About.com, Male vs Female MTs

Discussion area for male practitioners on issues and topics related to their practice.

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NaplesLMT
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Post by NaplesLMT » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:14 pm

I understand that there is a general preference for female therapists. What I feel can be changed is how the bookings are handled.
1) Do you have a preference for a male or female therapist?
2) Do you require a male or a female therapist, or are you flexible?
3) I have you booked with Richard at 3:00.
Which of the above helps level the playing field for males? Which one does nothing to level the playing field? Which is gender neutral?
It's just as easy for an employer to help keep both their male and female therapists busy with carefully worded booking "techniques". In my opinion, a caring employer, who appreciates and respects all their staff can easily give everyone an opportunity to stay busy. If all they care about is making as much money as possible then no need to try to help their dedicated staff.
I did not leave because of the gender thing. I also made a good living. I left because of the lack of caring and appreciation for how hard all the staff worked male and female both.
You are right, the original article/link was about gender preference and some reasons why it occurs. I just expanded on this pointing out the way bookings are handled may contribute and hasten this. I believe several people agreed. I did not intend to make a personal attack, if I was too personal, I apologize.
I think that if you want to just accept the situation the way it is, that's fine.
I agree that working in your area is one way to avoid/minimize the problem. I too intend to build a practice based upon insurance type work ie "medical massage". While i build a practice, I need to earn money and a day spa is the best way. But I think that spa's can be "improved" with a little caring and effort. The place I am working is doing a great job of trying to keep the males busy. Let's just agree to disagree. OK? Perhaps I should have left this thread when the thread about asking if clients want a male therapist got started. It seemed that most here were interested in the direction my first post took. I am passionate about massage and prejudice is just plain wrong, be it client's or apathy/acceptance by others. I don't believe this is a black and white issue nor just a legal issue.
As far as accepting partial responsibility for taking a job where I would be subject to discrimination. The Ritz presents themselves as a fair and cariing about their employees. they were that way at first. Then things began to change. In part due to Marriott Intnl taking an active part in changing the basic philosophy of the company. I believe that i did take responsibility for my choice of employer when I quit. I also chose carefully when I joined my current spa. So far, it is nice to work where one is appreciated and an effort is made. It can be done!
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Foramenmagnus
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Post by Foramenmagnus » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:05 pm

austindesigns wrote:I have found the best way to battle the gender preference is to simply state names when stating openings to clients.


I really like this idea of name rather than gender reference. I have seen this kind of gender issue aready at school (see post on homophobia). I pray it will not be a big issue in the real world but I am a realist and knowing the best way to handle these things early on with help from you current practitioners is a god send... keep posting I'm learning alot:)





edited by Moogie to correct a broken quote tag

NaplesLMT
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Post by NaplesLMT » Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:52 am

Welcome to the forum Foramen!
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BlackSwanMassage
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Post by BlackSwanMassage » Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:54 am

I actually had an interesting experience in this vein sometime back. I started at an older, more established salon and day spa about two months ago. At the interview, they all seemed pretty impressed. The owner had just had one of my massages, and was blown away. I sat down with them afterward, and discussed salary/compensation. I brought up, at that point, that I previously ran an outcall business, and while it was not entirely successful, I did have some clients that I saw from time to time, and would that be a problem? No, they said. Just let us know ahead of time, so that you're not double booked here, and don't solicit our clients away from the spa. I agreed, and we moved on.

(I know, "How is this related?" Bear with me, and you'll see.)

The first week or two was great, with a 50-50 ratio of male to female therapists, I was doing pretty well on bookings--especially since the other two males were part-timers. Flash forward to about three or four weeks in, they hired on ANOTHER female therapist (This makes 6 therapists in a spa with 4 dedicated massage rooms and one convertible hydro room.) She and I got along pretty well. I had one of her massages. She wasn't bad--nothing to write home about, but not too terrible, either. About what you'd expect when you went to a spa, I suppose, but for the reputation this place was supposed to have, I guess I was expecting more.

When I first started there, The big focus for them was on marketing me for my NMT work--they'd been really impressed with it, and were looking for ways to market it. I suggested they put it on their website as an offering. They agreed, had me do a little write-up on it, and the ops manager said she'd get it to the web mistress.

Meanwhile, my bookings dropped from 15+/week to about 5/week. I asked the ops manager about it, and even mentioned the name vs. gender idea when booking, and she said that she'd been doing that for a while. OK, I thought, and wondered what else I could do.

