After a relaxing hour or two, it comes time to leave your message, and you suddenly realize that you are unsure of how much to tip your therapist. You were prepared to pay for the massage, but what about the tip? What is the right amount, and should you do it for all massages?
If this is your first massage, you might feel completely lost because tipping can seem complex to those who are not used to doing it. Fortunately, it is not as difficult as it might seem, so this is a brief explanation.
WHY SHOULD YOU TIP?
Despite the price you may pay for your massage, your therapist is not getting all of it. Most therapists are paid an hourly wage which, contrary to the often high costs of a massage, is usually not that high. In some cases, massage therapists may double or even triple their hourly income through tips.
Tipping is the best way to show your therapist that you appreciate their work. It’s a way to say thank you for their work. As a labor-intensive job, therapists appreciate the extra recognition for their services and will be even more eager to accommodate you the next time you come by for a massage.
A good massage can make you feel wonderful for weeks, so keep that in mind as well. For some, it might even imply that they won’t experience excruciating agony for a few weeks, improving their quality of life. An overall feeling of wellness will undoubtedly help you in all aspects of your life, whether they are professional, social, or personal. Given that your massage therapist’s work is so important to your health, you should view tipping as a means to respect and appreciate them.
WHAT PERCENT SHOULD YOU TIP?
According to experts we spoke to, you should tip between 15% and 20%. 20% is a generous amount, but it is also much easier math which is why most people choose to go this route when tipping.
For a 20% tip, all you need to do is figure out what 10% of the massage cost is and double it. It is easy math, and your massage therapist will appreciate the extra cash.
You can also ask yourself some questions to guide you along. Think about how much effort your therapist put in and how much your wellness is worth to you. Ask yourself how good you feel and how much of a tip you think that is worth.
DOES TIPPING APPLY TO ALL MASSAGE THERAPISTS?
At spas and resorts, the massage you receive will typically be for relaxation. For these types of massages, you should anticipate tipping your therapist.
However, tipping is typically not required if you receive a therapeutic massage. In these therapeutic environments, your therapist would not anticipate me, just as you would not tip your doctor. This is usually the norm for massages that take place in chiropractic offices, physical therapy clinics, and wellness centers. In general, if you receive a massage for therapeutic or medical purposes, you do not need to leave a gratuity.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY WITH YOUR MASSAGE?
In some cases, you may not be happy with your massage. Whether the pressure was too much or too little or the therapist acted unprofessionally, there are several reasons why you might walk away from your massage disappointed.
It can be tempting not to tip if you’re unhappy, but this is not the best practice. Unless your therapist was truly terrible and you did not feel like they were a professional at all, you should still tip.
You can always tip only 15% if you’re not satisfied. Tell your therapist what you liked and did not like about the treatment as well as how you would like it to go the next time. Sometimes, the therapist was still developing their mastery of a new method. Other times, the counsellor might not have known what you anticipated.
Ultimately, it is up to your own discretion. If the therapist was unprofessionally late or extremely rude, you can always make your own decision as to whether you want to tip them.
IS IT ALRIGHT IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO TIP?
We get it: Sometimes, a massage is a splurge and not something you can otherwise afford. Paying an additional 15% to 20% may just not be in the cards for some people, especially if the massage costs upwards of $150.
Your therapist will sympathize if you are unable to pay. But make sure to appreciate your therapist and perhaps even give them a card after paying rather than just leaving. Offering a modest gift is something else you can do if the therapist is someone you see frequently. A tiny token of appreciation will do the trick and won’t set you back as much money as a 15%–20% tip.
Overall, though, the best practice is to always set aside tip money for a massage. It is certainly ideal to include your tip in your budget as part of your expenses for your well-being.
Massages are a wonderful way to pamper yourself and unwind after a demanding week, but it’s essential to keep in mind that they require a lot of work from your therapist. The best method to express your gratitude to your therapist for all that they do to help you feel happier and healthier is with a sizeable tip. Stick with 15% to 20% if you were looking for a range of how much to leave, and you will be on the right track.
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