Are massage chains a good deal for you

You have probably seen their ads, heard about them, or been to one.  Massage franchise chains showed up a few years ago and they have been expanding since.  Are they a good deal for you?  Let’s consider some things you will want to think about before you make a decision.


The introductory price looks like a great deal but remember it is just that – a onetime price.  The regular price you will pay will be higher.(1)  The company gets the bulk of your payment so therapist working on you is really relying on a tip from you, so your cost just went up.(2)  Like many other massage therapists in business I don’t expect tips – I would rather see you use that money to come back more often.

When you schedule an hour appointment you get a 50 minute massage.  A little quick math reveals that ten minutes is 1/6th of an hour, which is about 16%.  If you add 16% to the massage price and a tip to your cost, have you saved any money than going to a local massage therapist?  Unless you are very late and we have to stop, your 60 minute massage appointment with me will get you 60 minutes of hands on work. (3)

To get the discounted price, you will have to be in a contract with them.(4)  You will be automatically billed and unused appointments may not roll over (check your local franchise for details).  You may be paying somebody to not massage you.  Some franchises have quotas to reach so you may be encouraged to spend.  Your massage visit should be relaxing and relieve pressure, not add to it. (5)

The therapists

Chains can have high turnover rates.  You may not get the same therapist from visit to visit.  Typically working with the same person provides more effective massage results.  They get to know your preferences and based on your feedback about what has worked or not worked before, make adjustments during your appointment.  If you find a therapist that who does great work for you, it may be difficult to find them if they leave the chain.  The chain obviously doesn’t want customers to leave and won’t go out of their way to direct you to them. (6)

Therapists may be booked for several consecutive appointments.  Massage therapists are human and we get tired, hungry, thirsty, and in need of a break.  It’s a physical business that takes a good amount of effort.  If your appointment is the fourth one in a row, you may not get the results you want. (7)

Therapists have very limited time between appointments.  They don’t have much time to get to know you and your needs.  You may receive a basic massage which may feel nice – but if you have an area that needs special attention it may not be addressed as you wish. (8)

The biggest benefit offered by the chains is convenience.  You can often get in quickly on the same day, which may not happen with a local small business.  Working with a massage chain may be a good deal for you, but it is not for everybody.  It may actually be more expensive and you may not get the benefits you can get from a local therapist who will take the time to get to know you and help you manage your pain and stress.


Ok, this is a good blog post, was from another therapist off of a FaceBook page.  But the blog is a little vague on some details and I think I want to fill them in. Let’s start at the top!

1)      The introductory price is most times $10 to $15 less then what their membership price is.

2)      The average starting pay for a therapist at one of the franchises is from $12 to $15. Most times topping out at $20 in 3 or 4 years. add to this that they do not get paid by the hour like most employees, but only when they do a massage, so in a 8 hour working day they might only get paid for 4 or 5 hours of that day. So the tips they get can make up about 30% of their take home pay!

3)      In my area the membership price is $59 a month. The average hour massage with an independent is about $60.  Seems about the same right. Look closer, at the franchise you do not get a 60 min massage, you get a 50 min one.  There massage always cut off 10 min from your massage. So now do the math. With the independent you pay about $1.00 a min for a hour massage and that’s a full 60 min. With the franchise you pay about $1.18 a min that comes out to about $71.00 for a full 60 min massage.  Add $4.00 to that and you could be getting a 90 min massage from the independent therapist.  So now how is that deal from the franchise looking?

4)      The discounted membership price in my area is $37 for the hour (this is for massages after the one that comes when you pay your membership) so that looks like a good price, but let’s look, it’s a 50 min massage so that’s $0.74 a min, not bad. Add the 10 min you would get from a independent and its $45.00, so you do save some there.

5)      Most of the franchises let the unused massages roll over, but when your membership is up you lose them.

6)      At all the franchises I have seen you can ask for the therapist you want to see. But yes, turnover is high.

7)      At the franchises therapist are booked back to back with massages, most times 4 hours in a row. Now the independent therapist will do 4 hours of massage in a 6 hours so they have time to rest ad recover. Your franchise therapist will not have that time ad by the 3ed, 4th or even 6th massage they are not even near 100%.

