You have probably seen their ads, heard about them, or been to one. Massage franchise chains showed up a few years ago and they have been expanding since. Are they a good deal for you? Let’s consider some things you will want to think about before you make a decision.
The introductory price looks like a great deal but remember it is just that – a one time price. The regular price you will pay will be higher. The company gets the bulk of your payment so therapist working on you is really relying on a tip from you, so your cost just went up. Like many other massage therapists in business I don’t expect tips – I would rather see you use that money to come back more often.
When you schedule an hour appointment you get a 50 minute massage. A little quick math reveals that ten minutes is 1/6th of an hour, which is about 16%. If you add 16% to the massage price and a tip to your cost, have you saved any money than going to a local massage therapist? Unless you are very late and we have to stop, your 60 minute massage appointment with me will get you 60 minutes of hands on work.
To get the discounted price, you will have to be in a contract with them. You will be automatically billed and unused appointments may not roll over (check your local franchise for details). You may be paying somebody to not massage you. Some franchises have quotas to reach so you may be encouraged to spend. Your massage visit should be relaxing and relieve pressure, not add to it.
Chains can have high turnover rates. You may not get the same therapist from visit to visit. Typically working with the same person provides more effective massage results. They get to know your preferences and based on your feedback about what has worked or not worked before, make adjustments during your appointment. If you find a therapist that who does great work for you, it may be difficult to find them if they leave the chain. The chain obviously doesn’t want customers to leave and won’t go out of their way to direct you to them.
Therapists may be booked for several consecutive appointments. Massage therapists are human and we get tired, hungry, thirsty, and in need of a break. It’s a physical business that takes a good amount of effort. If your appointment is the fourth one in a row, you may not get the results you want.
Therapists have very limited time between appointments. They don’t have much time to get to know you and your needs. You may receive a basic massage which may feel nice – but if you have an area that needs special attention it may not be addressed as you wish.
The biggest benefit offered by the chains is convenience. You can often get in quickly on the same day, which may not happen with a local small business. Working with a massage chain may be a good deal for you, but it is not for everybody. It may actually be more expensive and you may not get the benefits you can get from a local therapist who will take the time to get to know you and help you manage your pain and stress.
Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio. Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com