Should I tip my massage therapist?

A common question in our industry is “should I tip my massage therapist” and if so how much is appropriate?


I think I can speak for all therapists when I say the most important thing to us is that you feel happy and comfortable at all times. This means that tipping is a very personal choice and should be made based on your happiness level and personal preferences.  A massage therapist who puts their clients happiness first will never become upset at your choice to leave, or not to leave, gratuity.  Here are a few important things to think about when asking yourself the question:  “should I tip my massage therapist”

  • Gratuity is often seen as a “thank you” for a job well done-Does your massage therapist give you excellent service, personalized treatments and offer exceptional quality in their work with you?  If so it might be nice to leave gratuity, even if it is just occasionally, as a thank you for taking your time with them to the next level.  If leaving cash tips doesn’t feel quite right to you, you can always give your therapist a hand written card or just let them know how much you appreciate their attention and time verbally.  Saying thank you to the people in your life who help make your world a better place is always a great idea!

  • Keep in mind that depending on where you choose to receive your massage the therapist providing the service may not receive even close the total cost of the treatment which means they may be more reliant on tips than a practitioner in private practice for example.

  • You can always ask!  If you aren’t sure about tipping you can always ask your therapist or the front desk person directly about the etiquette for the specific place you are visiting.  Don’t be shy!  We would much rather you ask us these questions than feel uncomfortable every time you are  leaving our offices.

  • How much?  Again a personal decision but most people tip their massage therapist the same way they would a server, 10-25% of the service price.

  • Not leaving a tip is OK too!  Seriously, if you choose not to tip or to only tip on occasion we don’t mind.  We love seeing you and the way you feel during and after your treatments is the most important thing to us so please make the choice about gratuity that YOU feel most comfortable with and that is sustainable enough for you to get the body work that you need.  Personally, I would much rather receive $0 tips and see you for an extra visit:)

  • How should I leave my tip?  The answer to this question will vary greatly depending on where you go.  If you are leaving cash there may be envelopes in the treatment room available for this purpose and if not it is completely appropriate to leave your tip on the table or hand it directly to your therapist.  If you are using a check you should ask your therapist or the front desk person if you should make it out to the business name or the therapist themselves.  If you are using a card you should let the front desk person or your therapist know right away that you want to add gratuity and how much they should add to the bill for you.

Whatever choice you make is the right one, you should feel great about it and know that your therapist will think you are wonderful no matter what you choose!

Learn more about spa etiquette at this great article.

Have more questions about tipping and massage?  Feel free to leave them in the comments!

Can massage help my posture?

Yes! Massage can help improve your posture read on to find out how…

We are sitting more than ever before with long hours at the computer, commuting, watching TV and it is affecting the way our body is aligned.  Our shoulders and neck are pulled forward due to tight, shortened pectorals (chest), scalene’s and my favorite named muscle the sternocleidomastoid (front of neck).  Our pelvis’s are out of whack from weakened abdominal muscles, shortened hip flexors and more.  While we are busy slumping and slouching from sitting waaayyyy more than our bodies were intended to we need our grandmother’s in our ears to nag us to take breaks, pull our shoulders back and down and stand up straight, for goodness sakes!


How can massage help you achieve your goal of beautiful straight posture?  Here is the short list of what we can help you accomplish:

  • Almost every Massage Therapist I know pays attention to posture all the time.  We can’t help it!  Even when I am out and about I am noticing other people’s posture and thinking of ways that I could help return them to a balanced frame.  If you are working towards correcting your posture you should talk to your Massage Therapist about your goals, they will most likely have some insight on where they notice imbalances and what type of treatment plan could work for you.
  • Massage therapy helps to ease the tension in tight muscles caused by postural imbalances, for instance I mentioned the forward body posture above often caused by long hours at the computer which can cause arm, hand, neck and upper back pain.  Targeting specific muscle groups such as the pecs and the muscles on the front of the neck can help lengthen them allow the body to find the space to realign itself into the proper position.  This applies to other areas as well such as releasing the hip flexors for the low back to help relieve pain in this area.
  • Massage relaxes you, improves your circulation, helps eradicate stress and is one of the best pain relievers out there.  Many of the unhealthy patterns our body creates are caused by stress tension and pain which means getting regular massage is a key ingredient to letting go of those things that are having ill effects on your posture.

I would never try to mislead you into believing that massage is a miracle cure, that you won’t have to work hard to return to a healthy posture or that massage will be the only tool you might need.  However I do believe that regular massage is an important (and hopefully really lovely) piece of the amazing posture puzzle.  Don’t take my word for it Book Your Massage Today!

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3 ways to live a healthier and happier life in 2014

3 ways to live a healthier and happier life in 2014

I always slack a little on most of my routines (outside of hammock laying and beach going) through the Summer, we get such a short visit from the sun here in Portland that I feel justified in my laziness.  But It’s back to school time here in Oregon and I know that, like myself, many of you parents out there are ready to get back to the grind.  When the kids go back to school it becomes easier for us to get back on top of work, exercise, healthy eating habits and in general taking care of ourselves.  If you want to make a huge positive impact on your health and happiness you should try adding regular massage into your self care routine, you won’t believe what a difference it will make!  Still not sure?  Check out these great facts about the many ways regular massage can improve your overall well-being:

Find Relief from pain:

Millions of Americans suffer from pain and back pain seems to be the leader of the pack, in fact, low back pain is one of the most common reasons for missing work.   In fact, back pain is one of the most listed reasons for visits to the doctor’s office.  Treat low back pain with a combination of stretching, exercises and getting regular massage, acupuncture and/or chiropractic care.  It is important to remember that surgery or pharmaceuticals are not the only option for finding freedom from pain.  Many times with a little energy and regular self care you can live a happier and healthier life without the extra side effects that come with invasive surgery or drugs.healthier and happier life

Free yourself from Stress and Anxiety:

The world is always changing, moving more quickly, raising it’s expectations-heaping more and more onto our plates.  It is no wonder that many Americans are frequently suffering from bouts of depression, anxiety and insomnia.  Stress is a killer and if left unregulated it can cause all sorts of issues in the body.  Dr. Sheldon Cohen discovered in a 2012 study that “When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well.”  Help yourself regulate stress hormones with massage.  Regular massage reduces the hormone cortisol in your body, and give the happiness inducing neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine a boost.  Check out our buy 3 get 1 free massage packages and $55 monthly membership to get yourself on the path to freedom from stress today!

Look better, feel better and have more energy:

Speaking of stress, we all know it takes a toll on our energy levels as well as our appearance.  Weight gain or loss, dark bags under our eyes, dull skin and exhaustion are all common side effects of stress.  Massage can help these too by reducing stress levels and helping to boost your bodies natural healing abilities.  Massage also improves circulation and skin tone to promote that beautiful healthy glow we are all striving to achieve.    Learn more about the ways massage can help you feel and look better in this great article:  The amazing ways massage can help you look prettier

Living a healthier and happier life is contingent on a healthy routine including exercise, diet and self care.  Dedicate yourself to this cause-you are worth it!