I have worked and have had massages in many different massage environments. With few exceptions, and not just because I happen to be an independent massage therapist, I would choose an independent massage therapist over a corporate chain/spa environment.
Here are just a few reasons why I choose and promote seeking an independent massage therapist.
Overworked Therapist – At a spa or corporate chain, the owners are primarily concerned about making the most money each day and getting as many clients through the door as possible. They don’t concern themselves with the fact that the massage therapist might need more than a 15 minute break between sessions. The massage therapist can end up being stressed, overtaxed, unhappy and unfocused.
Lack of Personal Attention – Since these CMTs work for someone else, they aren’t really too concerned about personalizing each massage session. They have to get through a set amount of massages each day, watch the clock, and stay within the 50 or 80 min allotted time for each session. If you do find a CMT you like, it’s difficult to get into see the same person. It’s nice to be able to go to the same massage therapist so that you can build a rapport and not have to go into detail each session about your health history/recurring issues you may have.
Lack of Experience – Five years of experience is a good foundation for most massage therapists. Master massage therapists have 10 years of experience.
Good Fit – To find out which type of massage therapist(s) you prefer, I recommend trying massage in different environments. Ask for recommendations and thoroughly check out their background online. Once you determine which locations you would like to try – ask yourself: Are you comfortable with the work they provide, and the space they provide their massage services in?
If you ever had an issue with Massage Envy, you might want to take a look at this article written earlier this month.