Sometimes we get in such a routine that we just assume someone else understands how something works. That some things are “a given”. Many times, though, this is not the case. With that in mind I wanted to share the following things that us as massage therapists may have mistakenly just assumed you knew, and hopefully now that you do know can receive a better massage experience.
1. We’re not miracle workers – When your MT says you need more frequent massage, or a series of massage sessions, they’re not just saying that to fill their schedules. It took you lord knows how long to get into the postural pickle and muscle mess you’re in. Hours, days, even years of abuse on your body have now caught up to you. We can help, but if it took you a long time to get that knot all cranky it may take us a few sessions to get it happy again.
2. Communicate with us – As awesome as it would be, we’re not mind readers. Also, EVERY body is different. What “medium” pressure is to one person may be feather light to the next. You may be chilly on the table but person before you may have been overheated. Please, please, PLEASE tell us if you’re uncomfortable, need more or less pressure, or could use an extra blanket. We promise we’ll do anything we can to make you happy on our table…but we can’t help if we don’t know.
3. Most of us are self employed – I say this because we’d like people to understand that if you decide to flake on your appointment and your MT is self-employed, that’s an hour of work that they showed up to do and are now not getting paid for. That being said, it’s only fair if an MT decides to have a cancellation policy and charges something for a missed appointment. If you get paid an hourly wage, go to work, and there’s nothing to do when you get there but you have to stay at work, you still get paid for your time there wether you’re playing solitaire or not…because you were there to do the work and are compensated for that availability. We made ourselves available for an appointment…if you don’t show up, that appointment (and our pay and livelihood) could have gone to someone else who values our time as much as their own.
4. Tipping – Is tipping our primary source of income? No. Is tipping appreciated? Sure. Personally, my tips go into a box that funds all my kids’ activities. Golf equipment, after school programs, instruments, soccer equipment, sports registration fees (man my monsters are getting expensive :p ), summer camps, school trips (holy cow!), school fund raisers and whatever else they get involved in…it comes out of my tip fund. So do I appreciate tips? Heck yes I do! Many of us use tips for these types of things, or for things to take care of ourselves (like massages for ourselves or a nice pedi).
5. NO Hanky-Panky! – Unfortunately, even in this day and age, there are still “happy ending” services available out there if you know where to look. Let me just say one thing about this: Those types of places make it VERY clear when you’re there that “sensual massage” is an option. They’re not shy about it! So if you go to a licensed and certified massage therapist and don’t get offered anything like that, you can bet your patooty that not only do they not offer it but they’ll also be VERY offended and will probably report you to the police if you ask. We are alternative care professionals…not hookers.
Hope these little insights improve your overall massage experiences. 🙂