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Free Massages – How Not to Give Them

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.

free massage in SydneyUnfortunately 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

Mobile Massage Sydney

Benefits of mobile massageLuckily for massage aficionados there are many different options for getting massaged in Sydney. There are remedial massage clinics, day spas, Thai massage spas, 10 minute neck and shoulder rubs in Westfields, student massage clinics and various other tyyes of establishments with varying ranges of legitimacy.

Assuming that you are after professional massage from a trained therapist then it is worthwhile considering some of the advantages of the different options when you are looking to book your next Sydney massage. Not all massage settings are the same.

Why book in for a Mobile Massage?
Convenience
You choose a time for the massage that suits you. If you find it hard to get to see a therapist at a clinic during their business hours then it can limit how frequently you can receive bodywork (particularly if you could really do with seeing someone at relatively short notice).

   
The convenience also extends to saving time – having the therapist come to you saves you the time of travelling to and from the clinic which can be considerable depending on where you prefer to go. There are also no hassles about parking or feeling rushed if you are running late because of circumstances outside of your control.

Save Money
There is a perception that mobile massages are more of a luxury and as such, are typically priced significantly higher than an equivalent massage would cost you at a clinic. This view is not uncommon by those therapists who prefer not to do mobile work. They feel that mobile therapists should charge a premium for travel, set up time and the inconvenience of carrying their gear around.
Now whilst mobile therapists will effectively include a component for travel and set up time within their fee, they do not need to include any fixed costs for renting space.
Charging a fee for carrying equipment is really only relevant for therapists who do not really want to do mobile work. Therapists who consider that mobile massage is an important part of their business, would accept that carrying massage table and towels is just part of what they need to do to be a mobile therapist.

Effectiveness
Imagine that you are climbing off the massage table and having had a great massage The therapist has loosened your tight muscles, freed up your stiff neck and eliminated the nagging headache that has been bothering you for the last few days.
Where would you rather be, at a clinic with the prospect of your drive home or in your home?
Seems to be a no-brainer that receiving great bodywork in your home will have more of an impact on your physiological wellbeing and reducing stress levels than having to drive immediately after a massage. This can be even more relevant if you are pregnant, for example, or wanting to be able to go straight to bed after a massage because of sleeping problems.

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It is acknowledged though that each persons personal circumstances so that some of the advantages listed above may not apply to you or there may be specific reasons why having a Sydney home massage is not right for you (such as lack of space or privacy).

However, if you do live where it is suitable for you to have a therapist come to you then please consider it the next time you want to have a massage. Hopefully you will realise many of the advantages listed here.

To find out more about the services offered by Inner West Mobile Massage Sydney then please check out the main website at www.innerwestmassage.com.au where you will find information re prices, therapists, availability, FAQs etc.

By Richard Lane

Disadvantages of being a mobile massage therapist

We recently wrote about the advantages of being a mobile massage therapist compared to working in a clinic or day spa. To balance that article, we are now discussing the corresponding disadvantages.

Traffic facing mobile massage therapist in SydneyNow many of the advantages could also be considered as disadvantages depending on your point of view. For example, I enjoy the flexibility and variety that comes from being a mobile therapist whereas others may perceive that the more irregular nature and the variable hours of the work are a disadvantage. The reality of mobile massage Sydney is that the majority of clients want their appointments in the evenings (often relatively late at night when kids have been put to bed) or at weekends when they have the time. Being out and about at night in locales that you might not be familiar with is not for everyone (and particularly female therapists need to mindful of their security).

Similarly it can be argued that calls for mobile massage need to be screened more effectively than clinics. If you are working at a clinic then it is likely that there will be people you can call on at short notice should ever the situation arise. When you are out and about on the road then, although you can always take security measures of making sure that someone knows where you are, ultimately you are on your own. This is particularly relevant if you take appointments at relatively short notice.

As a male massage therapist, though, this has never really been an issue for me and only occasionally have I arrived at a clients house with a sense of unease about the fear of the unknown. In virtually all cases when this has happened, my concerns have been unfounded and the clients have often gone on to book regular appointments.

