During this time of year, I start seeing a lot of billboards along the highway from the massage franchises competing with each other for massage gift certificate sales. The thought occurs to me that, while they may be able to compete with each other over price, they cannot compete with us when it comes to quality. I began to think of all that we're able to offer our clients that the massage franchises cannot.
Over twenty years of experience and expertise
Most of the franchises are staffed by therapists recently graduated from massage school. There's nothing wrong with that; everyone has to start somewhere. However, after twenty-three years of practice and an uncommon level of training achieved by few therapists, we can offer a quality of experience that an unseasoned therapist cannot. Whether you are coming for relaxation or pain relief, prenatal or sports massage, we bring a depth of experience to the table that few can touch. And even after all these years, we have not gotten bored yet! In fact, we spend hours every week reading research and academic papers, discussing pain rehabilitation and related topics with a variety of other informed professionals.
Time! Our hours are actually 60 minutes long.
Imagine that - a 60 minute hour! Most franchises advertise a one hour massage, but if you read the small print, it actually says 50 minutes. In reality, they are often even shorter than that because of the time the therapist needs for intake at the beginning of the appointment, changing the sheets at the end, or trying to talk you into signing a contract or buying some sort of product. Our one hour massages are a full 60 minutes of hands-on massage. We allow adequate time for intake and changing sheets so that we don't have to cut into your massage time. While some clients who come purely for relaxation may have few conditions they need to tell us about, other clients come with complex histories of injuries, surgeries, etc. We take time to get a complete history. When working with clients with chronic pain, it's important to really listen, something most other health care providers don't have the luxury of doing.
In addition, we schedule our appointments to suit your needs, not to conform to a rigid schedule. We're able to be flexible. Some places charge almost as much for half an hour as for an hour, discouraging shorter appointments. We think your needs should come first. If a client would be better served by shorter but more frequent sessions, that's what we will schedule.
No pressure, no contracts.
We don't pressure our clients to sign contracts that require them to come on a regular basis for a year. We believe that the client has the right to decide when and how often to come in. If you have a condition that we think would benefit from regular massage, we're certainly going to make recommendatins, but we won't pressure you and we won't make you pay a monthly fee whether you come for massage or not. The decision is always yours.
Consistency! You'll know who your therapist will be.
One of the most frequent complaints we've heard from clients who got stuck in a year long contract with a franchise was that they never knew who their therapist would be. They would find a therapist that they liked and then the next appointment, that therapist would be gone and a new one had taken their place. We've been around for 23 years and we don't think we're leaving any time soon. If and when that changes, we'll be sure and let you know. We are not going to disappear on you!
Enthusiasm! We love what we do.
Massage therapists at franchises are often frustrated and resentful. They are not paid well, they have no control over their schedule, and they often required to do too many massages back to back. We manage our schedule to have adequate time in the day to rest, eat, and take a break, so that we don't become physically or mentally fatigued. Between that and our continued passion for learning, our enthusiasm for our work has never diminished and, in fact, has grown over the years. We have a profound appreciation for our clients and a deep respect for them. Part of our way of maintaining a client-centered practice is to make sure we show up for your appointment physically and mentally ready to give you our best.
Our commitment to you is to recognize that your needs and well-being are at the center of our practice. We strive to stay well-informed so that we can provide you with accurate information. We will not try to sell you things you don't need or exaggerate claims in order to get your business. We take seriously our responsibility to you, our client, and want to earn your trust by maintaining high standards of professionalism and integrity. If we think you would be better served by seeing a different practitioner, we will not hesitate to refer you to other health care practitioners. One person said of us, "No woo, no fads, just good, skilled therapy." That's what we aim to provide you.
We know you have choices and we're honored that you have chosen us. We know that by offering you an uncommon level of experience and expertise and by putting your needs at the center of our practice, that we have something to offer that no franchise ever will. We're grateful to be able to stay independent and to shape our practice in a way that we can put you, the client, first.
As another year draws to an end, we're grateful to have work that we love and clients who appreciate what we have to offer. We wish you all the best in the coming year.