Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. During a massage, a trained massage therapist will apply gentle or strong pressure to the muscles and joints of the body to ease pain and tension.
Massage therapists have a distinct advantage in the business world as they offer services valuable to anyone who prioritizes their mental and physical well-being. However, several start-ups in the industry have been going through a rough ride given the current Zimbabwean situation.
In an Interview with Motimagz, a professional in massage therapy shared her experiences with massage therapy and how she has been surviving despite the economic challenges. “The duty of message therapy starts by identifying symptoms, medical history, and the desired outcome after the whole process. Getting to know the client guides in the kind of help one needs,” said Kundai Mukatyei, a professional massage therapist. “After talking to the client we locate the painful and tense areas of the body, then we treat the clients using touch to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues “.
“Our duty as therapists is to aid in the general wellness of our clients. We as professionals are there to communicate, reason with them and provide solutions,” she said. There are several health benefits of massage therapy, the process has proven to help with relaxation and reducing stress. If done properly massage therapy can help lower the client’s heart rates and blood pressure. Studies of massage benefits have found that massage can: help reduce stress, lessen pain and muscle tension, increase relaxation and improve immune function.
Massages also help improve immune functions. “Since my beginning to work as a massage therapist, I have realized it takes courage to survive in the industry. The economic hardships sometimes make it difficult for us to execute our duties to the fullest of our potential,” said Mukatyei. The massage therapy industry is not very popular in Zimbabwe, many assume it’s for the rich . Some have misconceptions about the whole idea and they confuse massage therapists with prostitutes. “The community does not give full support to start-up massage therapists, it’s difficult to gain trust. People trust already established businesses. It takes time for people to gain trust and confidence in a new brand, ” she said.
In an economy where there are high inflation rates like Zimbabwe, it’s difficult to align your visions and business goals with the instability and changes that are not planned for. The majority of my targeted customers are youths and young adults. Most of them are unemployed so they can’t afford to pay for therapy sessions, narrated Mukatyei. Despite the Zimbabwean crippling cash shortages, and instability of rates, Mukatyei has improvised, she accepts cash or swipe and her price ranges from 10 to 100 dollars depending on the customer’s requirements package.
Consistency and knowing your market well has also been helpful for the business’s survival. I have been advertising on social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and pamphlets once in a while. “Lately, the massage business has been low, many are not fully educated about massage therapy. The few customers I have been getting would have been recommended by other customers,” she said. The benefits of massage therapy are vast with regard to mental health. Reduction in stress, increased clarity of mind, relaxation and increased energy are some of the benefits.