Have you ever made an appointment and wondered how much time of the actual services your money is going towards? When your appointment is for 30 or 60 minutes, are you paying for the 30 or 60 minutes of the physical work, or are you paying for a 30 or 60 minute time slot? Any service you pay for that charges by time increments can be deceiving as to what you are actually paying for. In the massage industry, this is seen a lot, and it varies from each business or therapist. Some will say an hour massage, but really mean 50 minutes of physical massage, while others who say an hour actually mean a full 60 minutes of massage.
It can be hard to tell sometimes when you are looking to book an appointment. You can usually get an idea by their pricing or even how they book appointments. If they are a bit lower in cost compared to others in the same area or if they seem to be booked on the hour every hour, then there is a good chance that you are paying for the time slot that you are booking for that appointment. Check to see if the website tells you. If you are still not sure, ask them, after all it is your time and money.
Personally, I believe that you get what you pay for, and set my appointments accordingly. If you book a 60, 90, or 120 minute massage, then you pay for a 60, 90, or 120 minutes of massage. I allow some extra time in between appointments to have time for clients to fill out any paperwork, discuss how they are feeling, what their goals are for the session, and to ask any questions before the session, as well as have time to talk after the session, pay, and schedule their next appointment. My regular clients have probably already realized this time concept. If a client arrives on time and we start the massage 10 minutes after the scheduled start time, I finish the massage 10 minutes past the end time. Your time is valuable and I believe that my services are of great value to you. Therefore you get what you pay for when you book an appointment with me.
At the same time, my time is also valuable and if a client is 15 minutes or more late, then their appointment time will be reduced, or even cancelled if they are much later than 15 minutes. Not only is this for respect of my time and services, but for the clients who may have an appointment scheduled after yours. Pushing the next clients appointment back because the client before them was late is not respecting and valuing their time. I believe that my time, your time, and my other clients’ time are equally valuable and do my best to honor everyone’s time so that we can all feel that our time and money is valued and leave feeling satisfied with the quality of service from the appointment.
When you are deciding to book your next appointment, make sure you know what you are paying for, as it is your time and money. You need to decide if saving some money to receive 10 minutes less of massage time is a good deal to you or not. Maybe the less time is better for your schedule and your budget. Maybe the extra time on the table is worth the extra cost. Regardless, knowing what you are paying for will help guide your expectations for your next appointment and allow you to get the most for your time and money.
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.