Strangers

We all have things that we rely on others to do for us.  Some may be things that we can’t do for ourselves and others are things that we could do but we are willing to pay for the skill, knowledge, and expertise of another.  They can do a better job and get it done much faster than if we did it all ourselves.  We even rely on people that we don’t know – strangers – for very important matters.

Let’s consider a few examples.

“I needed a hair cut so I let some stranger cut it.”

“I had a problem with my car so I let some stranger work on it.”

“I took my money to the bank and handed it over to a stranger.”

“I had an important legal issue so I talked to a stranger about it and followed their advice.”

“I wasn’t feeling well so I went to see a stranger.  They examined me and told me what to do.  They gave me a prescription which I took to a stranger at a pharmacy.  They gave me a bottle of pills that were made by strangers in a company and approved by a group of strangers in the government.”

“I was hungry so I went to a restaurant.  A stranger prepared some food for me, which had been grown and processed by other strangers.”

“I was in a dangerous situation so I called for a stranger with a gun to come and help.”

Hold on!” you say.  “I can’t know everybody who has an impact on me.”

“Well”, I say, “why do you trust these strangers with such important things like your money, legal issues, your food and health?”

Because,” you say, “they are professionals, have training, and are qualified.  Their reputation and business depends on them treating me properly.

Aha.

One objection to massage I hear is that people are hesitant in trusting a stranger to touch them.  We have just seen though that you let other strangers touch you.  Massage Therapists don’t have as much training as doctors or some other medical professionals, but we there are educational requirements to allow us to be licensed.

Wait,” you say.  “Some massage businesses and individuals do more than just massage.

That’s true.  But like any industry just because one person does it doesn’t mean everybody does.  Please,  if you know or suspect that is happening turn them in.  Make a call or send a message to the police or the state licensing board.  My fellow legitimate massage therapists and I want those places and people shut down.  They hurt my business and keep people who need a real massage away.

Of course massage is not the only industry with people who break the law.  The news is filled with businesses who try to take advantage of people.  Highly trained people such as lawyers and doctors get caught in scandals.  Companies such as banks, food producers, and pharmaceutical companies have been caught performing illegal or unethical practices.

If you want a massage, what can you do?  The same things you do with anything else important to you.  Get recommendations from friends.  Do some research online about the person or business.  Ask questions by calling or emailing.  I am happy to answer questions so you can feel comfortable when you come in.

I believe in massage and in the many benefits it provides and I want to help you.  I work hard at being somebody you can trust.   Let’s talk, or make an appointment, so I won’t be a stranger any more.

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

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Advantages of getting a massage at a small business

You have many choices on where to go for a massage.  You can go to a local or national chain, a spa or resort, or a small business.  The biggest advantage of going somewhere other than a small business is availability.  The bigger the business, the better your chances are of getting in on late notice.  That convenience typically comes with a trade-off of a higher price or not getting your favorite massage therapist.  I discussed the question of if massage chains are a good deal for you here.

Why get a massage at a small business?

You can get your massage from the same person every time.  The more I work with you, and the more I know about what you do and what has helped you before, the better results you will get.  You won’t have to fill out new paperwork and explain your health background every time.  I’ll keep notes on your history so I can know what happened in previous visits and your results.  I will learn your preferences and use the pressure, temperature, and music that you like.

A small business will do their main service very well.  I do massage.  I don’t do nails or hair (well, I will if you want, but I don’t think you will like it).  I focus my attention and continuing education on how to provide the best massage I can.  I learn new techniques and investigate and experiment with new tools.  When I notice a trend of a condition that people have, I review more anatomy and methods to help.

My attention is not divided on multiple choices.  When a business invests in something new, they want to get a return on that investment.  Your cost at a big business may be higher and you may be paying for services that you are not using.  I want to take care of your main problem when you come in.  If I succeed in that, you will come back.

You are an important person – not a number or a 3:00 appointment.  Since there are so many options for massage, small businesses must provide great customer service.  I care about you as a person and I want to help.  You are not just another customer.  When you call, you will talk to me and not be directed through a maze of phone options.  Your emails are answered by me – a person, not a big company employee.

