 6 inches in length.

The wider the table the more comfortable larger people will be on it. Wide tables need to be lower to the ground for the person working on it, especially if the practitioner is not very tall. Elderly clients tend to like wider tables as well because they feel safer on them. The most common widths range from 28-32 inches wide for most kinds of massage therapy tables. Physiotherapy and Chiropractic tables are often more narrow. Once again, this is up to the personal preference of the practitioner and based on the clients’ needs.


3) Material

Dense foam gives more support and lasts longer, while softer foam is more comfort focused for the client. Just like your mattress at home, therapeutic tables are often constructed with layers of dense foam and a top layer of soft or even memory foam to ensure your client’s comfort.

Economical and more entry level tables often have less foam height. Manufacturers can cut costs on the foam knowing that people don’t sleep on the table and fleece comfort pads can be added for additional cushion. Treatment techniques that require a firm surfaced table can be performed on a table with thinner, denser foam.

Eco-friendly foam is most desirable, as is PU vinyl over PVC.


4) Weight

As a rule: The larger and more features a table has, electric, stationary, or portable, the heavier the weight will be.

Lightweight and portable is usually the only choice for mobile massage. Lugging a cumbersome table up stairs and into a house will definitely have someone changing their mind about mobile massage in a hurry. Different manual adjusting features will change the weight of the portable table as well.

An elevated feature of a portable table to reduce weight is to exchange the wooden leg frame for aluminum or make the platform out of a lighter material than wood.

Buyer Beware: Inexpensive aluminum tables under $199CAD price
point can be poor quality for both adjustability and weight bearing.


ViVi Therapy Mini Dreaming  Massage Table


Some practitioners might not concern themselves when carrying an extra 15-20lbs of table weight, while others might have issues carrying around a heavy portable table. Portable tables made of wood or that have features like manual lifts tend to be heavier.

If you are setting up the table in a room and don’t plan on moving it much then buy a larger, more comfort oriented table of wood or aluminum depending on the esthetic you are after.

5) Accessories

Many accessories are included in the purchase of the table. Face cradle, arm rests, side arm extensions, length extensions, and headrest extensions are some of the common accessories that can be included in a purchase. These can also be bought separately to upgrade or replace parts.

Buyer Beware: A table with many bundled accessories
can sometimes be a disguise for a poor quality table,
remember that you get what you pay for.


Electric tables range in price based on lift, tilt, break, and drop features. Sometimes the professional buying the table will also play a role in price point. Beyond your budget, knowing which features are best for your practice is the first step.

Many higher end Physiotherapy and Chiropractic tables tend to be sold with a base price and each feature is added on to the base price. This can be misleading when surfing the internet for the best priced professional table, you will have to click through to be sure of the “real” price.

An integrated clinic with multiple disciplines might want to look at a table with more features than a singular disciplined practice. The “Hi Lo” feature will be the most important when more than one practitioner is using the table.

Having wheels on the table so that it can be moved around the clinic space may or may not be needed. Locking wheels is a great feature for both mobility and being able to move the table to clean underneath.

6) Practices (Mobile, Massage, Acupuncture, Craniosacral, Deep Structural Integration, Physio/Chiro Massage, Feldenkrais)

When choosing the right table considering how it will be servicing your practice is key. For clinics with multiple disciplines, using a table with electric height adjustment is mandatory. Each practitioner will, most likely, require different heights.

  • Mobility

When using the table for mobile massage or Physiotherapy, weight is a key factor. As well, students buying their first table might want to invest a bit more money and get a truly lightweight professional table that will carry them through their career from student to possible mobile work once they have graduated.

  • Massage

For single practitioner, who won’t adjust the table frequently, a larger portable table or a stationary table is an option. Heavier portable and stationary tables can have great features without the high price point and are still adjustable.

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncturists love a great armrest that doesn’t wobble too much and has room to res the arms comfortably. Armrests allow acupuncture needles to be positioned on the arms for treatment. Side armrests are also popular for Acupuncturists when they have their clients in supine.

Leg and back rests are desirable for Acupuncturists as well because clients often rest with the needles in for a while and comfort is key to therapeutic outcomes. If an elevated backrest or leg lifts are added to an Acupuncturist’s table, then electric or manual feature can add much desired comfort for the patient while receiving any Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment (Cupping, Tui Na, or Acupuncture).