The previous comments are relevant with respect to the disadvantages of doing mobile massage and should not be underestimated. However, for most therapists the number one disadvantage when compared with being in a Sydney massage clinic or day spa comes down to the logistics.
Traffic hold ups and delays can be stressful and add significantly to your total time for a given appointment.
Parking can be a challenge in some locations (such as when someone books in for a hotel massage in Sydney CBD). You may have to park a significant distance from the house/unit/hotel and have to lug your massage table, towels and equipment to the venue. Some clients don’t realise as well that if you have to park in a car park it can take a considerable time and effort to get to the room
Stairs. If you working in a block of units then if there is a lift you will be on the bottom floor, no lift top floor. Without fail.
Room layout and environment. You are working in someone else’s house. The space may well not be ideal for massage in that it is too small, too noisy or the wrong temperature. Unfortunately, whilst there may be steps you can take to improve your working space a little, ultimately you are governed by whatever the client provides. In a clinic, you can (normally) control the environment to ensure that it is conducive to the bodywork session you like to provide.
Limit to what you can carry. In a clinic you can make sure that there is all the equipment that you require eg bolster, pillows, blankets, heat pack etc. When you are working in someones home then there may be occasions when you simply do not have something that you could really do with. Whilst it may be possible to improvise, often once client is on the table you just have to accept that you may have to work in a sub-optimal way.

  
Ultimately if you consider yourself to be a mobile massage therapist, then it is just a case of accepting the disadvantages and working around them as best you can. If you only do outcall massages to occasional clients (and you would prefer not to do them) then many therapists will charge a premium to compensate themselves for the perceived hassles. However, effectively the clients make the ultimate decision, if the convenience of having a massage at home gives them a positive experience compared with the clinic then they will continue to rebook.

By Richard Lane

Is It Really Harder for a Male Massage Therapist to Succeed?

Check out any massage forum and there will comments and questions from male massage therapists who are struggling to develop a foothold in the massage industry. Many of these posts will point to the fact that males prefer to receive therapeutic touch from females and that male massage for females in Sydney is the exception rather than the rule as women often find it difficult to relax when they are being massaged by a male.

The upshot is that new male massage therapists feel that the odds are stacked against them and they complain that it is so much easier for females to work in the massage industry.

However, the reality is somewhat different and research studies point to the fact that males therapists, on average, do better than female therapists.
To quote from a 2002 survey of massage therapists in Australia

male massage therapist

Men carried out proportionately more consultations than women, and had been in clinical practice proportionately longer than women. Proportionately more women (80%) than men (63%) had earnings under $30,000. There were proportionately more men than women in the upper income brackets. Although men were 24% of the sample population, they were 44% of those earning over $100,000.

Yet still the perception is that males have a harder time developing a career in the massage industry.

So how can we reconcile the differences between the positions?

There are probably a number of points that can be made to address this apparent paradox that it is harder for men in the massage industry but that on average men do better than women.

Jobs and employment for (newly qualified) female therapists are more abundant than for men. Check out the massage employment websites and there will be more jobs for female therapists than males. Day spas, health retreats, hotel spas and relaxation clinics employ females. Whilst there may be a token male or two on the roster, people who book in for a massage at one of these locations will more than likely prefer and expect to be massaged by a female.

Any male who goes through massage school thinking that because he does a great relaxation massage, he will be snapped up by the swanky spas is naïve and have unrealistic understanding of the massage industry and this misunderstanding may be part of the problem.

However, these relaxation jobs are typically transient in nature and whilst they may provide employment and an income, there is no career development as such. The therapist runs the risk of just providing “cookie cutter” massages without developing their own client base and/or skills.

These type of jobs may also tend to suit people who really just want to fit in work around their family (without wishing to appear sexist, it is suggested that women are more likely to be looking for massage roles that are flexible and are part time and part of the reason for them doing massage is to fit in with their work/life balance).

In order for a male massage therapist in Sydney to succeed, then they need to find their niche which will need to be a segment of the market that is insensitive to the gender of the bodyworker. For male therapists, this niche is most likely to be offering remedial, sports and deep tissue massage ie more at the medical end of the massage spectrum rather than the relaxation end. People who are in pain, are recovering from injury or are looking to improve sporting performance will be more focussed on the outcome of their massage rather than be worried about the fact that they are being massaged by a male.

  
The fact that it is difficult for males starting out in the industry is probably an advantage for their long term career development. It focuses them on finding out where they belong (which will often be working for themselves), on working on their marketing skills and improving their knowledge/training to provide high quality bodywork that will bring in repeat/word of mouth clients.