Small businesses are important to your community.  Your money goes to a local business, which then gets spent locally.  Supporting one small business helps to support multiple businesses in your area.  The money doesn’t go to a corporate headquarters in another state or even another country.

If getting a massage from somebody who cares about you, gives you great customer service, and does an outstanding massage sounds good, check out a small business like mine.

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

Are massage chains a good deal for you?

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.

Money

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.

The therapists

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

Massage and price

One of the first questions some people ask when they call me is about the price for a massage.  While I understand that for some massage can be a big (but worthwhile) expense, price shouldn’t be the deciding factor on where to go.

Many times the cheapest or lowest priced product or service is not the best choice.  We don’t buy the cheapest vehicle, food, medicine, clothing, or place to live.  Why?  Because we want a certain value for our money.  Let’s consider a car.  We want reliability and safety.  We want it to start when we get in on a dark and cold night.  We want it to keep running until we make it home safely.  We don’t want to have to keep taking it back for repairs.  Saving some money initially can end up costing much more over time.

We want somebody providing a service to have the proper skills and experience so it is done correctly the first time.  We want the service done by a trustworthy, reliable person.   It gives us confidence and peace of mind knowing the problem will be taken care of, and if there are further issues, those will be dealt with quickly.

You may find somebody who offers a massage for a lower price.  You may want to consider why their price is lower.  Are they licensed?  Not everybody in Ohio is.  How much experience do they have?  Do they have the skills to take care of the problem you need worked on?  Do they work out of their home, or in yours?  This can involve how safe you feel during your massage.  Do they have the right degree of professionalism?

Price is not the only consideration when making a decision on who to see for your massage.  You can pay a lot or a little and get poor service or something that doesn’t fit your needs.  Massage is very personal.  Do you want somebody that you know you can trust or the person who will do it for the lowest price?

It’s always important to remember – You get what you pay for.  This is true in massage as with the rest of life.   Visit my web site through the link at the end to learn more about me.

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

Massage daily deal problems – Part 2

Those massage daily deals look so good.  Get a massage and save loads of money too.  Part 1 looked at some problems buyers of these deals have had.  You can read it here.  Not all people and business have problems and the deal works out well for some.  There are quite a few that do run into the issues that are discussed in these two posts.

In the gripping conclusion, let us continue our examination of why your deal isn’t as great as you thought.

If your deal was for an hour massage, do you get an hour?   For some your massage time is not an hour – the clock started ticking when you started talking to your therapist, before you are even on the table.  Some deals are less than an hour, like 45 or 50 minutes.  It says in the deal details (you did read the details, right?).  The deal price is lower but you also got less time.

Is there time to talk to therapist for what you need?  If you have neck or back pain, do you want just the standard massage or do you want it customized for your issue?  Some places are so booked up with these deals there is no time for anything out of the ordinary.  Do you want your massage to be ordinary or great?

Who will your therapist be?  Do you have a choice?  Will it be somebody right out of school or inexperienced?  Are they properly licensed?  Even if it’s a business that has a therapist you like working with, you may not get them.  It simply is not productive if you don’t get what you need out of the appointment.

There is much to be gained by you and your therapist knowing each other.  By working with the same person, they will get to know your problem areas, preferences in temperature, pressure, music, and conversation during the massage.  Massage is your time to get what you need so you can walk out feeling great.  If you are not listened to or you don’t feel cared for, I don’t think that is a good deal.

If you are considering a daily deal, check out at least a little about the company before buying.  What is their reputation like?  What kind of reviews do they have?  Do they appear professional looking with their website and social media presence?  You didn’t just see the deal and click buy, did you?

If you had an unsatisfactory experience with a massage daily deal, please don’t let that stop you from trying massage again.  The daily deal experience is not usually the way most places operate.  Do some research and find a business and therapist you are confident in and feel comfortable with.  Massage can be a great way to manage pain and stress.  There are great people and companies who want to help you.

