a community of practitioners
I had to experience it first hand. MT's are feeling pretty passionate about how it's affected the industry and I wanted to experience it for myself before creating my own opinion.
So here's what I experienced:
1) I booked a Sports Massage. What I got was a weak Swedish massage that neglected to address my low back, glutes, shoulders, occiput and head entirely. The strokes and technique used indicated a complete lack of understanding of muscle anatomy and/physiology. ( 1 out of 5 stars)
2) Massage lube came from a well used tube. Cross contamination was assured.
3) The environment was spartan, but comfortable and clean. Good mood and professional.
4) "Prescription" for massage 2x month was given to me with solid push to join their membership program after the massage. Prescription was baloney and clearly used to set up the sales pitch on the exit. I could tell the therapist was just going through the motions in writing it up and didn't really believe in it herself. Weak.
5) Shared with the Assistant mgr. my disappointment in the massage. She seemed genuinely surprised, stating that the MT who worked on me was "one of their popular" ones. She gave me a coupon for a free massage. Nice touch.
6) Paid $49 + $10 tip for a total of $59. More on this in a later post.
I learned that MT's get paid $17/hour of massage, nothing if they don't have any clients, and $20/hr if they do more than 20hours of massage a week. I'll share more in a future post when I discuss pay rates for MT's, but clearly this level of compenstation isn't going to attract and/or maintain the best talent.
I also feel like the general public who has experienced a massage at ME hasn't experienced a "real" massage and still is coming back for more. Crazy, but very encouraging for those MT's who actually do have some talent.
What Massage Envy has going for it is a marketing engine that brings new clients in the door, easy to find retail locations, a reasonable cost structure, a professional first impression and a credible business that leaves no room for interpretation about what kind of a massage to expect.
Where ME drops the ball, as far as my singualr experience leads me to believe, is in the quality of their services.
Now that we know what we're up against, how do we compete?
Ideas and methods for building a vibrant practice: www.massagesuccess.ning.com