What is living with less pain worth to you?
What massage therapists charge is and always will be open to debate. Mindset and issues with money have and will keep therapists like me from charging what we are worth. No more!
The narrative is out there – that the client is only paying for the time on the table, the 60, 90, or 120min session for some sort of bodywork. Massage (Therapeutic, Deep Tissue), cupping, reiki, myofascial work, cranial sacral, Rolfing and that is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak.
The time on the table that you as my client for the first time or the 50th time is only a small part of how I run my practice and I hope others in my field feel the same way. There is rent, supplies, CPR recertification, liability insurance and CEU’s to maintain licenses. Liability insurance and the cost to take classes to maintain licenses have skyrocketed in the last few years. And let’s not forget about marketing, website design, and networking. All are important and essential in building a business and relationships. Adding value to my clients is very important to me. It starts with the initial contact, even before the first appointment, to the first session and the follow-ups. Not just here is some water, stretch the neck, how are you going to pay and see you next time.
I ask a lot of questions about your pain: What about your pain that keeps you up at night? How has the pain impacted your life?
I do not like when a therapist says, “Oh you have neck pain, start face down and leave the room”. No fact-finding questions about you and the issues you are currently facing.
Is the pain new or becoming worse? Are you taking more medications just to get through the day? Have you been in any accidents, fallen, or had any surgeries, even if they were 15 or 30 years ago? These will have an impact on how your body functions today. Unfortunately, not enough therapists are doing this, not because they do not want to, but because they don’t have the time to get to know their clients and understand their fears, goals, and again what keeps them up at night.
I believe it is important to have a follow-up, especially with new clients to personally thank them for coming to you. That is imperative and not as an email with a link to reschedule, but as a handwritten card to show appreciation. I do that with all my clients.
Education is also very important after my sessions. I believe the client needs to feel that they can and need to be doing something at home to help in a way bring the effects of the massage home. Either with suggested stretches, referrals to other practitioners, and booking follow-up sessions to get ahead of the pain.
I also believe that my background as a Registered Nurse gives me insight and credibility to my clients that other therapists cannot offer. No this does not make me a better therapist, but it does give me more credibility.
Again, many things go into determining the cost of a massage. It is not just about the time on the table in my opinion and that is why I charge how I do.
Return to the beginning of this blog and ask yourself what getting a regular massage, or some form of bodywork is worth to you if it meant you will have less pain, take fewer medications, be able to spend more time with your family, and spend less time at the Doctor’s office that gives you no answers or long- term solutions. Only more tests, injections, pills, and maybe surgery.