You might buy a daily deal and have a wonderful experience with no problems at all.  If so, congratulations, and please continue to support them since they treated you right.  However, many find they didn’t get much of a deal, and they would have been much better off paying regular price with their favorite business and therapist.

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

Massage daily deal problems – Part 1

You see the daily deals from Groupon, Living Social, and others and they look so tempting.  A massage at half price or less!  Who wouldn’t want that?  Massage is great and saving money is great.  Could there be anything wrong in this picture?

It’s always important to remember – You get what you pay for.

Some customers have no problems and enjoy a good experience.  However, many daily deal buyers have had the complaints or problems like the ones discussed here.

You may not be able to get in when you want.  Often a business sells so many deals that the available times fill up and you may have to rearrange your schedule to fit it in.  Many buyers wait until near the deadline to schedule and are surprised to find there are few or no open appointments.  Sound relaxing?

How about are paying somebody to not massage you?  Many deals go unused, partly because of scheduling, and some people forget.  Now you have paid for something you didn’t get – that’s not a good deal.

Did you read all the rules?  Maybe you wanted a couples massage – but that wasn’t included.  Some restrict the days and times you can use it.  Did you want a deep tissue massage but the deal is for relaxation only?  You may get a good massage, but you may not be satisfied since you didn’t get what you really wanted.

If the deal is with a bigger business, the employer agrees to the deal and the employed therapists are stuck working for very low pay.  Massage is hard work and I put a lot into each one.  Some employees begin to lack motivation for clients who they will probably not see again.

Does the business treat you right and care if you come back?  Some businesses have had poor experiences with daily deal customers and may do only the minimum on their part.  It’s not a good situation for either the customer or the business.  You may have done nothing wrong but don’t get treated well.

Are extra things pushed on you?  Some try to make up for the lost revenue by trying to get you to buy add-ons for your appointment, memberships, package plans, or retail products.  It’s hardly relaxing to fight off sales pitches while you are there for a massage.

Click here for the riveting conclusion!

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

Is massage a luxury?

We have needs, like food, clothing, and shelter in order to survive.  Once those are secure, we have wants that can make our life easier, better, or more enjoyable.

Then there are luxuries.  Many people think of things that are expensive, hard to obtain, indulging, something not essential but pleasurable.  We think of luxury cruises, vehicles, hotels, homes, yachts, and jewelry.  When money is short, luxuries are the first thing that are reduced from spending.  We associate it with other words like extravagant, decadent and opulent.

A luxury can depend on your point of view.  Many people will say they need a car, but can they survive without one?  Some people don’t own a car and manage to survive.  They bike, use public transportation, or –gasp– walk.  They can get where they want to go and do what they want to do.  Or, how about cell phones?  Some do need to be reachable and able to communicate at all times, but most don’t.  Try to convince someone to give theirs up now.  Good luck.

The point is that some things that are not needs can be considered a luxury.

Massage is not a luxury for those living with pain.  Pain that doesn’t let them sleep through the night and find rest.  Pain that hinders daily activities.  It’s not a luxury for those in a very stressful situation, who need some peace and to be able to think a little clearer again.  It’s not a luxury for those trying to get and stay healthy.  Health should not be a luxury.  Massage is not more of a luxury than cars, cell phones, and the numerous entertainment devices and gadgets society tells we need.

If massage is a luxury, it is an affordable one.  Just about everybody could afford to get a 30 minute massage a month, or at least get a 10 or 15 minute chair massage.  It is one that is good for you and benefits you.  It’s one you can enjoy and not worry about.  You don’t have to be concerned with the security of it, like locking jewelry in a safe or home security, which causes more stress.

Most massage is not pampering.  It doesn’t have to be done at Le Spa de Fancy Pants.  All it takes is a quiet space, a table, clean sheets, and some temperature control for your comfort.  Massage is taking care of you.  It makes your muscles feel and perform better by working on them and makes your mind and body better by reducing stress.

