July 5, 2011


Lots of therapists need massage themselves, as do many people in the service industry, so I have always had a wholesale, "courtesy" rate for folks to come in and have a massage.

When I owned day spas at hotels, the courtesy rate was a must. Every room service server, bartender, housekeeper, etc. was not only an opportunity to provide massage for folks who sorely needed one; the discount was a constant source of goodwill and referrals.

For a few massage therapists, however, finding out I wanted to be paid was a surprise.

"You are going to charge me for a massage? I thought we would trade."

Don't get me wrong, I love trades. But I also know that most people are coming in for a therapeutic reason and can't trade right away. And some therapists, even though they have good touch, have a massage not to my liking.

Over the years the courtesy rate has helped establish a good boundary. I get my costs paid, they get a therapeutic massage, and we all feel good. The occasional therapist who doesn't want to pay can go elsewhere, and often that's been much better for me. I sometimes think if you don't want to pay for a massage, why would you expect people to pay you?

Do I ever trade? Here and there I do. But I trade with therapists whom I know their massage well, have good boundaries, and we both help each other.

I am curious how other therapists handle this. How do you feel about courtesy rates for other therapists or other related service folks? Do they work for you? How do you handle trades?


'Drea said...

I’m curious too. How do you get to know the massage style of another therapist well? From the get-go or over several sessions?

Anonymous said...

Hi 'Drea....Most people can describe their styles or I know them from working with them....Sue

Heather said...

Early in my career I used to do a lot of trades, but I found that their were only a few therapists whose style I liked. I have a few people that I'll trade with occasionally, but now I prefer to just pay for a massage. I think giving other people in the service industry a discount is a good idea.