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Massage Today
August, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 08

"Rub Club" Creator Rubs Wrong Way

By Rebecca J. Razo

Editor's Note: For more on this story, read Cliff Korn's editorial, "Profitable Massage...But Not for You!" in the August 2004 issue

California chiropractor Geoff Ricchio, creator of the Rub Club Massage Income System and self-proclaimed consultant to the health care and chiropractic industries, published a recent article titled, "Creating a Profitable Massage Program," in the July 2004 issue of The Chiropractic Journal, a publication of the World Chiropractic Alliance.

At first glance, the article appears to contain typical marketing advice on how chiropractors can build the massage aspect of their businesses.

Upon closer evaluation, however, three of the six "tips" dubbed "Ricchio's Rules," are exceedingly prejudicial against massage therapists and the massage therapy profession, while the other three focus exclusively on the moneymaking aspects of massage therapy, rather than patient care.

The article even takes a shot at Ricchio's own profession when he speculates that most people, if offered, would take a free massage session over a free chiropractic session: "The simple fact is," the article says, "that everybody loves massage, but not many people understand or even want chiropractic care."1

One of the tips - Rule #3 - that advises chiropractors to "Only hire female therapists. I know this is wrong to do, but it only takes one male massage therapist to touch a woman inappropriately and you're sued and shut down by the Sheriff's department,"1 promotes the illegal and unethical practice of gender discrimination. And Rule #4 objects to paying therapists more than $20 for an hour session: "When these people get out of school, they seem to think they deserve $60 per hour! Yet, I've found that MTs will work harder for you at $20 per hour... ."1

The most disturbing of "Ricchio's Rules," however, is Rule #1, which states, "Massage therapists are difficult to deal with. Make no mistake about it, MTs are at times scary people to deal with. All my problems with workers in my office have always been with massage therapists. They have a hard time adhering to normal office hours or even office protocol,"1 a blanket statement clearly intended to create division between chiropractors and massage therapists.

Dr. Ricchio, who affirmed his interest in granting an interview to Massage Today and told us that, indeed, "the article has created quite a stir in the massage community,"2 failed to respond to additional questions posed by MT by the stipulated press deadline.

So, do the sentiments expressed in Ricchio's article reflect a consensus within the chiropractic community?

No, according to Donald J. Krippendorf, DC, president of the American Chiropractic Association and operator of a successful private practice in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he employs massage therapists.

Massage Today asked Dr. Krippendorf his general opinion of massage therapy and massage therapists. "I've always thought of massage therapy to be a very good conjunctive treatment for patients," he said. "I have never seen, nor have I ever had a bad experience with massage therapists; I've always felt we've helped each other. I've referred patients to massage therapists on many occasions and vice versa."3

When asked if he has ever had any patient complaints about the massage therapists in his office, Dr. Krippendorf chuckled. "The biggest complaint I hear [from patients] is the[ir] trouble getting an appointment. I have nothing but praise for massage therapy," he said.3

To voice your opinion about Dr. Ricchio's article, contact the World Chiropractic Alliance at 800-347-1011 or via e-mail at .


  1. Ricchio, G. Creating a profitable massage program. The Chiropractic Journal. July 2004.
  2. E-mail from Dr. Ricchio to Massage Today, July 13, 2004.
  3. Phone interview with Dr. Krippendorf, July 14, 2004.


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