Friday, June 1, 2012

The Sweat per $80.00 per Hour...

"When your self-worth goes up, your net worth goes up with it."        

- Mark Victor Hansen     

Money is your means of survival...

"The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men's vices or men's stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment's or a penny's worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you'll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?"

- Ayn Rand     

The Price of Touch...

If "to touch and be touched" is such an innate nature of any human being, is there really a price to it? Well... Yes and No! If seen from a psychological perspective, NO, you cannot put a price on it - it's a given for someone to thrive! The mother's touch to her child, the lover's hug to the beloved etc...- those are priceless! If seen clinically, therapeutically, where touch is used for healing, well - its $60.00 to $100.00 per hour and it is called Massage, Bodywork and Somatic Therapy! It is the touch of the Therapist to a client on a professional-level relationship! I charge a range of $60 to $150, from relaxation to the clinically complex cases based on the modality or discipline I use and the result of my assessment.

For any aspiring therapist, the newly grads and some who have been in the business for quite a bit, money can be the driving factor to going or staying in the field. They look at it this way: if you charge a massage for $80.00 an hour, then you work 40 hours a week = ka-ching! $3,200.00 a week! That is $12 800.00 a month! $153,600.00 a year! Wow you say? A 6-figure income from massage! Whoa I say... you are in for a big disappointment!! Not only is this notion absurd and unrealistic - it can be dangerous! You can end up in the hospital after a year or two from repetitive use injuries and the money you earn in that few years is barely enough to cover your rehabilitation, given of course you did not incur permanent damage to your body!

The Price to Pay...

I am not saying that money is not an attractive reason for you to pursue or continue with massage therapy - it is, honestly speaking, one of the many good reason why I have stayed in the field - just one of them. In the real world - the most realistic hours of massage that a therapist should do is 15 to 25 hours cumulative, regardless of how many client that is, and how much excess more you can do! And this can change depending on many factors like health, age, type of massage discipline and your commitment to self-care and maintenance!

You see, there is no price to safety! If getting rich is your one and only intention in pursuing a career in the field of massage therapy, then you might as well be a banker in wall street and be good at it. There are many unrealistic belief and myths in Massage Therapy, this is one of those. Remember, in an hour of massage, you have to factor in the amount of marketing, advertising, record keeping, materials and clinic maintenance, liability insurance, professional affiliations, cost of self-care etc! And the truth is: you do get paid alot in an hour, it's just that there is that low limit of how many realistic hours you can do - and a the overhead cost! 

The Price of Me...

Massage is not the best field to be rich! BUT it certainly is one of the most compassionate and rewarding career there is (see also Nursing)! If you want to be rich in friends, rich in health, rich in self-worth and self esteem and so much more - why YES it is! Here is one important thing to remember always: You should NOT confuse the monetary value of your service with your self-worth! Being rich is subjective! 

But let us face it, even the most self-confident and self-assured individual may sometimes get some thoughts about how much he/she is really worth! In Massage Therapy, the key to success is making sure your clients come back to you and stay! Getting them to come in for the first time, in the first is another story! The real question is: How do you make them like you! Which is quite different than making them like your service... since your service is just a part of who you are as a Massage Therapist and a Businessperson to your clients eyes! Truth is, how ever good you are in doing what you do, if you are not very personable and rather egotistic, I will not come back to you if I was your the client! In massage therapy how you deliver your service, and the intention behind your service can be as important as the product itself - "the" massage! 

Are your clients getting what they paid for? Are you delivering the real value of what you do? Is it really $80.00 for an hour? That depends! How you value yourself against how much you really is worth is just as important as how client - centered you are and how flexible you are to your client's needs! Which goes to say - is the way, of how your very own clients value you, regardless of how much you value yourself!

- Leo Feraer-Oporto     

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