The result is that males, who can stay in the industry, do more massages per week and have a greater income than women on average.

So less complaining, guys, about the injustices of being a man in a female industry. Maybe it is females that are getting the raw deal.

By Richard Lane

Sports Massage Does Work!

In recent years there seems to be have a move towards more evidence based practise for a range of practitioners. This is not a bad thing for the massage industry as many of the more spurious claims that are made can be challenged and dismissed. However, one of the problems that massage faces is that there is a dearth of quality research available.

There are a number of reasons why this is the case which include a lack of money when compared with the amount of funds available for pharmaceutical trials and also a fundamental problem with much of the research in the natural therapies domain in that designing standard treatment protocols is extremely difficult when most therapists’ practice is based on tailoring a treatment to an individual client’s needs at the time.

A 2012 study into the benefits of sports massage has attempted to redress the issue of quality massage research with findings that are encouraging for the industry.

Sports massage SydneyAfter a water skiing injury a researcher at McMaster University, Canada, Mark Tarnopolsky, found that massage therapy provided a significant amount of pain relief and he decided that he wanted to understand the underlying mechanism whereby massage aided his recovery.

Along with some colleagues, Tarnolpolsky decided to investigate why massage can reduce pain and the results (for massage therapists and for sports people) were encouraging (1).

For the study, 11 males were exercised to such an extent that they were affected by exercise-induced muscle damage after working out on an upright bicycle. One of their legs was then massaged for 10 minutes. The researchers took muscle biopsy samples from the participants’ vastus lateralis muscles at various times:
– at baseline
– immediately after the massage
– after 2.5 hours of recovery.

The results were extremely encouraging. There is strong support for the hypothesis that exercise can activate the genes which are associated with repair and inflammation and it was no surprise that the researchers observed there was significantly more indicators of cell repair and also inflammation in the biopsy samples post-exercise when compared with the pre-exercise measurements.

However, there was a clear distinction between the study participants’ legs that had been massaged and had not been.

They found that the legs which had received the 10 minutes of sports massage had:
– reduced the amount of exercise induced muscle inflammation by diminishing the activity of a protein, NF-kB
– increased by about 30% a gene that helps muscle cells build mitochondria, PGC-1
– modified levels of other proteins with similar roles in the body.

  
Although this is only one study and the massage protocol may not be relevant for all sports people, it does provide evidence supporting the use of massage therapy to reduce pain and encourage muscle repair. Further work would need to be carried out to assess the optimum pressure, length of massage and the commencement time after exercise.

But there are few who would argue that getting a massage to reduce pain from sport is a preferable alternative to anti-inflammatory medications.

(1) J. D. Crane, D. I Ogborn et al “Massage Therapy Attenuates Inflammatory Signalling After Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage”. Science Translational Medicine 4, 119ra13 (2012).

By Richard Lane

What Suburbs Do We Visit?

Although we would like to cover as large as area as possible, the practicalities of providing mobile massage in Sydney means that we do have to limit what suburbs we do and do not visit. Our company name, Inner west mobile massage, gives a good indication of our service area.

However, the definition of what is and what is not the Inner West is a matter of conjecture. For our purposes we define the area covering from the city as far West as Homebush, south as far as Bexley, mainly on the south side of the Parramatta River (although we will go to suburbs such as Gladesville and Hunters Hill).

A map of our service area is shown below.


View Inner West Mobile Massage Sydney in a larger map

It should be noted that not all therapists will be available for all suburbs which are at the boundary of the area that we cover. If you live in a particular suburb and want a specific therapist then we will endeavour to make that happen but, because of distance and logistics, we cannot guarantee this.

We are often asked to provide service outside of our area. It may seem plausible that if we go to suburb “X” then we will go to the next suburb “Y” as it will only be another “5 minutes”, particularly if we add on a small travel surcharge say of $10 for the extra time/cost for the therapist.

Unfortunately the issue of travel surcharge is not as straightforward as adding the travel time from “X” to “Y”.
Our fee is based on an average travel cost for providing massages in the area we service. As it is impractical to vary the rate on a suburb by suburb basis then the upshot is that some suburbs are easier and cheaper for a therapist to get to, others are longer and effectively more expensive.