8)      Most times a therapist will take some time to get to know you some, what you are looking for and what is going on. Then they will to a assessment so they know what needs to be worked on and how to help you the most.  This is where the franchise fall very very short.  The therapist at the franchises has on average less than 2 min with you before they need to start your massage. This is how it worked, the privies clients massage stops at 12:55, your massage starts at 1:00. The privies client gets out of the room at 12:59, then they therapist has to  see them out, change out the room, get your paper work, get you into the room and talk to you and start your massage by 1:05. This gives your therapist no time to find out what is really going on. So they massage blind, working whatever they can to see what might help.  Add to this your therapist could be seeing 30+ people a week and with the very limited notes they can take about you  it is like they are relearning about you each time you see them.

So Are massage chains a good deal for you? Well now you have more of the facts, it’s up to you to decide.





Would you like to get more than one massage a month but can’t find the funds to do it, well now you can. Starting Sep 1st get one massage at the regular price and get as many as you want for the rest of the month at $10 off.  For example, you come in the first week of September and get an hour massage for $50.00, after that for the rest of the month you can get an hour massage for just $40.00 till them first of October 1st then it starts all over.  Yep, this is somewhat like what the membership places do, but unlike them there is NO membership and you get a FULL 60, 90 or 120 min massage, not a 50, 80 or 110 for the same price.

First massage of the month

60 min $50.00

90 min $75.00

120 min $100

The rest of the month you get:

60 min $40.00

90 min $65.00

120 min $90.00

So go to and book your massage today! 


Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle yet profound non-invasive, hands-on treatment for the whole body.  Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy also known as BCST works with our Core, the Core of Our Being, the Core that controls everything about you, the nervous system!

Physically- BCST influences the central nervous system; brain and spinal column, as well as the fluid that bathes it. This fluid is called the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). From our skeletal system and the bones of the cranium to the ebbing and flowing of our endocrine system, this cranial modality is effective, yet gentle.

Emotionally- BCST can affect very deep and primary patterns, while providing the client with resource and space to explore their emotional landscape. BCST provides a deep sense of resourcing within the client. This resourcing provides a safe container for emotional issues to resolve.

Your nervous system can hold stress long after the origin of it has been forgotten. Over time these stresses become patterns and part of how your body functions and this leads to dysfunction in the body, not just in the nervous system, but moving out into the muscles and organs as well. The longer these stress patterns last the greater the dysfunction becomes till one day you realizes that something is not working right.  This can take weeks, months or even years to show up after the original trauma occurred. Add to this that ALL THE THINGS that happen to you be it physical, mental or emotional; affect how the nervous system works and can bring on these nervous system stress patterns.

When we have these patterns and they start to affect us on a macro level (organs and muscles as this is the level were we know and feel that something is going on) we go have things worked on, whether it be drugs or massage or chiro work and for a time things get or feel better but then the dysfunction starts back up and we go through this cycle over and over agene with no long term improvement. This is mostly because the problem or dysfunction is not where we are having the work done, the tight muscle in our back, the headaches, the upset stomas etc. We are having the symptoms worked on but not getting to the root of the problem, the dysfunction in the nervous system. This is where BCST comes in.

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy works on the level of the nervous system, bypassing the “symptoms” and going to the core or the root of the dysfunction.  This work helps the body and the nervous system relax, moving out of a parasympathetic state (this is the fight or flight, go, go, go, stress aspect of the nervous system) into a sympathetic state (the relaxed, repair and heal aspect, the state you “should” be in when you’re in a deep sleep). This allows the body and the nervous system to work through the trauma and stress, and move into balance were things can be let go and healing starts.

So, what is a BCST session like? You are fully clothed at all times, the therapist will do an evaluation, this is done by them placing their hands on certain points on the body were they will feel for the “pulse” given off by the nervous system and the flow of the Craniosacral fluid. The pressure used is extremely light, 1 gram or less (a paperclip is just about 1 gram so you know how light the touch is).  They will feel for a rhythm, an ebb and flow and were this rhythm is disturbed showing a dysfunction in the area.  After the evaluation, the therapist will place their hands lightly (1 to 9 grams of presser) on certain parts of the body were the dysfunction was felt and hold that place, letting the nervous system settle and reline. As this takes place the therapist will do extremely small movements, so small and light that you might not even feel them to stretch the tight underlying fascia and the elastin and collagen that makes it up.  This can take from 2 to 30 minutes to do.  After the therapist feels a release they will move on to the next place they felt dysfunction.  A BCST session can be as short as 30 minutes to 2 hours long.