I brought up the subject with the receptionist (who was actually an LMT there who had injured her foot and was out of commission for a while.) She said she always asked about gender preference. When I brought up how that kind of hamstrings the males in a lot of cases, she looked at me with an evil eye and replied, "That's the way I've always handled it, and that's how I'll keep on doing it."

When I brought this up to the ops manager, she just shrugged her shoulders and smiled.

Flash forward again, to about three weeks ago. I got a call to go and do some chair massage at an office. I called the spa to make sure I had no bookings for that point, and they started probing me about the contract I'd made with the office. When I gave her the details, she told me she'd call me back. A few minutes later, she did, and told me that I couldn't do the job, because it was a conflict of interest. I explained (patiently), that this had never been a problem before, and that this was in-office chair massage, which the spa didn't offer as a service, so how could it be a conflict? Her response? "You can bring the chair in here and have them come to us." :? WTF?

So, at the prospect of losing my job, I farmed the contract out to a friend of mine who's an LMT and called the ops manager back. She told me that there was now a trust issue, and how did she know that I wasn't soliciting clients away from the spa when I was working on them? Um...because we had an agreement. I kept my end of the bargain, and I expected they would keep theirs.

So I was terminated. I don't believe for a second that it was because of the chair massage deal. I know for a fact that the new therapist that was hired after me was booked solid EVERY day--5, 6, sometimes 7 in a single day up there--and my count was dropping. I don't want to come across as being an ass, but unless she was doing something different with her clients than what I got, her massage was just not that good. My theory is, I saw what was going on and started making waves, and they didn't like it. I'll probably never know the truth, and since I gathered my stuff the next day and picked up my last check without talking to anyone up there about it, I imagine they've all gotten a totally different story from the ops manager by now. Oh, well.

As an epilogue to this mess, I made a couple of phone calls the same afternoon, got an interview, and was hired at a spa closer to the house, with better compensation, and a staff that is trained to NEVER ask gender, but always use names (the one front desk clerk who refused to stop was fired)--and it all happened within three hours of my termination from the first spa.

R&R, for all the attacks you're doing on other people's comparisons, yours aren't all that great either. Preference of gender of therapist is NOTHING like preference of bed or smoking/non-smoking in a hotel room. I get sick as a dog around cigarette smoke, and the wrong kind of bed is going to cause me a sleepless night. A male or female therapist won't make a difference to me--if they're good.
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Post by NaplesLMT » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:42 am

Hi Blackswan! Sorry to hear of your experience. Gender bias really stinks,
especially when it costs an individual their job or affects their pay. I have no false hope of educating the public or convincing the masses that it is discrimination. But when coworkers and employers practice it, I am saddened and can at least try to educate them as you did. Leaving that environment was for the best. I am happy to hear that you got a new job already. Hope their practices are better...
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michiganMT
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Post by michiganMT » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:39 pm

I liked the convo between NapelsLMT, EgoMagickian and Foramenmagnus

it really gives multiple sides of an important topic... who can edge closest to a flame war w/o being banned. :mrgreen: :lol:

just kidding, I actually got a new perspective on the whole thing. I'm glad you guys expressed your opinions.

thanks

(being serious by the way, thank you)

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Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:55 pm

BlackSwanMassage wrote: About what you'd expect when you went to a spa, I suppose, .
I am always baffled by such comments. Why do you expect less from a spa? Didn't you work there? If spas are the #1 employer of MTs and most MTs have had a prior massage job before venturing out on their own, odds are they have worked in a spa, providing below-expectation massages.
BlackSwanMassage wrote:
I brought up the subject with the receptionist (who was actually an LMT there who had injured her foot and was out of commission for a while.) She said she always asked about gender preference. When I brought up how that kind of hamstrings the males in a lot of cases, she looked at me with an evil eye and replied, "That's the way I've always handled it, and that's how I'll keep on doing it."

When I brought this up to the ops manager, she just shrugged her shoulders and smiled.
Looks like you ID'd the problem. A woman, who happens to be an LMT was steering the work to the female therapists. The spineless OPS manager turned a blind eye.

