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Why I have decided to go gratuity-free in my massage studio

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“Can I add a tip to my card?” I get this question from new clients as they are checking out from their massage appts. When I tell them I am gratuity-free, they look shocked and discombobulated. I will admit I sometimes have to hold back a chuckle at their apparent confusion.

Going gratuity-free is a hotly debated topic in the massage therapy world. I understand the feelings because gratuity is just there as we enter the massage therapy profession. Tipping just seems automatic. There is a gratuity line on almost every receipt we sign, no matter the service provided. It can be tiresome at times.

I went to a massage therapy appt where the business had a printed plaque on the wall with the tipping percentages already figured out for you. I took a picture of it, sent it to my mom, and asked her thoughts. Her response was to ask me if this was something I had put on the wall of my studio. I assured her it was not. If I had told her yes, I am confident I would have gotten a quick response to say it was tacky and take it down.

I have many clients that I see at least once a month. Some of my clients I even see weekly. I see most of my clients regularly because they understand that massage therapy is an investment in their health. They know that the health benefits of massage therapy are cumulative.

*What are the benefits of massage?

Some specific conditions that massage can help include:

  • Anxiety
  •  Depression
  •  Digestive disorders
  •  Fibromyalgia
  •  Headache
  •  Insomnia
  •  Nerve pain
  •  Postoperative care
  •  Scar tissue
  •  Soft tissue strains and injuries
  •  Sports injuries
  •  Temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders

For most patients, massage therapy is integral to specific medical treatment plans to help them return to daily activities. For example, massage therapy is helpful after joint replacement surgery or injury.

What are the physical benefits of massage?

  • Improved circulation
  •  Decreased muscle stiffness
  •  Decreased joint inflammation
  •  Better quality of sleep
  •  Quicker recovery between workouts
  •  Improved flexibility
  •  Less pain and soreness
  •  Strengthened immune response

Massage also has many mental health benefits. Even people focused on the physical benefits say they feel less stressed after a massage.

What are the mental health benefits of massage?

  • Lower stress levels
  •  Improved relaxation
  •  Improved mood
  •  Decreased anxiety
  •  More energy
  •  Increase the feeling of wellness


So, why have I decided to go gratuity-free? My answer is pretty simple. I am looking to change the mindset that massage is a luxury. To put it simply, do you tip the PT or chiro? No. So, why would you tip me? We may utilize different modalities, but the desired outcome is the same. I want my clients to understand and experience the health benefits of massage therapy.

Valerie Turner, LMT, PTA, freelance writer, blogger unwindmassageandwellness1@gmail.com (240)713-5012 812 Toll House Ave Frederick, MD 21701 https://www.unwindmassageandwellnessstudio.com Follow us on Instagram and Facebook-https://www.instagram.com/unwindmassageandwellness/ https://www.facebook.com/unwindmassageandwellness Join our Facebook group- Health, Wellness and Massage https://www.facebook.com/groups/3692707987609386


812 Toll House Ave

Frederick, MD 21701

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