What will you feel in a BCST session?  That is all up to you and your nervous system. If you have lots of stored up stress in the body, you night not feel a thing as your body can only release as much as you can handle at one time, at other times you can feel heat, a tingling, a “letting go” and a sense of peace. Just about everyone feels a deep relaxing of the body and mind, lots of people just fall into a rebuilding / healing sleep. After a session you can feel tired or sleepy and maybe a little off or out of sink or off center as your body realigns to a better place.

How often should you have a BCST session? That is up to you and your body. If you have lots going on maybe 2 times a week, if not so much is going on within you maybe once a month. You do want to give your body and nervous system time to adjust to the changes taking place. If the need is there you can have BCST every day, two or more times a day but most people will not need that.

What conditions can BCST address? It helps to alleviate a range of illness, pain and dysfunction, including:

Migraines and headaches, Neck and back pain, Sciatica, Injuries, Inflammation, Stress and tension-related problems, Infantile disorders, Motor coordination impairments, Learning disabilities, Chronic fatigue, TMJ, Orthopedic problems, Central nervous system disorders, Emotional difficulties, Post traumatic stress disorder and much much more.

If you are interested in trying BCST I am doing a special offer for a limited time. You can get an hour of CST for just $25.00. Yep a full 60 min (not the 50 min that some offer) for just $25.00. This is just for the month of September.  All you have to do is go to the Hours and Scheduling page on my web site at and look for the CST Special and book it.

St. Johns Wart Oil in the making

St. Johns Wart Oil in the making

Here comes St. John…. well the oil that is!
St. Johns wart or Hypericum perforatum has been used for thousands of years for all types of elements. The ancient Greeks used it to help heal wounds, a diuretic and for pain relief. The herb itself is known as a mild anti-depressant, but to me it should be use as a supporting supplement when under a MD’s care.
The infused oil of St. Johns wart is made by soaking the flowers and buds as well as some leafs in high quality oil. Most use organic virgin olive oil, but I like to use lighter oil, Jojoba or fractionated coconut oil. Using them also gives the infused oil an extremely long shelf life. You do this by adding fresh flowers dally and letting it sit in the sun for 6 to 8 months. I do this a little different as I let it sit for about 2 months, strain out the old flowers and start it all over using the same oil and adding new flowers. This seems to give me a stronger infusion and a deeper red color to the oil. Yes, the bright yellow flowers turn the oil a dark / burnt red. They say the darker the oil the better so by double infusing it I get a good deep red.
So what all can you use this oil for, it would be quicker to tell you what not to use it for. This stuff is an all over healer for the body. It is a very strong anti-inflammatory, useful for all types of skin irritations, burns and even hemorrhoids. It is known to help ease the pain associated with bruising and helps to speed the healing of open wounds. It is beneficial for muscle aches and pains and may help those who suffer from arthritis. The plant has been shown to have some antiseptic properties that can help prevent infections.
One of the things I really love about this infused oil is that it is wonderful for nerve pain, I have been using it on my feet (I have diabetic neuropathy) and it has helped a lot. I soak my feet in warm water for 10 to 15 min, then massage a little of the oil into my feet for about 5 min per foot, working the oil in very well. I started seeing some relief in 3 or 4 days. I have seen reports about this oil helping people with all types of nerve pain, so it is my go to oil for clients with “neuropathy” type of issues.
One of the nice things about this oil is a little goes a long way; I have seen results with as little as 10% in a massage blend. So the 1oz or 4oz that I will have for sale in late summer or early fall will last you a year or so.
Look for more info soon when the oil will be ready for all of you.

Deep Tissue Work, what it is, how it should be and what to look out for.

