resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
April, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 04
By Steve Capellini, LMT
Author's Note: The SPA LETTERS column features news, personality profiles, trends, and plenty of professional possibilities for LMTs in the spa industry. The style is epistolary, meaning the articles are letters to a fictional massage therapist friend of the author.
Congratulations! You're now officially a part of the spa industry.I understand your excitement and also your trepidation, and I'm not surprised that you have a lot of burning questions to ask. For a moment, though, allow yourself to bask in the accomplishment you've just achieved. It's not always easy to snag a position as a therapist in the fast-growing spa sector.
Let's address your question about pay first. It was probably a good idea not to put too much emphasis on the pay scale when you first applied at the spa, because that can turn interviewers off and make it seem like your self-interest outweighs your desire to do a good job. But now that you've got the job, you have to start thinking about your budget, and of course it's only natural that you want to nail down some realistic numbers.
It's a general assumption (stated or unstated) that the pay scale in spas is not worthy of the talent and training most therapists have achieved. Some people in the massage profession feel that the pay in spas can drag down the overall prestige of massage therapists and make it seem that they're not worth as much as they should be.
In my personal opinion, this assumption is incorrect for two reasons. In the first place, spas have a very large overhead that is not taken into consideration by many people. The cost of running a spa is extremely high, with its management staff salaries, facilities cost, heavy laundry expense, equipment cost, product cost, and other drains on the bottom line. It's often hard for a spa to make a profit. If the spa were to give the therapists 80-90% of the price of a treatment, which therapists sometimes act like they're entitled to, the spa would soon go broke and everyone would be out of a job.
Second, the pay scale in spas over the past few years has been going up quite significantly. Factor in the pluses for the therapist, such as built-in clientele, no marketing costs, no facility cost, with products, oils, laundry, equipment all supplied, and, oftentimes, paid training and benefits. You can see that an hourly wage about half of what you'd expect doing a private outcall massage is not unreasonable.
This wage scale is typical of what you can expect at many spas today. Take the spa where you've just landed a job, for example. Your pay scale of $30 per hour is right about in line with this principle, because I know you've been asking $60 per hour from your private clients since you graduated from massage school last year.
And remember, you live in California, in an area with a pretty high cost of living. Extrapolating this to a less expensive part of the country, a new therapist could conceivably be getting $45-$50 per hour from private clients. Therefore, a $22-$25 per hour pay scale in a local spa would be reasonable.
You point out correctly that you might be losing some precious hours, though, because the spa will not be paying you for hours in which you're not massaging. But keep in mind that they will definitely be trying to book you as many hours during your shift as possible. Why? Because the more you're booked, the more money the spa makes!
There are some spas that pay a certain number of therapists a lower hourly wage when they're not giving a treatment, thus making sure there is always someone available for last-minute bookings. Seeing as you're new to this spa, you can't expect to be put on the schedule all the time right away. That's a seniority issue, which I'll deal with in a future letter. When you achieve this level, the spa will have to provide benefits to you, which can run up to 20% of additional cost to the spa on top of your pay. You're going to have to prove yourself first.
The Best Attitude
I wouldn't worry about this too much, Lou. The spa where you've found a job has a great reputation, and as you know, they're booked for much of the year. So keeping yourself busy shouldn't be too much of a problem. I think my best advice to you at this point is the following:
Treat the space you've found as your very own business.
That's right. Try to avoid the typical mistake: looking at the spa as an us vs. them environment, in which the ownership and management are out to get you and your fellow therapists. Avoid excess gossip, chatter, and complaints about your bosses, because that only separates you from a perceived higher level, actually diminishing your power.
Treat each guest as your own private guest in your own private business. Make sure that everything possible is done to make her experience positive. Treat the whole spa like your spa, keeping it neat and orderly. Whenever you have an opportunity, make things easier for your boss and anyone else in management.
This attitude is sometimes known as being a "team player," but that's a term I'm not too fond of, because it gives the impression that you have to wait to take orders from a coach, instead of proactively taking control of your own situation and being your own boss. Even better than being part of the team, is acting as if you were part of the ownership of the team. If you truly believe this is true, and act accordingly, you'll be amazed at how quickly things will change for you in the spa world, and for the better.
Talk to you again soon,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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