These are not actual figures but just shown for demonstration purposes. If our average cost of travel to an appointment is $30 then an “easy” location may only cost a therapist $10 in travel costs and time whereas suburb “X” on the fringe effectively costs $50. Going to suburb “Y” may have a true travel cost of $60.

So whilst we only charge a travel fee of $30 to go to “X” as part of our service area, we would need to charge $60 to go to “Y”. As this difference $30 for neighbouring suburbs may appear to be excessive, then, as a business we have taken the decision it is easier not to go outside of our area rather than have to try to justify a large surcharge for travel.

Having said that then if you do live outside of our area then by all means feel free to give us a call as individual therapists may be available for particular suburbs depending on their own circumstances (for example if they live at the fringe of our area then for them travelling a little outside is an option). It is just that we as a business do not guarantee that we can provide a suitable therapist.

Is it you who does the massage?

It is hard to succeed as a male massage therapist in Sydney. The demand for massages from males is significantly less than it is for females even for the best male massage therapists.

Men prefer to book massages from females and a reason often given is that they are “uncomfortable” being touched by another man. Male massage for women in Sydney is also less common, more because of a cross-gender touch considerations (although having said that, the majority of the clients I see are female). Men are uncomfortable with a male massage therapist providing bodywork to their wife, for example, even though the majority of my clients are females (and some men specifically book a guy to massage their wife).

male massage therapist given female sports massage

Whilst the demand for massage from masseurs is less than for masseuses that does not mean that it is impossible for a male to succeed. If you search clinics and for mobile massage in Sydney, then it is immediately apparent that there is an abundant supply of men providing remedial and therapeutic massage so there must be some demand there.

I have been working as therapist in Sydney for a few years now and, although I have and still regularly face the bias against male massage therapists, I have survived long enough to carve out a career. Once you realise that you have to target people who are more concerned with the quality of the massage rather than the gender of the therapist (or those who are specifically after a male massage therapist) then you have a chance.

If you imagine that you will be working in a swanky Sydney day spa giving relaxing massages to the beautiful people then you will be in for disappointment. People who are after a sports, deep tissue and remedial massage will much more likely be your customers.

Having said that I understand the favouritism that exists towards, I still bristle and take umbrage when someone rings up our mobile massage business and asks

“Is it you who does the massage?

There is no preamble, there are no niceties. There is no “Hi, my name is …. and do you mind me asking is it you who does the massage?” Instead they just immediately fire away with the question as their opening salvo.

I don’t know why it bothers me and annoys me but it does.

Maybe they are not expecting a male to answer their call and they struggle to find a polite way of asking the question they are really asking which is

  

Can I book a massage with a female?

I really do not have a problem with someone wishing to book a massage and their preference is to see a female. I’m a big boy, I wear big boy pants. I accept that is the way of the massage world. I have been providing massage in Sydney for long enough.

But

“Is it you who does the massage?

bugs me.

However, if you do specifically prefer to receive bodywork from a male massage therapist then please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0421 410057.

By Richard Lane

Massage in Newtown

If you walk down King Street in Newtown you will see that there are quite a few places where you can get a massage. This may be from a Chinese massage clinic, a Thai day spa or a remedial massage clinic. Some of these will accept walk-in appointments, some of these will require you to book.

If you are looking for a massage from an accredited and professionally trained therapist then it is probably best to avoid most of the establishments that will take walk-in appointments as some of the therapist’s massage experience might be a little limited.

One of the problems with getting a massage in the area is that parking on King St can be a challenge at the best of times. If you have booked an appointment at a certified clinic then you may find that you have to allow yourself a fair amount of time to get there and park so that you are not rushing to get to your appointment on time.

There is an alternative though which can overcome some of the problems of getting a massage in Newtown. Inner West Mobile Massage provides a service in which professionally trained therapists come to you.

No more worries about parking for you.
No more worries about whether you are getting a massage from an accredited therapist.

All of our therapists are recognised by professional associations in Australia (such as ATMS) and are registered with health funds to provide rebates for remedial massage. The services we offer include remedial, sports, deep tissue and pregnancy massage and we bring all the equipment we need, massage table, towels and oils.

Therapists are available 7 days a week, including evenings. Obviously the more notice you can provide the better but some therapists may be available at short notice (online bookings are available for some therapists through Online massage booking).

