Who gets what you pay for
We all love a good special, and with the economy the way it is, its understandable. However, there is another way to look at it;
I was walking through one of the major shopping centres in my city and I observed the price list of a new "massage + day spa" that is due to open shortly. Their services included remedial massage, along with the typical beauty therapy services. As remedial massage is the bread and butter of my business, I was keen to see how competitive their prices were, and when I saw them I was disheartened.
One of the big fights, we as massage therapists have in this current society is the battle we are in with those "cheap knock offs" that cause ripples in the industry that take years to be undone.
For starters; By offering below cost product continuously makes it a huge hurdle to be competitive and strip down our costs to meet the oppositions. Lets say for instance; you see a company offer any hour long service for under $50,
Ok, you take out rent (which is usually at least $30 per hour for contractors in any clinic, and for a shopping centre, rent is HIGH!!), that leaves $20 to be spread across, consumables like oils, towel laundry, lights, heating, taxes, superannuation and of course, WAGES. Whatever practitioner that has to undertake this massage, are getting below $10 for the service.
There could be a darker side to this, however, I have not seen evidence of it as yet. These practitioners may not be working under their own free will, or in ideal situations.
We deserve to be paid correctly for the work we do.
If your practitioner has their health fund and/or workcover accreditation, and is a member of an association, you can be sure to know that they have had at least 2 years of theory and and hundreds of hours practical study, plus must keep continuing learning in their field to keep their skills current and evidence based. This amount of study should be recognised in the way we're paid.
Also, Massaging is focused time, just for you. We don't treat other people at the same time, such as acupuncturists, chiropractors and physiotherapists can, nor do we. We choose to spend the allotted time solely on designing a treatment plan to suit your individual needs, at each session. Our hands (and sometimes elbows) are dedicated to treating your condition, and aim to give you relief from the stresses and pain of life.
We do it for the love of healing others. No one I've met has become a massage therapist to make it big time financially. It's not something that is obtainable.
So when you come across these places that offer massage services, offer you health fund rebates and still only charge you less than $50 per hour, keep in mind that your therapist will not be getting paid for what they are worth.
What you can do;
- Source a local therapist to you and support them - Ask for a package deal, rather than discounts
If you choose to go to a "Shopping centre massage place",
- Tip your therapist directly