If massage is a luxury, then so are pain relievers and stress relief.  Come in and get the massage you need.

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

A no worry challenge

Take a minute to read my London-based pal Paola’s 30 day no worry challenge .  It’s short and worth it.  I wish I could take credit for her idea because it’s so simple and brilliant.

Don’t just read it though.  Try it.

Pick one thing, whether big or small, that worries you.  First, if there is something you can do about it, look at your options and take action on it.  Once action is taken, that issue usually doesn’t need to be worried about.  Often the action of simply making a decision helps us feel more in control.  Second, as she suggests, accept that you will be able to handle whatever situation comes your way.

I usually find that when I face what I’m worried about it’s not as big of a deal as it had become in my mind.  The worst case outcomes rarely come to pass.

The beautiful benefit that results is that your mind now has some space to think of creative solutions and create a wonderful vision of future possibilities.  One that is based on peace of mind instead of worry.

Don’t let the 30 day challenge intimidate you.  Do it one day.  Whenever that topic tries to get back in, remind yourself that today you are not worrying about that.  Once you make some progress, it will become easier to control your worries instead of letting them control you.

This works for me.  Give it a shot and let me know your results.

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

Dreaming of a good night’s sleep

Some people look at the cost of massage and hesitate to try it.  Some get massages, but only get one for special events, like a birthday treat.

A problem for many in our society is that they don’t sleep well.  Physical pain prevents them from being comfortable.  They sleep for a while but the pain wakes them up through the night.  For some, the stress in their lives either keeps them up or disrupts their sleep.  They start the day feeling it is another day to try to get through instead of feeling rested and refreshed in the morning.

Massage can help with both physical pain and stress relief.  Many of my clients describe to me how much better they sleep after a massage.  Some come in very tense and fall asleep in minutes on the table.

How long has it been since you had a good night’s sleep?

How much better do you feel in the morning after a good night’s sleep?  How much more do you get done during the day?  How much better do you get along with other people?  What would your day be like if you didn’t wake up with a headache?  Since people feel better, are less tense, are more rested, get more done, and get along better with the world, they continue to sleep well.

For your convenience, I offer evening appointments.  You can come in after work or whatever has kept you busy during your day.  After your massage, you can head home, relax a bit, and get a good, peaceful, restful sleep.

It’s your choice which cost you want to pay: the price of a massage (which comes with benefits for to you enjoy) or the price you pay (what you are missing out on) by not sleeping well.

How much longer are you going to wait for your massage? 

If massage has helped you sleep better, let me know with a comment.

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

Save money with massage

Have you ever considered that massage can save you money?

Some people hesitate to get one or put it off until their pain is bad before coming in.

Yes, you can get a family member or friend to give you a neck or back rub to try to help you feel better.  I’ll guess that is not terribly effective for you, and even though it’s free, there is some kind of price involved.

I also imagine when you need some important work or repair done you are willing to pay a qualified professional to do it.  A lot of people could work on your plumbing or give you financial or legal advice, but what do you do when there is a significant issue?

How can massage save you money?

By taking care of yourself, you may be able to avoid a visit to the doctor.  The doctor could schedule follow up appointments, prescribe a prescription or order some tests (if you give a mouse a cookie,…).  You will probably have co-pays at each, and you will also spend time setting up appointments and waiting.

I’m not against doctors, and massage can’t fix everything, so see your doctor if needed.  I’m discussing situations that can be prevented by taking care of yourself.

People also spend money on pain relievers, sleep aids, and various supplies, equipment and devices to help them manage their pain or stress.  These things often address the symptoms, and not the problem itself.

All of this has been concerning financial implications.  This leads to some other, better questions:

How much is it worth to feel really good?

How much is it worth to get a great night’s sleep?

These are worthy of more attention so I’ll deal with them more in future posts.

To sum it up, massage can help you relieve pain and feel wonderful, could save you money and time, and won’t involve taking any pills or getting shots.

If you haven’t tried it, or it’s been a while, get started now.

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