BlackSwanMassage wrote: R&R, for all the attacks you're doing on other people's comparisons, yours aren't all that great either. Preference of gender of therapist is NOTHING like preference of bed ...and the wrong kind of bed is going to cause me a sleepless night.
How is a room with a 2x double beds or a Queen going to cause you a sleepless night vs being in a King, unless you are of substantially ample proportion? Hotels put the same brand and quality mattress in every room of the same property. Westin's vaunted Heavenly Bed is the same, regardless of the size.
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

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Post by shivashiva » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:21 pm

RelaxandRejuvenate wrote:
BlackSwanMassage wrote: About what you'd expect when you went to a spa, I suppose, .
I am always baffled by such comments. Why do you expect less from a spa? Didn't you work there? If spas are the #1 employer of MTs and most MTs have had a prior massage job before venturing out on their own, odds are they have worked in a spa, providing below-expectation massages.
I believe the reason that spa massages are frequently inferior is not because the therapists are inferior in any way, but because of the way spas are frequently (though not always) run: little to no breaks between massages, many massages a day, and a hectic work environment. I have my own practice at home and work at a spa and I know that usually my private massages are better quality because I schedule plenty of time between them and don't overload myself.

I'm not saying that my comment applies to BlackSwanMassage's experience because usually when I trade with someone who I work with at the spa, it's not in the middle of a big workday. Who knows why she didn't give him a great massage. But it is directed towards why you should not be baffled by statements like this. Spa therapists are not inferior. But spa massages can be, depending on how the spa is run, and frequently they are run how I've described.
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BlackSwanMassage
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Post by BlackSwanMassage » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:10 pm

shivashiva wrote:
RelaxandRejuvenate wrote:
BlackSwanMassage wrote: About what you'd expect when you went to a spa, I suppose, .
I am always baffled by such comments. Why do you expect less from a spa? Didn't you work there? If spas are the #1 employer of MTs and most MTs have had a prior massage job before venturing out on their own, odds are they have worked in a spa, providing below-expectation massages.
I believe the reason that spa massages are frequently inferior is not because the therapists are inferior in any way, but because of the way spas are frequently (though not always) run: little to no breaks between massages, many massages a day, and a hectic work environment. I have my own practice at home and work at a spa and I know that usually my private massages are better quality because I schedule plenty of time between them and don't overload myself.

I'm not saying that my comment applies to BlackSwanMassage's experience because usually when I trade with someone who I work with at the spa, it's not in the middle of a big workday. Who knows why she didn't give him a great massage. But it is directed towards why you should not be baffled by statements like this. Spa therapists are not inferior. But spa massages can be, depending on how the spa is run, and frequently they are run how I've described.
MOST spa therapists are not inferior. SOME, however, are. The management of this spa was abysmal, but that has no bearing on the quality of the massage given.

Well, first, it wasn't the middle of a busy workday, because that just wouldn't have been permissible by the owner, and it wouldn't make sense to do that anyway. I mean, as a waiter, you don't walk up to the chef in the middle of a busy dinner seating at a restaurant and ask him to make you dinner. Same concept here.

No, what I meant is just what I've said. It's about what you can expect. She worked my back, covered it, worked my left leg, covered it, worked my right leg, covered it. Ho-very-much-hum. Massages like that don't relax me, they pi$$ me off. Her technique was fine when it came to the actual massage, but the whole thing felt chopped up. You might consider this to be a bit snide, and even obnoxious--and if I were a run-of-the-mill client, with no experience in massage myself, I just might agree with you on that point. But I'm not a guy off the street. I went through the schooling, I do the same kind of work. I put my heart and soul into making my massage seamless--the whole body as one, rather than pieces of a whole. A reason behind every stretch, feeling behind every stroke. My colleagues have ribbed me about the bandana I wear when I work, but it's because by the time I do a one-hour massage session, I'm dripping with sweat--and dammit, I want the same when I get on the table. Unfortunately, even at one of the local Aveda establishments (ostensibly one of the higher class places to get a massage, at least in this area), what I get is what I just described. And it pi$$es me off to no end. When I wrote my initial post, I was trying to be gracious, but now that you've pressed the issue, you can have my true feelings on the subject. There's a reason I don't get a massage very often, and this is it. Thank God in Heaven I didn't have to pay that woman for the massage she gave me. The very idea that someone can give a massage the way she did and then march the client back to the front of the salon to fork over more than some people make in a whole day's work is simply dreadful. I'm not by any means trying to imply that my massage is better than everyone else's, but for God's sake, if someone's going to fork over $60+ for an hour of your time, massage them as though it mattered to you! This person is giving you the honor and privilege of allowing you to enter their space and trusting you to provide them quality and professionalism. Anything less than your best--every time--is unacceptable.

