Do you accept tips?” This is a question I get all the time from clients, and it’s a good one!
There are as many opinions about tipping as there are massage therapist. Some therapists view their work as more in-line with other medical professionals. They feel that you don’t tip your doctor, so why would you tip your therapist?
Other therapists believe that tips aren’t necessary as the client is already paying them a fee. They are more honored when the client returns, and eve more by receiving the biggest compliment available- a referral from the client.
Personally, I never used to like accepting tips, especially when I was working in a medical office. Then one day I had a client tell me that although they understood my decision to decline the tip, it was their way of expressing gratitude for the help I gave them and insisted that I allow them to give a tip. With this new found awareness, I have approached the issue from a new perspective.
I have now adopted the motto, “Tips are never expected, but they’re always accepted.”
Reflecting on my various work place experiences, and chatting with some of my colleagues, I have written up some personal suggestions to help navigate various tipping situations for a massage therapist.
· When in doubt, ask!
Every therapist has his or her own policies and guidelines. We massage therapist appreciate questions, and know that everyone is different. We won’t be offended if you ask.
· Spas, Salons, Cruises
Most of the time when a therapist is working in a spa-like setting, they are paid on commission, salary, or as an independent contractor with split-commission. It is a nice gesture in these settings to tip the therapist, as they may not be taking home the same amount of money, as they would be in private practice.
· Groupon, Coupons, and Deals
This can be a point of contention with a lot of massage therapist. We all love a deal and saving pennies where we can. However, when a therapist discounts their services significantly, either through an e-coupon (Groupon, AmazonDeals, LivingSocial) or running a special, it usually means he or she is making an effort to build clientele while taking a major cut to their earnings. There are many clients who only come to a therapist when they can get a deal, and we understand those circumstances. In this case, we ask that you please make sure to tip your therapist if you chose to take advantage of a discounted offer for a massage. It shows value and respect for the therapist time, expertise and generosity.
In the end massage therapists spend a great deal of time, striving to provide the best services and experience for their clients. We love what we do, and hope you love our work as well.
Massage Therapy is beneficial to your health and well-being year-round, but can be especially useful during the tough winter months. If you live in New England like me, our weather changes on a dime and our bodies are constantly trying to adapt to the varying degrees of craziness. Here are some benefits that you can enjoy through routine use of massage therapy during the winter.
Relief for Sore and Stiff Muscles
We tend to be less active during the winter as we can’t do much outdoors. The desire to spend time indoors, wrapped in a blanket with a hot cup of tea can lead us to not move and stretch as much as we should. As a result, muscles can get sore and stiff from inactivity. Even if you do manage to stay active, colder temperatures can make keeping our muscles warm a challenge and can lead to tightness. Regular massage can loosen tight muscles and relieve soreness.
Alleviating Pain from Shoveling
Lifting and shoveling heavy snow can wreak havoc on the body. Many people will develop sore shoulders and forearms from shoveling. Shoveling snow can also exacerbates lower back pain, and can even put people out of commission for a few days. I've actually been there and done that myself. If you find yourself out of sorts following an intense battle with the snow on your driveway, a massage can relieve pain and help you prepare for the next blizzard.
The winter is peak season for colds and flu, and people are generally more susceptible to illness during the winter as we spend more time indoors, in close quarters with other people so germs are more easily spread. Additionally, stress in high levels can lower the body’s ability to fight off germs and illness. Combine high levels of stress with cold and flu season, and you have the potential for developing a nasty cold (or even worse). Massage works to reduce stress which in turn can help your body’s immune system work at its peak potential.
A Warm Oasis
Maybe you just want to get out of the cold for a little bit. A massage is a perfect time to relax while being enveloped in warmth. Many massage therapists (like me!) provide table warmers so you are perfectly cozy while getting your massage. Some therapists also offer hot stone massages which work to add deep warmth to cold and tight muscles.
If you’ve had enough of the cold weather, book a massage so you can escape into a cozy world surrounded by warmth and relaxation – even if it is only just for an hour.
A Hands on Journey !
Some funny and insightful musings from a massage therapist and his healing practice.