- Robert Heinlein
What Money Doesn't Pay...
So you want massages, but you went frugal! Instead of paying $49.99-plus per hour for a professional massage, you wanted a partner to exchange massages with for free. Not a bad idea, right? There are however some important things that you need to remember!
a. Not all culture or family upbringing easily allow for physical contacts such as massages. Start with a clothed massage or on-site massages like Thai, Chair, Foot Reflexology, Hand, head or shoulders, etc.
b. If you're under 18 (21 in some States), never seek massage partners (either give or receive) from outside your own group of known friends or your family! I mean NEVER.
c. It is true that you need a license or a certificate before you engage in Registered Massage Therapy. Meaning: before you start charging people money for it! To the best of my knowledge, there are NO States or Jurisdiction that bans giving or exchanging free massages to a barter partner if you are of legal age!
d. Be cautious! Learn about the person you will trade with if they are not a friend, a family or a partner. Learn about the exchange websites. Being cautious can prevent regrets and ensure your safety! You may: Ask for credentials or references; look for testimonials from others who have had them as a massage partner; check out the premises for the massage; or have the massage exchange in a public area all together - i.e. clothed back, neck or foot massage on a park bench or grassy area teeming with passers-by!
e. True intentions and sincerity can be seen if you look closer. Sleaze sometimes comes in the guise of puppy eyes "massage enthusiast" looking for something other than real massage! Even the licensed ones sometimes go to the darker side of touch, presented and tempted by opportunity. If you are to meet with anyone for the first time, make it in an open, public area! Be presentable, respectable and clearly convey what you want. Let a friend or your family know who are meeting, and where! Better yet, bring along a pal to keep it all safe.
Other than the people you dearly know, your next best option still is to try to barter with a licensed and reputable Massage Therapist through their registered business website and contact information. (Try here) Even if you think you don't know much about massage, you may possess other services or things that they may be interested in acquiring! So, don't hesitate to try. You won't die if they say no. Even if you have to fork out the money for the first massage, you can take that opportunity to ask sincerely about a barter, or what they may need in return other than massage! Who knows, the next one could be free!
Read also the five best ways to get a free massage: "Free Massages Part 1: 5 Best Ways to Get One".
- Leo Feraer-Oporto