As I stated above, the management (or lack thereof) of a spa is not an excuse for failure to provide the best massage you can give to each and every client. Nothing short of injury should be. Your girlfriend dumped you before you got to work? The manager yelled at you just before your appointment arrived? Come down off the cross, use the wood to build a bridge, and get over it. I was the DJ/Coordinator of a wedding reception the night my wife left me (and yes, I knew she was doing it.) The happy couple danced their first dance, fed each other the wedding cake, tossed the bouquet and garter, and headed off on their honeymoon, and I gave them the best reception I could. I even presented a toast to their future happiness. Then I went home to my empty bedroom and slept in my tux. When you are a professional, your work comes first--over everything else. Grieve later. Suffer later. Vent your anger another time. For now...just do what you do best.

Wow. I'm really not sure how much of that was relevant, or whether it was entirely appropriate in context, but apparently that's been on my mind for a while, because it sure feels good to have gotten it out.

Thanks for letting me rant. 8)
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Post by AnastasiaB » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:17 am

Black Swan,

Thanks so much for your input, and for your rant. It is very eye opening for me, and, trust me honey, I'm a diva! You are absolutley correct that the professionalism should be there no matter what....

You are helping me rethink some of my "notions" about males in this profession who are down in the trenches like the rest of us slogging it out day by day.... and I mean absolutely NO DISRESPECT by that. So many of the "leaders" in the continuing education part of this profession are male and are seen as "demi-gods of knowledge" so to speak. That makes it all too easy for me to forget that the fellows who are trying to earn a living doing their wonderful bodywork for the public are often treated with exceptionally poor behavior and judgment by the rest of us.

Again, thanks for all that you have had to say..... I'm learning, and that's not a bad thing........
Anastasia B

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Foramenmagnus
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keep it coming I'm learning

Post by Foramenmagnus » Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:04 pm

Thank you all for the posts on this, as a student I am learning as much from this site (MORE PRACTICAL) as from school. Bottom line on "spa" versus "other" massage may well be that a client going for a "spa" massage doesn't contribute the same energy as a Theraputic massage client. The spa client is there for gratification not healing and constant exposure to that "taking" energy rather that "sharing" that happens with theraputic massage can easily effet a bodyworkers approach to a client.


Keep up the flow though I'm so glad to get thread reply e-mails:)
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Re: keep it coming I'm learning

Post by BlackSwanMassage » Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:28 am

Foramenmagnus wrote:Thank you all for the posts on this, as a student I am learning as much from this site (MORE PRACTICAL) as from school. Bottom line on "spa" versus "other" massage may well be that a client going for a "spa" massage doesn't contribute the same energy as a Theraputic massage client. The spa client is there for gratification not healing and constant exposure to that "taking" energy rather that "sharing" that happens with theraputic massage can easily effet a bodyworkers approach to a client.


Keep up the flow though I'm so glad to get thread reply e-mails:)
That's oversimplification.

At the spa where I work, we offer Therapeutic Massage, and it's quite popular. We have frequent visitors who seek pain relief and rehab, and have actually been involved in their healing process. True, some of them just want you to fix the problem, and don't want to do anything about it themselves. Doesn't stop me from putting all my energy into every visit--and taking their money every time, because they can't be bothered to take the time to improve their own situation and decrease visits. ;)

It's all in the education you're willing to give your client. After all, if you recall, the source of the word "spa" is the Latin "Salude Per Aqua", or health through water. Therapy has a perfect place in a spa setting. The problem is, most people don't seem to know it's an option.
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Re: keep it coming I'm learning

Post by maestra » Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:16 am

BlackSwanMassage wrote: At the spa where I work, we offer Therapeutic Massage, and it's quite popular.
It's all in the education you're willing to give your client. After all, if you recall, the source of the word "spa" is the Latin "Salude Per Aqua", or health through water. Therapy has a perfect place in a spa setting. The problem is, most people don't seem to know it's an option.
Well said BlackswanMassage, I totally agree that spas can be places of healing and not just about the beauty (fluff and buff).

I was just discussing this with a male MT colleague yesterday... what has made the names like Golden Door, Miraval and Canyon Ranch the "icons" they are in the spa industry today? Because it's more about how you feel afterwards (the experience) than how you look!

