Price comparison is always a factor when you’re looking for a service, and massage therapy is no exception. When individuals search for massage providers in their area, they want to know what types of massage are performed, what additional services are available, and how much everything costs.
There is often a difference in pricing when comparing a private licensed massage therapist to a chain business with many therapists on staff. Though the lower price may be enticing, it’s important to consider what value you will get for it. While visiting a solo practitioner may cost more, most people find that the personalized service, focused attention to specific goals, and measurable improvement are worth the price.
What Are You Getting for Your Money?
While massage chains typically offer introductory pricing or membership clubs that make their services seem more affordable, it’s important to ask if you are really getting your money’s worth. I wrote about how massage chains work in a previous post, and much of what I mentioned applies to this subject of pricing.
In a chain business, it’s all about volume. The facility needs to push as many clients through per day as possible in order to cover overhead and labor costs. So even though you may get a great rate for that 60-minute massage, chances are you’re only receiving 45 or 50 minutes of bodywork. Not only is the time on the table less than what you thought you paid for, but the massage therapist might not be very focused on your specific needs.
When you visit a private licensed massage therapist, your cost should be much better aligned with the actual level of service. The private practitioner spaces out appointments so that there are a few minutes for consultation before the massage begins. They ask about your goals for both the session and your overall health so that they can recommend the best modalities and give attention to areas where you need more work.
With a private practitioner, you are getting consultation, personalized bodywork, and education about how to make progress on your goals between massages. The price is for an entire service package, not just the massage component.
What Really Goes into a High Quality Massage?
Whether you see a massage therapist for relaxation, pain relief, better function and mobility, sports performance, or injury recovery, you expect to notice results after your massage and over time with continued therapy. It takes a lot of training and practice for a massage therapist to help you achieve those results!
As a licensed massage therapist, I pay for continuing education requirements to maintain my license. Additionally, I keep my Registered Nursing license current with continuing education. I also pursue paid training in more advanced modalities to achieve optimal versatility for my clients. These are just the basic costs of being a competent practitioner.
As a small business owner, I need to pay my rent, carry insurance, purchase supplies, and market my services. Finally, I personally need to make a living from my work. I have a family to support, and I rely on this business to make our lives possible.
There is a persistent myth that a massage should cost $1 per minute. In a high volume chain massage business, this model can somewhat work. When appointments are booked back to back for multiple therapists, the revenue covers the cost of running the business and paying (far less than $1 per minute!) the professionals.
In private practice, these numbers simply do not work out. The cost of a massage must be viewed as a whole service, not simply time spent on a table. You are paying for the full experience of working with a trained professional who helps you keep your body functioning at its best. What is that worth to you?
Local Business Owners Think Personally About Their Clients
Small business owners work hard to compete with the national chains that have seemingly infinite resources. We rely on our reputations and service models to persuade clients to pay just a little more for what we offer.
- Although we private owners are a little higher priced, most of us go out of our way to show customers just how much we value their business. In my practice, I do several things to make sure my clients know I appreciate them:
- I keep track of your short-term and long-term goals
- I focus attention on your pain points and follow up on how treatment is working
- I give homework so that you can continue your body’s healing process between appointments
- I provide education so that you know why I recommend modalities and what to expect
- I ask about what is going on besides the physical so that we can take a whole body approach
- I send a personal thank you note to every new client
- I send you a happy birthday message to celebrate your special day
My own goal in massage therapy is to build relationships with clients so that our work together is not transactional. I am invested in your goals for wellness, and I want to track your progress right along with you. If I think you need a different practitioner, I will happily refer you to a trusted associate. I would rather see you heal with someone else than have you pay me for insufficient results. That’s the value of working with a small business owner who puts service first.
If you have been hesitating to book a massage because you’re not sure the cost is worth the value, contact me to discuss your goals. We’ll see if my services are the right fit before you book your appointment. Ross Therapeutic Massage is located in Telford and is easy to reach from Harleysville, Souderton, Lansdale, Perkasie, Sellersville, Green Lane, and Quakertown.