Please note that we only provide therapeutic massage services and whilst there are both female and male therapists available for mobile massage, we will only accept bookings with female therapists from females.

If you want any more information then please give us a call on 0421 410057.

Remedial Massage in Newtown, NSW

By Richard Lane

Deep Tissue Massage Sydney

If you check out any website of a massage clinic or service that offers therapeutic massage then the chances are that they have listed “Deep Tissue Massage” as one of the services that they offer. It may be listed separately or in conjunction with other massage modalities such as sport or remedial massage.

It is not unusual that the price for a Sydney deep tissue massage is quoted higher than for a relaxation or Swedish massage (or even remedial massage).

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deep tissue massageThe use of the term deep tissue massage causes much discussion in the massage fraternity and there are therapists who believe that deep tissue massage = deep pressure massage and this is simply not the case. Whilst most therapists would concur that it refers to the massaging of the deep layers of the muscles, the massage strokes and techniques used in a deep tissue massage will vary depending on the training and preferences of the therapist.

This is purely my opinion but those who have received specific recognised training in deep tissue massage will work slowly and with intent. They will use a wide range of massage tools to work through the superficial layers of the body to reach the deeper muscles and soft tissues. Although the massage can be a little intense at time they are not necessarily using a great deal pressure as by working slowly then it is

Those who have not received specific training may not have the same level of understanding and believe that deep tissue massage means using a lot of pressure. Indeed many clients believe that a deep tissue massage is by definition a strong massage. As such these therapists often use more body force and energy to achieve their goals and this may be the reason why they charge a greater price for their services if they believe that they cannot do as many deep tissue massages in a day compared with relaxation.

Recently this issue was discussed on Facebook and below are some of the quotes from therapists regarding the a discussion about charging differential prices for deep tissue massage. There are certainly some differences of opinion!