You can provide pain relief to a client, and you know what? Without all that pain, they'll look better too! ;)
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Re: keep it coming I'm learning

Post by BlackSwanMassage » Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:58 pm

maestra wrote:
BlackSwanMassage wrote: At the spa where I work, we offer Therapeutic Massage, and it's quite popular.
It's all in the education you're willing to give your client. After all, if you recall, the source of the word "spa" is the Latin "Salude Per Aqua", or health through water. Therapy has a perfect place in a spa setting. The problem is, most people don't seem to know it's an option.
Well said BlackswanMassage, I totally agree that spas can be places of healing and not just about the beauty (fluff and buff).

I was just discussing this with a male MT colleague yesterday... what has made the names like Golden Door, Miraval and Canyon Ranch the "icons" they are in the spa industry today? Because it's more about how you feel afterwards (the experience) than how you look!

You can provide pain relief to a client, and you know what? Without all that pain, they'll look better too! ;)
I agree wholeheartedly, Maestra. One of the major factors, from what I do understand of the concepts of regeneration and combating the effects of aging, is stress and fatigue. You can't underestimate the effect that constant tiredness and pain have on the aging process if you are to effectively treat the effects of aging and "turn back the clock".

In a spa setting, just as in a medical office, we as MT's have a role to play as pat of a greater whole. That's why it upsets me as much as it does to see MT's not putting their whole energy into the client just because it's a spa.

On the subject of energy, Magnus, one of the things that sprang to mind over the course of the day (I think about some of these topics during the time between postings, letting them marinate like a choice cut of beef), was your reference to "sharing" and "taking" energy. I'm put in mind of the writings of Miyamato Musashi in his book Go Rin No Sho (The Five Rings). On his section regarding water (the book was divided into studies of each of the elements), he observed that we should be as the water. Throw a stone into it, the stone is absorbed. Obstruct the water, the water flows around the obstruction. So it should be with our client's energy. It also fits in nicely with Tai Chi--something I got into with a view to improving my body mechanics, but turned out learning more about give-and-take of energy.

To take away from these lessons and apply to the therapy setting: if we discover that our client's energy is in a "taking" mode, then to obstruct that flow by not giving our best effort would be counterproductive. If they are in a "sharing" mode, thus expecting a give-and-take of energy, then we should meet their flows with mirror-images in our own work. Where they give (feedback) we take (reflection), and where they take (therapy, information), we should give (bodywork, suggestions on improvement in their own lives).

One of the worst things that, in my opinion, we can do as MT's is to presume a desire of a client based upon outside observations (setting of the massage, outward appearance of client, etc.) It's kinda like Mark Twain said, "It's not what we don't know that gets us into trouble, it's what we know for sure isn't so that comes back on us."

(Sorry for the multiple literary referenced in one post. It's been one of those nights.) ;)
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Re: keep it coming I'm learning

Post by shivashiva » Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:30 am

BlackSwanMassage wrote: You can't underestimate the effect that constant tiredness and pain have on the aging process if you are to effectively treat the effects of aging and "turn back the clock".

In a spa setting, just as in a medical office, we as MT's have a role to play as pat of a greater whole. That's why it upsets me as much as it does to see MT's not putting their whole energy into the client just because it's a spa.
I find it interesting that you seem to understand the effects of stress and fatigue on clients, but not on the therapists who work on them.
BlackSwanMassage wrote:The management of this spa was abysmal, but that has no bearing on the quality of the massage given.
I must disagree. When a spa is poorly managed and gives their employees little to no breaks and too many massages in a day, the therapist has several choices, two of which are: 1 - Give all their energy to every single client and possibly injure themself and suffer the effects of "constant tiredness and pain" OR 2 - Give less than their best, which is still a decent massage that will be appreciated but no one will say "WOW" and save themselves from early release from the profession through burnout.

I guess I am trying to give spa therapists a little room here. We can't really expect the level of excellence from a therapist working in a busy spa that we would get from a private practice therapist who schedules themselves with plenty of time for breaks, food, water, stretching, putting the table at the appropriate height, etc. I have injured myself out of work more than once and every time it was because I was giving it my all at the spa. And this is why I now choose not to work in a spa. If a therapist chooses NOT to give their all at a spa, I can certainly understand.
Shiva
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Re: keep it coming I'm learning

Post by BlackSwanMassage » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:08 pm

shivashiva wrote:

I find it interesting that you seem to understand the effects of stress and fatigue on clients, but not on the therapists who work on them.
I get the effect of stress on therapists. I experience it on a daily basis, in multiple forms that may or may not have anything to do with massage. I. work. through. it. I'm a professional. Does it age me prematurely? Possibly, but it's irrelevant. I would rather die at fifty having given my all to my fellow human beings than be miserly with my energies and live to a hundred.

