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Massage Today
June, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 06


"Touching the Massage Today readers one letter at a time"

By Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT

Let's start with a reader's update from a May question on corporate massage and the company getting a commission.

Editor's note: The original question posed to DearLyndaLMT was as follows:

I am in the process of setting up on-site massage therapy for a company.

The company representative told me that the company wants to charge me 10% commission on my total revenues for providing a space and the marketing. I have never heard of this practice being done with a corporate office. What do you think?

-- Patricia from Dallas, Texas

And here's Patricia's follow-up to DearLynda's reply:

Dear LyndaLMT,

Thank you so very much for your reply, it was very helpful. I spoke with the company again just to clarify why they were asking for a commission, I explained that this was unusual. The answer I received is also very unusual: the company wants to get involved with a charity group, in which the company will sponsor 25 of its own employees to help build houses. The charity group requires a $5,000 donation for the 25 employees to participate. I was told that the commission that I am being charged is going toward this donation.

I stuck to my guns and explained that on-site massage therapy is a benefit to employees and I could not pay a commission to the company to provide this service. They were very receptive to my explanations, they agreed that on-site massage therapy is a benefit to their employees and that I should not have to pay them a commission. The company and I are working out the details and I will soon be offering this wonderful benefit to their employees.

Thank you so very much for your rapid response, you were able to help me out tremendously.


Patricia from Dallas

Thanks for the update, Patricia!

Dear LyndaLMT,

I have owned my own successful massage practice for the past seven years and still love what I do. However, I work six days a week and have not had a real vacation in two years. I am feeling a bit burned out at this stage of my career, to the point that I don't look forward to going to the office with a full book of clients. I need advice!

-- Joy from Maine

Dear Joy,

You need to work on putting the joy back in your day! We all need to work on preventing burnout, but in your case, it sounds like you are already there!

My first bit of advice is you need a vacation from the office, ASAP! We all need a vacation at least once a year, if not more (including weekend getaways) to take care of the mind and soul. When you get back from your vacation, make sure you get regular massages, not only as a mini-vacation from your own workday, but also to ease the tremendous physical strain of your job! And make sure exercise plays apart of your daily routine.

Next time you take a CEU class, choose on that teaches something different than the massage technique you are trained in. After all that, I would recommend you go back and re-address your goals. Have they changed since you first started in the business? Goals give you something to reach for; a dream or dreams to achieve. Ask yourself what you want to achieve at this stage of your life.

We all need to balance our body signs and our dollar signs. We all need to watch for burnout signs, and we all need to take the time to work on ourselves.

Don't forget to recharge your batteries every so often, for yourself and for your clients. Good luck staying on track with what makes you happy and helps you enjoy each day!


I enjoy Massage Today and your column. I would like to know how you feel about donating your services and gift certificates to promote your practice. What did you do when you first started your business, and what do you do now? I am just starting out in business and getting many requests for gift certificates and chair massage for events.

-- Christine from Missouri

Dear Christine,

I think donating your services is a great way to get visibility and promote your practice. For the right causes, it can also be extremely gratifying personally. I recommend you know your target market, then choose the events that hit that market.

I give more gifts certificates in exchange for exposure and community support than I do for on-site events at this stage of my business. When I first started my business nine years ago, I went to every event I was invited to in my area. In the first year of business, I was unsure of my target Market, so I went to anything and everything!

Our office now does on-site massage each year at all five public elementary schools in our town during teacher appreciation week. We have also referred other schools out of our target market area to other massage therapists. We visit a different school every day during that week; now with all the publicity we have received, we are getting requests from the private schools in our area. They even pay us for the event!

I think you need balance in everything, but in my experience, when you give it always comes back!

Dear Lynda LMT,

Not sure if you can hel,p but was thinking it was worth an e-mail to you. I am a huge Paul McCartney fan and my friend was telling me he was on one of the morning show in May talking about a poem he wrote on strange massages he had and was talking about massage. Would you know what show this was aired on and where his poem appeared in print?

-- Chris from Georgia

Dear Chris,

You are in luck! I don't watch much television or do morning very often, but on May 4, 2001 I was doing both. Paul was on Good Morning America on the ABC network, being interviewed by Diane Sawyer. She asked him about the Poem "Masseuse Masseur" from his book Blackbird Singing (Norton books). Paul told Diane he wrote the poem from three strange massage experiences he had. He went on to say when he gets a massage, he just likes his muscles worked, not all that other stuff!

Here is the poem Paul was talking about:

"Masseuse Masseur" by Paul McCartney

Ah so, Japanese masseuse
Lie me on a towel
And work me till I'm loose
Hold my hand
And sing me Yesterday

Lie, Argentinian masseuse
Beside me on the floor
And work me till I'm loose
Making moaning noises
We'll play girls and boys
Is anyone at home?

Oh you New Orleans masseur
Lie me on a table
And work me till I'm loose
Imagine my leg as hollow bronze
My neck like a giraffe
And I will burn a hole
In your eyes
Till someone comes
To blow the candle out

If you have a question on the massage profession for DearLyndaLMT, e-mail them to her at: or write her at:

c/o Lynda Solien-Wolfe
P.O. Box 173,
Cocoa, Florida. 32923

Lynda Solien-Wolfe is Vice President, Massage and Spa at Performance Health. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and has been in private practice in Merritt Island, Florida for more than 20 years. Lynda graduated from Space Coast Health Institute in West Melbourne, FL.


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