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While browsing spa websites I ran across the following description in their menu of services:


“A 90-minute massage allows time for a full body massage with some extra work in two areas of tension. It is also a good choice for larger individuals who have pain, as they may need more time than smaller individuals to receive a massage.”

I don't know if this struck me the wrong way because I'm one of those "larger individuals" or if others find it offensive.  I've never felt the need to book additional time because of my size.  I've worked on individuals of all sizes and I don't think I would ever imply my larger ones should book a 90 minute session.  Your thoughts please.  Thanks.

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Aloha Sharon,

I usually use more time to complete sessions on larger clients than I do on smaller clients.  I have my own practice and usually schedule an hour between clients.  This allows me to easily work over the strict time limit, and I often do.  I don't charge extra.


I spend more time with larger clients than smaller clients because they have more tissue to massage and that process - done well - requires time.


I also only offer my clients (all of them) 90 minute sessions, and usually do full body treatment even when focusing on an injury in a specific part of the body.  I greatly prefer the 90 minute format.  When I very, very occaisionally give a shorter treatment I work differently. 



Barbara Helynn


I've never really thought like that   For whatever reason?.... They pay for my time, and thats it...   Not that that's the way you're suppose to do it or anything?    Uhm, If I have to work really hard and deep, if thats what they want... I charge more.  But they still are just paying for time.  But then I work in a spa, not my own lol ...  If I had my own place.. hmm?  

Well I guess that it comes with being professional at it that you are going to adjust your pace with being able to accommodate all the required points to make it a healthier and fulfilling massage.

But in any case, it would be just fine to have to attendants to work simultaneously and I think that most of the ones available already have provisions for that.

I guess in my case, I would say, "Why make the distinction?" Pain is pain, and it doesn't matter the size of the client or whether or not that person has more or less soft tissue to work. While I am not upset by the statement, I am questioning it. Why make the distinction? Will such a description make clients seek you out or drive them away? 

It is a weird way to market to a select few. And it may come across as offensive to "smaller" clients who suffer from pain, i.e. make them feel as if their pain or their needs are lesser because of body type.

Personally, after reading the description of the service, I would seek another massage therapist. The message turned me off, no matter how well-intended. This is about relationships after all. Not about size or time or even price. You want to reach out and start a relationship with your potential client before they book with you or you meet them face-to-face. What kind of message are you sending out with that description above?


A better way to sell the 90-minute format is to point out that it "is a good choice for individuals suffering from pain, as the extra time can be used to focus on specific areas of concern." Done. Says the same thing as above and still PC (politically correct).


This is just my opinion.

I agree that is not a very politically correct advertisement and I would seek out another therapist also.  

I agree with Jennifer. I cannot imagine ever advertising something like that and am not sure I would want to go somewhere that does.

Thanks for your input.  As with any client I adjust my treatment method to their specific needs on that specific day and would never consider asking my larger clients to book additional time.  I think it's part of being an MT; you figure out how to keep on schedule regardless of a clients size or any other number of issues they might be having that day.  

I also think perhaps because I am a larger individual my larger clients are more comfortable coming to me.  Don't know that for a fact but I know first hand how intimidating it can be to be large and naked and get on some strangers massage table.  I try to never forget how much courage it might have taken that person to simply walk through my door. 

Barbara - I like that you only book 90 minute sessions.  I wanted to do that so badly when I began building my business but was afraid of losing clients that didn't have the time/money for longer sessions.  I love doing 90 minutes!  I can work at a slower pace yet still include many more techniques than in a 60 minute session.   


As a "larger" woman, I'd be telling that therapist to kiss my BIG BUTT. That's pretty rude, in my opinion. And in 15 years of working on people of ALL shapes and sizes, including football players and basketball players and people who are just plain big, I have never had to have "extra time" to work on a large person.

I'm 6'7" and the ad doesn't bother me. It comes across a bit odd, but it is on a spa menu and not an individual MT's list of services. so I wouldn't pay much attention to its raison d'etre.

Interesting ad. I rarely do more than an hour. I have 300 lb. clients and 6'3"+ clients. Yes the massage is varied for many reasons including the area to be massaged. This is my concern and not the concern of my clients. But I see the rationale of letting people know they may require more time. I don't think it is a good idea. What size is the cut off point? What am I missing if I am just under it. Shouldn't I find another therapist who can give me what I need in an hour?

I am large, when I get a massage from a petite person I often schedule 90 to 120 minutes. Coverage does matter but technique and skill is more important. This ad refers to pain work, irregardless of size, you never know what you will encounter before feeling it. Pain relief is not about coverage which makes me suspect the ability of the Therapist.

Not a good idea for an ad in my opinion as a fellow therapist or potential client.

Hmm, don't think that's a marketing option I would ever use!  I'm petite and normally book 90 minute massages for myself.  As a former distance runner, therapist can easily spend 60-75 minutes on just my lower body!  I'd mention that 90 minutes would all focus on problem areas in addition to full body massage.

True or not, the second sentence of that add is insulting and I would not go to that person because it shows indifference and a lack of care in their choice of phrasing.   Each person, big or small has his or her own life stories and different needs and all you can do is your very best to care for that person in the time you have.  There is so much you can do in an hour.   That being said, I do agree that sometimes more tissue needs more time (but not always).  A person who is 5 nothing and 100 lbs is not going to have the same needs nor get the same massage as someone 6'5" and 300lbs.   Yes, I am on the larger side myself in case anyone was asking and yes, I love to book more time.   As far as the first sentence, Yes, if somone comes in asking for a full body massage as well as a specific goals for 2 areas of pain than yes, I would tell them additional time, or a regularly schedule massage, (or both) may be in their best interest it they can manage it. 


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