Hello, I am a massage therapist. I have been one for over 13 years and if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in all those years if the fact that I am a person doing a job. It just so happens that that job is massage and I am proficient at it and like to think of myself as a professional.
Besides, I know the world of massage therapy and all those who enjoy their treatments still happen to have a certain viewpoint of the profession itself and its overall role in the health and wellness industry.
The truth about working as a massage therapist
Let me start by saying it is not easy. Took me years to build up strength in my hands and learn how to maneuver my own body to avoid pain and fatigue after massaging for hours on end.
My training was, and continues to be an ongoing learning experience.
In fact, I have painstakingly learned to navigate the world of the human body and all those emotions attached to them.
There have been numerous tears, laughter and anger shared between me and my clients and hundreds of hours spent trying to play psychotherapist.
For example, there was once a time when a client confessed their desire to go home and commit suicide after their session with me. This happened when I was young and this client lay on my table and without any hesitation confessed his darkest fears of ending his own life.
Not surprisingly, I didn’t do anything. What could I do except listen and hope the session would end so I could leave the awkward conversation in the same room as him?
To this day I don’t know what happened to him. I never saw him again and I often wonder what he did that very night after our very first and only time together.
As a professional, I don’t talk about what is said between my clients and I as I value our time together and I only hope they do the same for me.
Second, I take great pride in my work. Even though sometimes I just go through the motions and don’t need to think about what I am doing. When you’ve massaged the same body party for a straight 6 hours your mind tends to trail off, don’t blame me, I’m only human.
The Real Inner workings of Massage Therapy!
Furthermore, my main frustration, besides being referred to as a “masseuse” (will get into that little gem on a different night), is some clients lack of respect for my time.
Listen, you have to understand how the world of massage therapy works in order for you to fully understand how we get paid for our time.
Most clinics operate on a commission basis and there is a 60/40 split between the therapist (me) and the clinic owner (not me).
Massage therapists usually get the 60% of the price of a massage and if you’re lucky that may go up to a 70/30 split and if you’re not lucky at all then you get a 55/45 split.
In other words, I only earn that lovely piece of the pie if you my darling and lovely client grace me with your presence. That is, you show up and I give you an hour of my time.
Being a therapist means I not only give you a hour of my time, I also bring my expertise and my knowledge of massage with me.
The very thing that I have worked for for the last 13 years, the thing that makes my sessions that much more enjoyable and leave you feeling like it was worth it is my willingness to help.
I give a lot of myself into my sessions with many clients and I bring a sense of real hands on therapy and for that I take great pride in.
So when you run late, or don’t show up and simply just think “meh, I can reschedule, no biggie”, it is a biggie. It’s a MAJOR biggie.
Massage therapists only get paid when you show up and that means, you and I both need to show up. When you cancel last minute you are also taking time away from other clients who may need my time more than you.
When you show up late and don’t apologize…you’re getting elbows. And that my friend will definitely leave you feeling broken.
Our world is a better place when manners are celebrated. When someone fills your water in a restaurant, say thank you. When someone offers you exceptional service leave a tip. When someone holds open a door for you, say thank you and hold it open for the person behind you. In short, don’t be a dick.
Lastly, I am a person with a family, with a house, with bills and with responsibilities. I don’t work for free, that’s why my job is a job. It’s by no means easy as the life expectancy of a registered massage therapist is 4-6 years. I am a senior in my field. So please remember if you expect respect, show respect.