Don't shop for the cheapest massage you can find. Tips on finding the best massage therapist for you.
5 Reasons why you shouldnt shop for a massage by price - and why massage DEALS end up being dealbreakers
Actually I have no real idea how many reasons there are, but titles like these on the internet seem to want to have a number, so 5 seemed like a good one. Maybe there are many more, or maybe just one - You get what you pay for.
I was moved to write this post after looking at my ad-words and seeing that the most often used phrase that people search and click on is "massage deals near me" or something similar. Somewhere further down the list is "best massage therapist near me".
I know that for some people money is tight, and many view massage as an indulgence, but here is the problem - Let's say you have saved up, you money is hard earned and you are ready to book your "treat". You go onto a deal site, look for the cheapest massage you can find 'cause hey "a massage is a massage" and you leave disappointed that it was such a mediocre experience. What do you expect? If someone is offering you something that should cost $150 or $200 or more for $65, honestly, do you really think you are going to get that elevated experience? This is not to put down therapists who do heavy discounting, or those who use these deals as a way to meet new clients, but it has been my experience that the Group-on type client will just go from therapist to therapist, carrying his or her dissatisfaction with them to the next therapist, never landing on anyone they return to, but more importantly never discovering the experience they have been looking for.
It's a value proposition. Some clients would think nothing of spending $300 on a hair cut or color, $75,000 on a new car, $500 on shoes - but a massage ? Self care? Something that is experienced but can't be shared? Get the cheapest. NO. Many don't see the value in it and that is a shame - if this is you, you are missing out.
Having said that, an expensive price doesn't always equate to a better massage either. It is a mistake to assume that just because the massage is being offered at a luxury hotel or spa that you are getting a top therapist. The most expensive hotels and luxury spas hire the same therapists that the mass franchise chains do. And sadly they get paid the same. So if you are paying $300 for your upscale experience, the therapist is still likely only getting $35 plus tips. The principal difference being that it is a beautiful setting with wonderful amenities usually, but not always. No extra care is put on the quality of the therapists.
So what do you do? Look for an independent therapist or smaller company. . Someone whose website resonates with what you are looking for. Look for someone that will take a thorough intake, listen to your needs, and refer you out if they don't feel they are the best match. Look at their offerings? Are they all over the map or do they seem to specialize. Look closely at sites that are too generic or broad - Deep tissue, Swedish Relaxation, Sports, Injury & Pain Management, Emotional Well being, Stress Management. I mix a variety of modalities to create a unique experience just for you" is the most over used phrase in bodywork. Massage is a big word and it means many things to many people. Its difficult to specialize in deep or rehab work as well as relaxation, stress management and emotional well being. They are at opposite ends of a spectrum.
Next time you are ready to book a massage - try this experiment - Just once, look, really look for a therapist that stands out, look for the best fit, not the cheapest. I realize "the best" is subjective, but do a little homework, and search for someone, not based on price and book that one. Then see how you feel. AND - let me know here in the comments how it turns out.
A Really Good Massage Blog
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.