Besides, just because we're part of the anti-aging machine doesn't mean we're the sole component, and we have the ability--and the responsibility--to avail ourselves of benefits of not only massage, but the other agents in the fight against stress and premature aging. Working in a spa setting offers therapists a convenient method of doing this, because so many services are available.
ShivaShiva wrote:

I must disagree. When a spa is poorly managed and gives their employees little to no breaks and too many massages in a day, the therapist has several choices, two of which are: 1 - Give all their energy to every single client and possibly injure themself and suffer the effects of "constant tiredness and pain" OR 2 - Give less than their best, which is still a decent massage that will be appreciated but no one will say "WOW" and save themselves from early release from the profession through burnout.
For me, there is no option 2. I've had this conversation in a PM with you in the past, if you recall. If you don't, dig it up and look it over again. There are parts of my past that will never change. One is devotion to duty, and I see my skills and talents as a therapist as not a right, but a God-given responsibility to do everything in my power, 100% of the time, for my clients. I rest when I can. I submit myself for repair by my fellow therapists when time allows. What I don't do is permit the failings of my employer to reflect upon me in the massage room.[/quote]
ShivaShiva wrote:

I guess I am trying to give spa therapists a little room here. We can't really expect the level of excellence from a therapist working in a busy spa that we would get from a private practice therapist who schedules themselves with plenty of time for breaks, food, water, stretching, putting the table at the appropriate height, etc. I have injured myself out of work more than once and every time it was because I was giving it my all at the spa. And this is why I now choose not to work in a spa. If a therapist chooses NOT to give their all at a spa, I can certainly understand.
I can't. I won't. I've been injured, and out of work as well, for giving my all to a client. I took the loss, recovered as quickly as I could, and got back in there as soon as possible. That's my personal decision. And as far as the spa management goes, if you feel like you're not getting enough time in between clients to recover, then it's your responsibility to tell your manager. Otherwise, how are they to know? Any therapist who tried to blame a poor massage they'd given me on shoddy management would get no sympathy--or respect--from me. My answer would be simple: the manager isn't in here giving me the massage. You are. If you couldn't do the job to the best of your ability, you should have said something, and given me to another therapist.

The only reason a therapist would refuse to hand off massages to another therapist when they know full well that they're incapable of their best effort is because they don't want to lose the money--and in that event, why would I want a therapist working on me who's only in it for the money?
Nemo liber est qui corpori servit.

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EgoMagickian
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Post by EgoMagickian » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:56 pm

Somehow I missed the fact that R&R had replied... what a mind boggling reply it was.

The employer has a "commandment" - the very law you stated - not to accomodate the preference, so the two are hardly comparable.

Wow. You really are saying that you think it would be just fine for spas to accomodate racial preferences from clients if there were no law against it, arent you?

Sounds like you are pro-Ego, and wanting to foist your sense of ethics on others, regardless of the law.

Uhh what? You mean like Lincoln was wanting to foist his sense of ethics on the South? Where do you think civil rights laws COME from? Historically, from exactly this process that you imply is unfair, of forcing change in behavior to create change in thinking, because sometimes that's the only way to make the change.

Where is the justice in suing a business for acting within the law

Law is not static and finished. Just because a business is acting within current law does not mean that the business is acting justly.

You can change the law without resorting to lawsuits.

There are several different ways to change the law, agreed. As a gay person in California, I am recently savoring the kind of change that can come from the courts (marriage equality yay!) I'm glad people before us paved the way so that we can metaphorically duke it out in the courts rather than having to have a civil war every time another group demands its equality.

I know our job would be infinitely easier if we could only staff male MTs. In fact, we would prefer it. But I supposed it is unethical to state such a preference...

Yup, pretty much.

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shivashiva
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Re: keep it coming I'm learning

Post by shivashiva » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:07 pm

First let me say that I did not remember you BlackSwanMassage, by your username and for that I apologize, but glancing at my PMs, I do clearly recall the exchange we had, which I enjoyed and valued.

Second, I know I'm now off topic, so I this will be my last post on this topic here.

