by Pallas Hutchison
Affordability has a major impact on whether or not massage gets incorporated into someone's lifestyle. The cost of massage changes based on region, type of service, experience of the practitioner, and atmosphere. As with many things, people get what they pay for. Areas saturated with massage practices may offer a lower rate to stay competitive. Other massage therapists may offer a lower rate to attract lower income clients. Learning advanced techniques costs the massage therapist both time and money; the cost increases to compensate. Complex body treatments require more supplies and time so the cost of the service goes up to cover the additional expenses. Massage schools have a clinic that offers a lower rate for services provided by students; massage students are required to complete a set number of clinic hours. Swanky resorts and cruise lines offer high end services, lavish amenities and pricing to match. The client pays more for the atmosphere. Private massage practices, like Oasis Massage, fall somewhere between.
Most massage therapists get into this field to help people, not to get rich. Many have client loyalty programs set up to make regular massages more affordable for their clientele. Some have a punch card where you can earn a free massage after a certain number of paid visits. Some offer discounts on multiple massages purchased up front. Some offer a monthly program. Talk to your massage therapist; chances are, they're willing to work with you. That being said, please don't try to bully us or guilt your way into a steep discount. Like you, we have bills and families to support.
In the end, it comes down to value. People spend money where they see a value. As long as people see massage a luxury service, they won't bother trying to work it into their budget. For example, coffee drinkers spend an average of 2.38 per cup, up to three times per day (1). Over the course of thirty days, that adds up to over $200. [Curious about your consumption? Check out USA Today's calculator, comparing the cost of home brewed coffee to buying at Starbucks. ] Now imagine cutting back by one cup per day, saving $71. The average person can get a 60-minute massage each month around that price. Personally, I believe that the cumulative benefits of regular massage far outweigh the benefits of a cup of coffee.