A while back I wrote Massage Etiquette? ! as a response to the many comments people make about their bodies not being acceptable for massage. You can reread that here before diving into Part 2.
I decided on a Part 2 because there are so many other questions and concerns clients have. From tipping tips to scheduling scenarios to more communication stuff, I am going to try to cover it all here.
I never realized hot much of a hot button issue tipping can be until I became a massage therapist in 2016 and had to consider tipping as part of my business. I always get many questions about tipping, especially lately, for some reason, but I have been putting off this post because its uncomfortable for me to address. Talking about money always triggers my limiting beliefs about my value as a therapist and a person. It’s just weird to put a price on yourself whether it’s pricing for massages or tipping.
The United States is one of the only countries in the world that utilizes tipping. I’ve heard that service workers in other countries actually take offense when an American leaves a tip. Tipping is a normalized system in the US that most of us do not question. But it is weird when you start to think about it! Should patrons have to make up for employers choosing to not pay a living wage to staff? Probably not, but that’s often the case. And god forbid an employee is a human and messes up, resulting in less tip money or no tip at all and sometimes only minimum wage pay for that hour or so they served the patron.
It’s a weird messy system, but it’s still customary here and many of us in the service industry depend on tips. I personally choose to keep my prices to average for the Bozeman area and leave room for tipping. This doesn’t mean I will judge you if you do not tip! I personally tip all service workers and have increased the amount I tip since the begging of the pandemic. Unless a service business specifically says they are “gratuity free”, plan on tipping the workers whether they are the sole proprietor or a staff member of the business. Tattoo artists, baristas, tow truck drivers, bar tenders, massage therapists/bodyworkers, food servers… you get the idea. Many people ask me how much others tip on average. In my industry, most people tip 25%. Do what you will with this information
My office is a bit weird as there is a shoe & coat area outside of the waiting room itself. I have a no-shoes policy in my office year round. You may find I move your shoes to the mat outside my office if they have been left in the waiting room. After removing your shoes and placing them on one of the mats outside the office, enter the waiting room quietly. You may then have some tea or water while you wait for the red door to open. Please note that if you arrive more than 20 minutes early, you may have to wait in the hallway/shoe area as I may not even be there yet.
I require first time clients to book online. This is to familiarize them with how Schedulicity works and ensures they can get the slot they desire before someone else does. This also secures your appointment with a credit or debit card protects me from no-shows. I prefer all clients book online. In person with me after your massage is good too. I am not always available via text or phone call to book your massages for you. By using the online system, you can easily see my entire schedule at one time and match it to yours. This is so much better than sending 100 back and forth texts to find the right date and time.
However, if after looking online you do not see something that works for you, please do text! Again, I may not be able to get back to you right away, but I may have a time slot available that I do not post online. Sometimes I may be able to move some things around for you or put you on the waitlist. You can also put yourself on the waitlist on Schedulicity. You will receive notification if someone cancels and your preferred time slot opens.
When it comes to cancellations, I have a 24 hour cancellation policy. You will not be able to cancel your appointment online if it is less than 24 hours away. You will also be charged a late cancellation fee, which is the full price of your scheduled massage. Please call or text if you do have to cancel after the 24 hour window. I will never charge the late cancellation fee for emergencies.
More on Communication
After rereading Massage Etiquette?! myself, I realized there was even more to say about communication. After all, it is the most important aspect of any relationship, eh? Communication is important because it brings understanding, even when there is disagreement. When we advocate for ourselves by communication our needs, those needs can be more easily met. Some communication is better than none!
Have you ever had a massage or other treatment and left feeling like you didn’t get what you needed? Did you communicate before and during your massage about your needs? While many massage therapists and bodyworkers are extremely intuitive, we aren’t perfect. If a certain technique, pressure, depth, or anything else is not your cup of tea, always say so! It’s better to advocate for yourself and get the massage you paid for than to feel uncomfortable and white-knuckle your way through a massage. Talking during a massage is fine. Talk to me!
With the exception of talking about the massage itself, I used to find talking during a massage distracting. While this is still true to some extent, I now see talking as part of the therapy itself. Some people find after venting or sharing, they can relax more. The more I learn about how the body keeps score of our traumas and stress, the more I am totally ok with talking during massage! I may not be as attentive on the massage itself, but necessary therapy is happening nonetheless.
However, if you want my full focus, but still feel the need to release some thoughts or work on some trauma, EFT before your massage is the way to go. Clients who schedule an EFT session before their massage find less of a need to talk during the massage and say that they became the most relaxed ever when compared to just massage. Whatever your needs, I am here to listen and accommodate when able.
I hope this helps clarify anything that may have been lingering in your mind. If you do have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to reach out to me via text, email, or at your next massage.
See you on my table soon!
Amy: 406-539-4691, firstname.lastname@example.org