Being a Massage Therapist for 15 years and teaching in the field, has given me the opportunity to be involved with many aspects of the the field to include the "Spa" world. I have been privy to the good, the bad and the ugly. In business, we tend to put our best facade on the front and hope that nobody really breaks through. Remember the saying, never let 'em see ya sweat? The show must go on? There are many more such sayings which could be applied to this field, but I think you get it.
See, the idea is that the client, should ideally receive, the very best treatment and product available in the most accommodating environment. But what exactly does that mean? The environment is self explanatory...the more over the top luxurious, the better. Just like most anything else, there are escalating levels of Spa settings, from we got pedicures, manicures and a massage room, to we have anything you want and if you have to ask, you can't afford it.
The pressure on these 5 star Clinicians for exact and robotic repetition of motion is only rivaled by Waffle House and quite frankly, mind numbing!
So this means that you will receive a much better body treatment right? Hell no! But, you will pay 2 to 4 times the price as some of the lower echelon Spas. The truth is, that spas have mistaken the individuality of Clinicians for something problematic which must be eliminated at all cost. A Spa owner once tried to justify this mindset by telling me that"Therapists and Clinicians were like cooks and if one cook does it differently, better, by not using protocol and the other cooks could not duplicate the recipe, then the customer could not be consistently satisfied." At that time I had to remind her, that there are cooks and then there are CHEFS and more importantly, people don't rave about or flock to cooks. I am much happier as a chef with superior recipes which normal cooks can"t duplicate. Moreover, it might be hard to find a chef in chains which discourage the individual flair of their "cooks".
The bottom line here is truly, "the bottom line". To say it as I learned it growing up in the South, money talks and Bull Shit walks. To those for whom money is no object and the real skill/ flair of the therapist/clinician is less important than being seen at the "right" place, a 5 star joint will be just fine.However, if one is truly interested in great body work, it may not always come in fancy wrapping.
Thanks for reading,
Steve Lynch, NM LMT7631, AAS/HOLISTIC HEALTH, CTE, TRAINER