I don't agree with everything you say. I'm happy to agree to disagree. I know we all have our own ways of working, and I know that both you and I have strengths to give to our clients.
BlackSwanMassage wrote: I've been injured, and out of work as well, for giving my all to a client. I took the loss, recovered as quickly as I could, and got back in there as soon as possible. That's my personal decision.
I did the same. I wasn't willing to do it over and over. I value myself more than my clients. Also, I think there is a way in which we can actually give more and better work by pacing ourselves. Personally I would rather be "conservative" (I wouldn't call it miserly) with my energies and live to be a 100, still helping people. I think I can actually help more people and help them better that way, and help myself at the same time. I am as deserving of healing as anyone else, and I can actually help others heal more effectively if I am not hurting myself.
BlackSwanMassage wrote:And as far as the spa management goes, if you feel like you're not getting enough time in between clients to recover, then it's your responsibility to tell your manager. Otherwise, how are they to know? Any therapist who tried to blame a poor massage they'd given me on shoddy management would get no sympathy--or respect--from me.
In my situation I have spoken to the owner, and maybe the owner does not care? She'd rather book the clients with a massage therapist who gives 50% but can do 7 massages a day, 6 days in a row. She reserves me to massage her special friends and people she's trying to impress.
BlackSwanMassage wrote: The only reason a therapist would refuse to hand off massages to another therapist when they know full well that they're incapable of their best effort is because they don't want to lose the money--and in that event, why would I want a therapist working on me who's only in it for the money?
I again must disagree. Most Spa therapists are not like you. Most of them would not hand the client off to someone who could do better. Most therapists working in a spa would take the client and give them whatever percentage they felt they could. Which is probably why you got a massage that was below expectations from your colleage. And in addition, I believe that a therapist who is only giving 50% or 75% can give great amounts of help to their clients, especially clients who are not used to getting a lot of massage. For these people, any amount of touch, as long as it is not negative, is usually helpful.

Basically I don't think we have to kill oursevles and run ourselves dry in order to do great work. I can take care of myself and my clients. In fact, it's imperative that I take care of myself, otherwise I soon can longer take care of my clients.

Take care,
Shiva
O friend, understand. / The body is like the ocean, rich with hidden treasures. / Open your innermost chamber / And light its lamp - Mirabai
Blue Lotus Day Spa, Ruidoso, NM | Residential Yoga Teacher Trainings & Bali Yoga Retreats

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Post by NaplesLMT » Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:03 pm

At the Ritz, a fellow therapist always put out 120%, doing 7-9 massages/day, 5 days a week for 4 months straight during season. On the third year, she had to get surgery. She attempted to file worker's comp and was denied because the insurance company said these kind of injuries result from poor body mechanics rather than because she was overworked and compelled to perform at 120%. She needed more time to recover from her surgery than expected but couldn't afford to keep going to the doctor for a new note every week as required by management. So not only did she have to pay the medical bills herself, she lost her job.
1) I think she is partly responsible for her injuries.
2) I think high volume spas have a responsibility to their employees in work load (this injury was not something sudden, she spoke up early on and they wouldn't lighten the work load) and standing behind the employee if injured.
3) In this instance, an unsympathetic employer has exhibited the kind of behavior/policies that is a major problem in all industries in this once great country. ie: No loyalty to dedicated workers.
What I learned from her experience, tells me to take care of myself. Cause once I'm injured and can't do this anymore, I am on my own and SOL. It is generally acknowledged in the high volume spa industry that career ending injuries are all too commmon.
Of course anyone is free to do what your heart tells you to do.
Naples LMT

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BlackSwanMassage
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Post by BlackSwanMassage » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:03 pm

I'm not going to hold my employer responsible for my personal decisions as to how I practice, because my employer is actually pretty decent. They don't push me, I push myself.

As far as my well-being is concerned, I'm already jacked up. How I perform my massages isn't going to make much of a difference.

One day, during a training exercise in the Army, I was rappelling down a wall. One should never trust government equipment. I figured this out after mine failed, and I fell about 30 feet, landing badly on my ankles. After all the rehab and strengthening, I still can't run half a block without my ankles giving out. My ankles pronate, which means my arches are shot. My low back is constantly stiff, my paraspinals perpetually feel like steel-belted radials, and my hips go out more often than I do. I deal with sciatic compression on an almost daily basis. When it all becomes too much to deal with, I get a colleague to work on me, so I can get back on the firing line and go back to what I do best--fixing everyone else.