We don’t, but I have considered it. When you are massaging a Lions football player, it’s hard work no matter how good your mechanics are!
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I certainly come out sweating a lot more doing deep tissue than just a traditional relaxation swedish massage… especially if I am working on an athlete!
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I’m going to go ahead an entertain this subject. Each individual has a RIGHT/PREFERENCE to charge however & whatever rate they choose. It baffles me that MTs want a justification for what others do in their own private practice or Spa. But to tickle your fancy…..rather seeing as charging a client a higher rate for Deep Tissue, I see it as offering a discount to a modality that is less cumbersome. Some may see it as charging a higher rate as being ‘unfair’. Well, my deep tissue is $80 per hour. Sure I can charge one flat rate. But I would much rather charge $60 for Swedish given the fact that is IS less taxing for me and my team. So you see, where others may see it as charging a higher rate for Deep Tissue, I consider it as offering a discount for Swedish. In summary, ‘I don’t charge MORE for Deep Tissue, I charge LESS for Swedish & other modalities.’ 😉
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I charge $5.00 extra for deep tissue. It’s more straining on my hands and requires more effort which intern I take fewer appointments. I’ve never had a client complain about the increased price either. So for my practice it works.
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I work on a body builder with layers and layers of muscle….that’s justifiable for the rate increase on deep tissue. He’s a regular client, if my body mechanics were off, I would be a mess and I wouldn’t be able to get through those layers of muscle that are “deep” requiring me to work deeper.
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Exactly. I have great body mechanics (although could always use improvement in some areas), but saying a deep tissue is as easy as a swedish is minimizing the work of the therapist, IMO. I actually find it a bit offensive. I find Swedish massage quite easy on the body, but deep tissue takes more work. Especially sports massage on a huge, solid, muscular man. We must all be doing it wrong, then?
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For clients to continue valuing massage at a healthy level, I agree with charging more for deep tissue styles of bodywork. There is greater usage of the therapists’ body and more detailed knowledge of anatomy is needed as well. Swedish massage is primarily meant for relaxation, any therapeutic massage beyond this demands more effort whether for realigning the body or clinically oriented bodywork.
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good body mechanics can not alone compensate for the overall wear and tear on your body, I’m not sure how your neuro clients are but I have very large men, ex NFL and some MMA, plus I customize product usage for the massage style, swedish gets just biotone bought in bulk and some essential oils, neuro gets joint and muscle cream and usually sombra at minimum plus for deep tissue I almost always use aids like hot rocks, bamboo or other to help my get get started, that adds cleaning cost and product wear, my neuros are more in depth plus I utilize additional education and incorporate some gentle tai yoga stretches to further the effect. So I have listed 3 of my main reasons for charging for and 2 of them are not wear and tear on my body, although for me that is #1.
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i don’t charge more for DT, but I do offer a seniors’ discount. I do, however, charge more for Hot Stone massage because it takes 15-30min of my time to clean them afterwards, and I charge more for spa treatments that use product, so that I don’t lose money on the deal.
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In my practice I charge more for deep tissue/clinical work. Swedish massage doesn’t require the brain power that assessment and clinical approach requires, as well as the physical effort if you are moving limbs, checking ROM, doing PNF stretches, and the like. Swedish is generally the first thing taught in massage school as far as hands on work. Myofascial, Trigger Point work and more advanced modalities do cost a lot to learn. If you took classes for prenatal and wanted to charge more for those sessions, that is your right as a practitioner. People will pay you what you are worth! If you have expertise in other modalities, price them how you feel is worth that expertise. Don’t under sell yourself. You know the benefits which you provide!
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I charge for my time and don’t have different charges for different treatments, but that’s just how I like to run my business. If another therapist wants to charge more or less for different treatments that’s their call.
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One of the toughest clients I’ve worked on recently is a challenge. Though I’m well trained in deep tissue body mechanics this client has the toughest fascia I’ve come accross. After doing 2 hours of deep tissue, the nxt day I’m sore but I still don’t break a sweat unlike some of my coworkers lol. If someone wants to charge more for deep tissue that’s their choice so we shouldn’t judge or think of ourselves more highly. We are all different.
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I really like therapeutic body work so feel free to send all those tuff ones to me. its all in the mechanics folks. I will send all my Swedish clients
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I do charge more for both deep tissue and for pregnancy massage as I had to acquire additional specialized training for my prenatal certification as it involved more extensive/ different studying and training of anatomy, trigger points, contraindications, etc. Taking into account the different positioning, consort considerations for the client in the later stages, much like deep tissue there is a different use and exertion of my skills level of work and body mechanics used. Unfortunately many people treat prenatal as just Swedish in a side-lying position and many who perform prenatal in spas are NOT properly trained or certified to do so IMO watching a 30 min home video does not a certification make, And I also agree w/ Jennica, how are we ever going to be expected to be taken seriously if we’re always discounting all over the place – I feel this is one of the primary reasons a lot of people have difficulty seeing our service as a necessity or compliment to their health and wellness and continue to view it as a ‘treat’ or ‘luxury’. It may be hard to admit but there is a certain expectation of quality and competence that comes along with competitive pricing. When your pricing is always cheap or discounted – that’s how your work is viewed as cheap.
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I sometimes wonder if the LMT’s are doing deep tissue or deep pressure when they talk about being worn out after doing it. i find that the deeper tissue that i work on the lighter pressure i’m actually doing (sometimes confusing to my clients which is the perfect chance for me to educate them on the difference). i have had many / most of my clients tell me they’ve never had a massage like i do – i combine many “techniques” — swedish / rom / pnf / trigger point / deep tissue – basically what ever they’re body is telling me it needs. i’ll work on all the “tough” clients that you want to charge extra for and i’ll send you all my “swedish” clients – i almost want to charge extra for that since it stresses me out to do only swedish – if i find a knot or something – i want to work it out to benefit my client!
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In my area I have seen them charge more for prenatal than deep tissue!
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deep tissue is more specialised and carries with it more “risk”, more on costs and more effort (both mental and physical). I charge less for Swedish because it’s simple and easy to do – to me, it’s like meditation. Remedial is a worthy challenge. And those of you who swear “it’s all body mechanics”, get over yourselves and get some experience with professional athletes (esp footballers) before you make your judgements.
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Here’s another thing I wonder about as well….in spa’s well, in most spas – they almost always upcharge for evvvvery little ‘extra’ thing, most of which we use anyway – paraffin, aromatherapy, bio-freeze, wrapping/ taping, etc. Why are those charges NEVER questioned in fact most people are happy to pay the difference w/o giving it a second thought, but as individual practitioners, we are nickeled and dimed to death about why we charge this and why we charge that – I promsie you I believe its a direct effect of the group-on syndrome – why pay full price and actually COMPENSATE the therapist for his/her time/effort/energy/skill, when you can just wait for the next dirt cheap discount!
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I’ve been doing “deep tissue” for 20 years. I charge more because if you need deeper work, my education and experience is worth paying for. Deep work can be anything from deep muscle therapy, fascial work or craniosacral work. When the person’s body is ready for Swedish maintenance work the fee is adjusted to the lower price. I have also worked on my body mechanics constantly over he years so I can continue to give people massage therapy, no matter what type of bodywork they need. I do have to say, when I have somebody on the table who needs pure physical strength to get what they need, I am very happy that I am making more money.
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Seems difficult to charge more for a service if it’s based on the reasoning of extra effort…that would mean we have to charge more for an OBESE client and bulky athletes, and LESS for skinny minny and the cyclists/runners who are thin (but still athletes).

