“Sustainability seeks to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural environments both now and into the indefinite future.” (Scripps College, 2009) Sustainability has three main aspects social, environment and economic.
Social Sustainability and Massage
“Social sustainability is in essence about a shift from focusing more or less exclusively on the needs of the individual, community or country, to the needs that will meet the best interests of the whole.” (Nave, 2007) As massage therapists we have to show reliability, competence, trust, concern and empathy towards our clients to build a strong therapeutic relationship with them. Our focus is to be purely on our clients’ needs and not our own. We have to look further than ourselves and take others into consideration. Massage therapy can help with bonding and relationship building between the client and therapist. This can lead to the client forming positive bonds with others outside of the sessions. Relationships can be built with others in the community. It can also result in your client feeling happy and positive about themselves and their lives. This positive energy from your client can also encourage others to feel this way and can spread joy to those around you. Social Sustainability in massage is all about building and strengthening relationships. Positive relationships can then be passed on through communities, countries and to other individuals. Social sustainability and forming relationships with others will impact on the future generations and their perspective on life.
Environmental Sustainability and Massage
Environmental sustainability is the ability to maintain the qualities that are valued in the physical environment. (CES, 2006) As massage therapists starting new businesses we need to consider environmental sustainability. Are our products environmentally friendly? Is any of our out puts such as waste polluting the air, water and environment surrounding us? We want to reduce the impact on the environment so we have a safe and clean place to live. This will also impact on us and our quality of life. We need to research renewable and environmentally friendly products that we can use in our clinics. Recycling is a great way to start reducing the impact on the environment however this alone is not enough. Spreading the word to other massage therapists and helping them to build a business that is environmentally friendly will impact hugely on our community. We need to act now so that our future and the future of our generations can live in a healthy, safe and pollution free environment.
Economic Sustainability and Massage
“Economic sustainability is not just about achieving economic growth year on year. It’s about understanding that economic growth is only sustainable if it simultaneously improves our quality of life and the environment.” (NHS, 2009) For massage therapists starting a new business it is important to make enough money to cover the costs and also make some profit. The more profit made and the growth in a business economically can impact on social and environmental sustainability. With more profit the therapists business can afford to make improvements on their business and to buy products that are environmentally friendly. This would have an impact on the people as they will not only have a better clinic to go to but their environment will be cleaner. A profitable business will also help with the economic growth of the town or city it is situated in. Helping and supporting other industries will also be possible.
Making my practise more sustainable
I think that I could improve on sustainability when it comes to my massage practise. I think the first thing I could do is to recycle. I need to stop throwing away equipment after I use them e.g. wax containers and oil bottles. Setting up recycling bins and then taking them to the recycling centre once a week would be a good start in sustainability. When I next purchase any products I am going to make sure that they are environmentally friendly. I need to do some research into different products before purchasing them to make sure they are environmentally sustainable. Socially I think I could improve by building a strong relationship with other therapists. Building this relationship will benefit my business as they will be able to refer patients on to me. I need to build this relationship up so that they will trust me to take over any clients and put their needs first before mine. When I start up my own business I will consider economic sustainability and make sure that my business positively affects the environment and people. I need to learn how to build up a business and how to slowly build a profit off it. Social, environment and economic sustainability should be considered when setting up a massage business. I now know the impact sustainability has on me as a therapist, my clients and those of the community.
NHS.(2009).Economic Sustainability. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from http://www.pasa.nhs.uk/PASAWeb/NHSprocurement/Sustainabledevelopment/Economicsustainability/
CES.(2006).Environmental Sustainability. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from http://www.ces.vic.gov.au/CES/wcmn301.nsf/childdocs/441BB07721D61152CA256F250028C5FB?open
Lisa Nave.(2007).Social Sustainability. Retrieved May 22, 2009,from http://sociallysustainable.com/essays/essay-social-sustainability/
Scripps College.(2007).Glossary. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from http://www.scrippscollege.edu/about/strategic-plan/glossary.php