When you are a student massage therapist then providing a free massage for Sydney family members and friends is considered part of the training. In return for you giving them a massage then you get the chance to practice strokes and techniques that you may have learnt in class. In addition, you can solicit feedback from the recipient of the free massage.
It is a win-win situation.
However, once you have qualified and start working as a massage therapist then this synergistic situation changes. You are confident of your skills and how your bodywork is received by clients and client feedback is less important for you.
If you have been working hard at a clinic, doing mobile massage or at a spa then the last thing you want to be doing when you get home is to give away a freebie.
Unfortunately from the therapists point of view though friends and family don’t necessarily see it this way and many therapists are frequently asked to give them a few minutes of time to massage their stiff neck or sore shoulder.
A question that is often posed is how can I, as a therapist, politely decline to work on them?
On a recent Facebook posting, therapists gave suggestions on how to deal with this issue. The most common response was along the lines of handing the person your business card and asking them to call to make a booking.
Here of some of the other answers.
I say in a funny sarcastic yet friendly way, “I have all my free massages when I was in school for two years. I have to pay off my student loans before giving anymore free massages.”
I’m just honest. I tell them that I don’t have the stamina on my days off and they always understand. If I can tell someone is just trying to get a freebie, I tell them they can have a business card. They laugh and say, “Smart answer”.
Tell them you’ll trade if they work on you first
When family and friends come crying to me about what is hurting on them (hinting about wanting me to work on them) I always reply by telling them what is hurting on me. They usually get the hint
It seems that people think that because we are MT’s, that we never hurt. Typically don’t like it when I say… Yeah, my neck and back are killing me too!
Sometimes if my friends say “Oh, my back hurts so badly!” I answer with, “I’m sorry, I wish I knew someone who could help”
Make an appointment, today’s my day off.
“Sure! I’ll trade you. I can always use a massage! 5 minutes for 5 minutes?” “Uhh.. uhh… uhh… “
But probably my favourite is
If you know someone who is a mechanic, and says “My back hurts, can you help me?” answer: My car needs brakes, can you help me later tonight?
If you know someone who does daycare and they ask for free massage, ask them in turn to babysit your kids for free when they get off work.
You get the point. If they wouldn’t work for free, why should you?
By Richard Lane