As for training, all clients benefit from training, not just what ever style chosen for the session.

Products? Absolutely charge extra. They cost extra. Aromatherapy oils are expensive!
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The salon I work at charges more for deep tissue than Swedish (the former receptionist set the prices. She was not an MT, but shes had massages in the past making her an expert {I hate people like that}). Most people I see there want relaxing with deep pressure. If they really want deep tissue, I will do it at the regular price of the Swedish (it doesn’t matter to me). In my out call business, I charge different for relaxation and therapeutic. Relaxation is easy to me, and some people just want to relax, which is fine. I charge more for therapeutic because it does take greater knowledge and training. I have never had anyone complain.
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I myself do an integrated style of massage, using many different techniques in a single session. As others have stated , deep tissue is harder- but using leverage, and for Pete’s sake, slowing down makes a world of difference in how much pressure you have to use, how uncomfortable it is for you and the client, and how sore they might be later. There are a lot of good arguments here, and I think all of them are valid. I charge for my time. Deep tissue takes longer, or else it will only be a targeted session, not a full body. So for me, it all equals out. Each therapist has to decide what is ethical and appropriate for them. There just isn’t one right answer to this question. For instance, I do quite a bit of deep tissue, and some of it isn’t about pressure. But, I don’t have any football players or body builders. Everyone’s clientele is different, and you have to look at that….

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I charge exactly the same for all my work. I charge by the time, with different rates for half hour, hour or 90 minute massage. I don’t feel that the patient can know in advance what kind of treatment they will need – we make that decision after I have done the intake and assessment. I treat based on what I find and what their needs and goals are. I do whatever techniques are most suited to helping the patient — I don’t do more or less based on what they are able to pay.
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I charge by time & modality and I have never had a client be upset or argue with me about my rates once I explain that the more specific the massage, the more detail is involved. I charge a higher rate for PreNatal than Deep Tissue or Sports. Everyone’s rates are their own choice. I have chosen to value my services & professional liability accordingly.
Any therapist who is practicing should have liability insurance at the least even if they are in unregulated territory. Having said insurance and/or credentials is an automatic need for CE to maintain these. Some therapists will spend more on CE while others will spend less. If you are one to spend more, then charge more for your sessions across the board. Deep tissue techniques are not hard on the body if you are truly applying proper technique and body mechanics. Please send me the “toughies”….deep tissue rocks!
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i work deep tissue in preventive injury and injury treatment, i work with professional mma fighters, pro lacrosse players and at boeing on the factory workers who build the planes, many of these people dwarf me in size and their strength as athletes which demands a intense amount of work in a short amount of time. i work with people who out weigh me by 150 and up. and the most time i have is a half hour to be effective and 15 at the shortest. it is very different than Swedish even with proper mech. this has been my experience.
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It is just a business and marketing tactic. You can do whatever you want really. You could charge more for pregnancy massage or different rates for any type of massage really. why not?
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Personally I can’t be bothered trying to charge for different services when it comes to massage. I charge for my time and skill. If you want spa services they are charged accordingly.
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I think it is a personal choice on what therapists want to charge. I myself mix my techniques…if I do massage at my house for friends that come over I just charge one price. Also at the Chiropractors we charge one price..I just find that its easier to just stick with one price.. and tell them I do my consult and then from there create my massage based on what I think is best for them..esp. depending on what they do for work. I don’t think you can compare Swedish to deep tissue.Swedish is long flowy strokes and I feel lazy doing them lol and just feel like I’m rubbing in lotion. I do deeper lunges and I feel like cross fiber work does make me sweat. Especially when I do a lot of my forearm and elbow work.. I am def using more of my body and more effort. But sometimes I believe it all falls on the therapist.. I’ve gotten many massages.. and sometime’s I find myself thinking.. that felt lazy.. or wow.. now that he/she has moved on to my right side of my back I can feel the difference on the other side already! Some people just put more effort into their work.. and I believe they deserve to charge a higher rate! 🙂
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I charge a bit more for specialties, such as prenatal, hotstone, lymph drainage, ashiatsu etc – modalities that require special training and/or extra equipment. I charge the same price for THERAPEUTIC massage, be it swedish, deep tissue, trigger point work, or a combination of all. Massage Nerd is correct. We should all know how to give proper pressure to each body using proper mechanics and not feel we need to charge more for clients who may or may not feel what you felt.