  • Craniosacral

Craniosacral Therapy can benefit from a wider table with more memory foam for comfort as there is mostly supine lying for this style therapy. A wider table allows the therapist to use part of themselves more easily to perform the treatment. Adding a head or foot extender is great for the taller client that takes up the length of the table for when you need arm length for long craniosacral holds.

  • Deep Structural Integration

Deep structural integration type of bodywork such as rolfing, NMT MET, or deep tissue fascial work, requires the therapist to leverage their weight and use multiple positioning. These types of work are easily applied on a larger, wider table of 30-32 inches wide.

A screw down stabilizer to keep the locked wheels in a fixed position especially if on a slippery wood, laminate, or uneven floor is a great additional feature of some higher-end electric tables.

  • Physio/Chiro Massage

Physio and Chiropractic care can sometimes trend to an older clientele. With older clienteles typically using a wider table, preferably with a back lift in case of vertigo or poor posture, is a good idea. Physio and Chiro massage can also benefit from a range of adjustable positions for the table for better adjustability.

  • Feldenkrais

Feldenkrais movement needs an extra wide table with firmer, thinner foam to allow the sense of pushing and pressing into the table from different angle and body parts.



With all of these in mind you are finally ready to start shopping!

It may seem a bit daunting at first if you are going in blind, but after focusing on what you actually need it becomes quite simple. You’ll want function and quality over gadgets. Gauging both can be a lot for some people, so list the functional aspects you are looking for and then find the quality you want.

Happy shopping!

Classic Strokes for Intro Folks Therapeutic Connection is on the Rise

The popularity of my mini learn to massage workshop  “Classic Strokes for Intro Folks” is on the rise.  This past weekend we had 4 couples participating and each had their own massage interest story to tell.  Out of 4 couples here is what we had:

Two were studying acupuncture and other bodywork pursuits.

Two were exploring ways to connect in their senior years to help with arthritis and other body aches and pains along pleasurable and relaxing touch.

Two were a couple that were trying new experiences together and finding a beneficial way to connect.

Two had been self taught and receiving professional massage for years but never had the opportunity to learn the hands on skills from an actual professional.

I have taught this course for 10 years in Victoria and my motto is “if you can mix and stir you can stroke and knead.”  Having said that not everyone is a good cook or chef but I find if you are a foodie that loves the sensual aspect of food meaning the smells and textures and ways to experience meals with others then learning massage might be a good fit for you as well.  Massage is a great way to connect and comfort a loved one or friend at a time of need or just to have quality time together.  Massaging someone thoughtfully and compassionately can make a huge difference in someones pain, outlook on life and your relationship with them.  Massage heals.  Massage helps depression and anxiety.  Massage energizes the life force.

Social Media has promised to connect us but in so many ways we are painfully discovering it actually leaves us more confused and disconnected from society than ever.  Poverty and human dignity can be aided by human touch as well.  As can aging and loneliness.  Helping your teen cope with sports discomforts, postural or growing pains.  YouTube and DIY culture is growing and access to quality learning is definitely something that people are  seeking you can link to our Vivi Therapy YouTube channel here for a number of learn to move and massage videos.

The applications of relaxation massage are endless.  Integrated with incense, music, warm and comfortable environment, essential oil infused body lotions, cremes and oils the sky is the limit to your in home retreat.  Check out a couple things that can make your home massage connections more special.

Eco tables for starters

essential oils

Vegan massage creme

Organic massage lotion.

And many other wonderful products available to help your journey in to a new therapeutic experience.


What is effleurage?

What is Effleurage? I would love for the word “Effleurage” to become a household name. Effleurage is a French word for a Swedish massage technique. This technique includes beautiful long and short strokes that can be applied to almost anywhere on the body. This stroke is easy to learn and is the first to be taught in many massage therapy programs. This sensual stroke is used to spread warm oil on the skin, increase nourishing blood flow to muscles and connective tissue. Applied lightly it will flush out toxins and accelerate lymph and venous circulation. Applied slowly it will induce relaxation and sleep. People can enjoy effleurage at any age. Check out massage basics and other learn to massage videos for free on youtube/uservivitherapy and try some effleurage this Family Day or Valentines.