I wake up in the morning looking forward to my first client, and I go to bed thinking about ways to improve my technique. If I don't have my hands on at least one person per day, I feel off balance. When I am working, my life is in balance. I feel like I'm serving a purpose.

I know that some of you might have read what I have previously posted and seen it as ego of some sort. That may be how I started out in school, but when I learned to shed that, I found my true calling. My signature line is in Latin. For those who haven't translated it, it reads: "No one is free who is a slave to his body." I live by that. Not only do I try to liberate others from the prison of their pain, but when I'm doing my work, even the pain I feel is exquisite--because my defiance of it is defiance of slavery to my corporeal form.

Eventually, I predict that my injuries, coupled with the work that I do, will render me incapable of continuing in this field. When that day comes, I won't regret one effleurage stroke, one body sweep, one single trigger point worked--because I know that those I worked on were better--even if only for a short time--because of me.

You guys can think what you want, and respectfully disagree, but I just wanted to make my reasons clearly known.
Nemo liber est qui corpori servit.

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Post by jeffh » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:18 pm

Ok Blackie,
Do you do outcalls...........to Australia

regards,
Jeff

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BlackSwanMassage
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Post by BlackSwanMassage » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:40 am

Sure, but I'll charge a travel fee. ;)
Nemo liber est qui corpori servit.

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Post by AnastasiaB » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:30 am

Eventually, I predict that my injuries, coupled with the work that I do, will render me incapable of continuing in this field. When that day comes, I won't regret one effleurage stroke, one body sweep, one single trigger point worked--because I know that those I worked on were better--even if only for a short time--because of me.

BlackSwanMassage wrote the above. :iagree: YEA!!!!! Someone who thinks like me. I'm not alone after all. My fibro doesn't keep me from the work I love, nor the knee injuries, nor the once badly damaged ankle and heel all of which I feel each and every moment of every day. I'm doin' what I love, and, God willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be doin' this till I die at 120.......... or whenever. It's the best pain ever because it helps me empathize with my clients and the messes they make of themselves... and it helps me get them to understand that they too can conquer their bodies IF they choose to.

That's my :2cents:
Anastasia B

Be who you are and say what you feel, because people who mind don't matter, and people who matter don't mind. - Theodore S. Geisel - [Dr. Seuss][

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Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:59 am

NaplesLMT wrote:At the Ritz, a fellow therapist always put out 120%, doing 7-9 massages/day, 5 days a week for 4 months straight during season. On the third year, she had to get surgery.


She should have filed an OT grievance. You can't hit those kinds of numbers working 40 hours a week unless the scheduling stars line up perfectly each and every week.

OT is optional, even in FL, and cannot be compelled. And with witnesses such as yourself and other therapists to go before the Labor Board, she could have easily earned her back pay and protection from firing as a "whistleblower"

NaplesLMT wrote: She attempted to file worker's comp and was denied because the insurance company said these kind of injuries result from poor body mechanics rather than because she was overworked and compelled to perform at 120%..
Can you give me the name of their insurance company?

Mine just had to pay out to a gold-brick who claimed she developed De Quevains syndrome averaging between 1 and 1.5 hours of massage per day. I always though the only way to get a RMI was to do something repeatedly, not occasionally!

But I suppose in a job-sieve of a state like IL, I should not have expected sanity from the Worker's Comp Board.

One of the prime reasons Spas go with ICs and not employees is to protect themselves from WC claims. As an employer, you have no way of controlling someone's body mechanics. You can't be in the room with them -- like you can on the warehouse floor -- making sure they don't do something foolish or dangerous. WC insurance can cost up to 5% of wages and state boards like IL and NJ only fuel the fire.

But that being said, how many ICs or Independent practice owners have their own WC policy?

Edited to correct broken quote tag. Moogie
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

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Post by Blisss » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:25 am

Regarding the debate between BlackSwan & Shiva, I agree with Shiva. I have no desire to be a massage martyr. I'm an excellent massage therapist & make a huge difference in my clients' lives. Simultaneously, I take excellent care of myself & don't overwork myself to the point of injury. Other therapists have different personalities & goals. To each their own.

Back to the original topic, I think asking a gender preference automatically puts male MT's at a disadvantage. I like the policy of mentioning names & appointments times that are available. The information's given, without leading the client into prejudicial thinking.

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