Today I want to talk about massage, more so about Deep Tissue massage and what it really is (in my view) and what it is not.  One of my definitions of Deep Tissue work is: (from my web site) Deep Tissue: deep tissue work is the specific manipulation of the deeper tissue and structures of the muscle and fascia, also called connective tissue. Deep Tissue manipulation therapy uses many of the same movements and techniques as Swedish massage as well as cross fiber, pin and stretch, active and passive movements with others, and the depth is more intense. It is also a more focused and slow, as it works to release chronic muscle tension or knots (also known as “adhesions.”) Although it is more uncomfortable then Swedish massage, it shouldn’t be painful. The presser used should not exceed a 4 to 6 (the client’s tolerance) and is only performed on one or two parts of the body.

The term “deep tissue” is often misused to identify a massage that is performed with sustained deep pressure. Deep tissue massage is a separate category of massage therapy, used to treat particular muscular-skeletal disorders and complaints and employs a dedicated set of techniques and strokes to achieve a measure of relief. It should not be confused with “deep pressure” massage, which is one that is performed with sustained strong, occasionally intense pressure throughout an entire full-body session, and that is not performed to address a specific complaint. If a practitioner employs deep tissue techniques on the entire body in one session, it would be next to impossible to perform; and will lead to injury or localized muscle and nerve trauma, thereby rendering the session counterproductive. This type of work is done, in no more then 1/4th of the body in a massage session.

Deep Tissue massage is not a type of massage into itself, but a way of doing a massage. Lots of massage modalities work the deeper tissues, Orthopedic Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Neuromuscular Massage, Rolfing and others all fall into the category of DT work. Some therapist like to put all modalities that work “deep” into the body into the category of DT work even if they do not work the deeper tissues directly like Thai massage, Tui NA, Visceral, Reflexology, Lomi-Lomi, Cranio-Sacral and others. While they do affect the deeper body they do not work the deeper tissues directly and fall into different categories.

Some things to look for when receiving Deep Tissue work.

1)      NO PAIN, while DT work can and will be uncomfortable it should not be painful, this can be a very fine line, but when this work is done right, it will be slow to move deep, the tissue will be warmed first and allowed to relax before moving deeper.

2)      It’s SLOW. This is not a full body, done in an hour type of work. It can take 15 to 40 min just to work one arm with good DT work, depending on how your muscles react.

3)      Not a lot of PRESSURE is used.  With DT work the surface muscles are worked and allowed to relax first before going to the next level. When a lot of pressure is used to reach the deeper muscles it can bring on some pain, then your fight or flight response kicks in.

What happens at this point is your nervous system will kick in, your muscles will do 2 things tighten up to protect itself from what is bring on the pain (at this point 99% of therapist just use more pressure) then it will relax to keep damage from accruing.  This could be a good thing as booth the therapist and client think “wow, it worked the muscle released”, true it did but 99.999% of the time it is short lived.  The muscles “released” to keep damage from happening to it, but after the stimulus is gone, as nothing about the muscle has changed, for the “release” was part of the fight or flight response and not a true change in the muscle, it will tighten back up and most time as the muscle was under a great deal of stress from to much pressure being used, it will tighten up more than it was before the massage work.

Now some people really like deep pressure. After a deep pressure massage they are like, “I just feel so good after it”, true for an hour or four, or a day or two you do. Mosley from the endorphins that were released from the massage.  Now if you don’t know endorphins are your happy hormones, they are released when the body is in pain, stress or the like and make you feel better, they kill pain and give you a “high”.  But like all “highs” they don’t last and you end up right back where you started (or worse).

So now that you know some about what Deep Tissue  work really is (or should be)I would like to add one more thing. Massage takes time to work, over time when your muscles are chronically tight they get to a point where they want to stay that way, they feel that “this is how we are meant to be”.  It will take time to retrain them to be relaxed and move like they should. So give it time to work. One massage just might not do it, one massage a month might not. Massages benefits are cumulative over time, the more you get them the better and longer lasting it is.

Face Scrub, Now you can customize it! New InFo!

Last week I talked about the new ReNew face scrub/mask. Now there have been some changes to it. I am now offering the scrub/mask without an essential oil blend pre-added, and have (for now) 3 essential oil blends you can choose to have added to the scrub. They are, the ReNew blend, for its anti-aging properties, Soothing, had anti-inflammatory and helps reduce redness, and Clear, with antiseptic / acne fighting essential oils.  So now when you perches the scrub you can pick what healing properties you want it to impart to your skin.  

Face Scrub / Mask 2oz  $10.00

With Essential oils Blend $12.00