Is massage a luxury or necessity in your world?
This year is my 20th Anniversary of being a Remedial Massage Therapist! Wow…that’s scary! Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working for others in various industries. In the early days I was happy to do an interview for a massage job that didn’t require me to be wear lingerie or worse… be naked or do extra services! In the beginning it was luxury 5 star hotel mobile massage where the company I worked for charged in the vicinity of $80 an hour for a robot by numbers massage. I used my car, my petrol, my parking fees, my table, my oils, my towels, my uniform and then in about 3 working days I was paid about $15. Yep! This is 20 years ago mind you! I had fun and met plenty of cashed up celebrities who tipped me and the experience was priceless!
I was fresh out of TAFE with my Diploma of Health Science (Massage) This was before it was called “Remedial” Massage. I was pumped up ready to scream from the mountain tops how everyone needs massage in their lives. In the hotel world it became screamingly obvious that only those that were loaded, splurged on massage. This did not sit well with me. I wanted my massage to be affordable for all! I decided to pair up with another disgruntled therapist and start another company. This was a game changer! All of a sudden I had all these things to consider that hadn’t entered my mind! Overheads, taxes, advertising, delegating, hiring staff …blugh…It didn’t take long for me to run to the hills…
Fast forward 15 years after working in Day Spas, Pharmacies, Luxury resorts and Private Islands all around Australia I decided to open my own clinic. When it came to pricing my own therapies I found it really difficult. At the time there were no other massage therapists in town, not even one of those unqualified wacky healers that every little town has! There was a visiting bowen therapist once a week and a chiro once a week. Together with rent, Insurances and doing a make over on the clinic I decided to charge a normal rate of $77 an hour. I did a loyalty special of 10th Massage for FREE. I could then do monthly specials, gift cards etc. What I found interesting was that previously when there had been a massage therapist they didn’t massage male clients. Most of my regulars were indeed Male. The problem was that whenever anyone asked me how much it was they always seemed shocked to hear it or they would give me the pleasure of telling me straight up that I was a rip off. You’ll never die wondering with Aussie Country folk.
The nearest town had a plethora of modalities available. However it was a 45 minute drive away and after a massage driving that far is at best annoying and at worst lethal. I went to one of the many local Chinese Massage places. They were affordable and I needed one so badly! However upon entering, the place greeted me with a very musky stale smell, the therapist didn’t make eye contact or speak to me. The towels smelled. I was pummelled to within an inch of my life. I swear at some stage there was a rolling pin involved. When I begged for oil they whipped out the Johnson and Johnson Baby MINERAL Oil and wacked an extra $10 onto the bill. It was so hard I had visible bruising up my spine later that day and I couldn’t sit in the cinema chair without whimpering to watch a movie with my husband! I think I paid $50.
When my husbands’ contract was finished I closed my doors and travelled Australia for 2 years in a caravan with my Hubby and 2 soon to be 3 children…without my Massage Table! I was concentrating on selling our Heat Products and was far too busy envisioning our retirement to think about massaging anybody. hahahahaha…
We have since settled back home in Falcon Bay. I’m doing something different this time. I’ve opened up a massage clinic at home. The room overlooks the ocean and is a beautiful healing space. I’m doing it cause I love it and I enjoy making people feel better as opposed to needing the money. The going rate in the area ranges from the unqualified $50/hr through to remedial rebate $90 /hr . I advertised for $70 an hour and I had zero interest. Im trying to charge what I consider to be an affordable rate for myself! What would I be prepared to part with for an amazing massage? $70 is no longer the luxury prices of the year 2000.. I’ve now done a few specials for $40 for 45 minutes and I’ve had a decent amount of enquiries and jobs however nothing outrageous. The few clients I have had have all said that the massages they have had previously had weren’t worth what they paid.
This gets me wondering… Do people now think they have to pay a lot for a decent massage?
Do customers look at $70 an hour and immediately assume I’m unqualified ?
Ive now offered a guarantee that if they don’t like it I will give them their money back! Which I haven’t had to do yet….phew!
Tell me…is Massage therapy a luxury or a must have essential for you and those you love?
How much are you prepared to pay for a massage and how often?