  
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imho, if a therapist has invested time and money to learn advanced modalities then it is justified to adjust the fee accordingly.
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Deep tissue requires more work for the MT, physically and thought process as well as training. And yes, it can be taxing despite proper body mechanics. I don’t book as many DT clients in the same day as I would swedish. I think blaming the ability or lack of on just body mechanics is very inaccurate. For the record I charge a flat fee regardless of the tyoe of massage.
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Sydney Massage Deals

As a consumer, I am a supporter of the plethora of websites offering deals on products and services. Spreets, Living Social, Cudo, Ouffer, etc provide a range of different new offers on a daily basis for virtually anything you can think of.
Whilst I am not a regular subscriber to these services, I have used them occasionally and my experiences is that some of the offers have been more trouble than they are worth but, on balance, I am probably ahead with the ones that I have purchased.
Massage Deals in SydneyHowever, like many massage therapists I am not particularly in favour of these sites for a number of reasons. The main reason is that there is a perception from massage therapists that it devalues the services that we offer and people may struggle to understand why there is a price difference between what is the normal fee for a clinic or mobile massage and what is available to them through the offer sites.
Typically the way that these deals operate is that the normal fee charged by the therapist, clinic or day spa is split roughly 50-50 between the massage provider and the offer company. So if the offer is for a $60 massage then the therapist may be receiving around $30 for their time.
Now I am not criticising massage businesses for listing their services on the offer websites. It is a business decision that should be made on a case-by-case basis. Personally though I could understand why a business would do it only in a couple of instances.

   
Firstly, they are setting up a new business and they want to spread word out to people in their area about their new clinic or spa.
Secondly, a clinic or spa has excess capacity at specific times so that they would tailor the massage offer to only be available for say, between 10am and 2pm.

I have heard that often these offers are used by therapists/clinics whose businesses are struggling and it is almost a last throw of the dice.

I can say categorically, that our Sydney mobile massage business will never offer our services via these websites.

  • We believe that we are offering our services at a fair price (and back that up with an unconditional guarantee of our massage services).
  • We are different to clinics in that we do not have overheads as such but have travel costs instead. If we were to only be receiving $30 per massage then this may not offset travel costs and as such we would be working for nothing.

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I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has used these offers to have discounted massages. Feel free to comment below. If you are using them to find a permanent therapist then all well and good. However, the perception in the industry is that most people who buy offers are rarely prepared to pay full price, regardless of how good an experience they receive.

From those I have spoken to I had mixed feedback. Some people have been satisfied with the massages they have received whereas others have felt that the therapists have just been going through the motions with limited enthusiasm and commitment to the bodywork they are providing.
eg from a Google review of a place that offered discounted massage

Terrible! I got a deal through Cudo and the experience so beware. The experience was non-existent. My ‘therapist’ was having lunch as she was giving me a massage (!!) and the place feels old and dirty, held together by a safety pin and nothing more

  
I have only ever seen one mobile therapist using an offer site and she received a lot of negative feedback not because of her massaging but because people could not book with her when they wanted to.

Obviously my attitude is biased and I probably could have found positive reviews from recipients of discounted offers. But my perception is that for every good experience there is just as likely to be a poor experience so it is a case of buyer beware. As someone on Facebook the other day commented

Buy cheap – get cheap!

By Richard Lane


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