The hard part is over. The hundreds of hours of training, the mastery of anatomy and physiology terminology, the licensing and certification. For newly Licensed Massage Therapists who’ve taken the journey to turn their passion for the healing arts and helping people feel better into a career, there are several work settings they can choose from such as spas, clinics, physician’s offices, and fitness centers. But many massage therapists choose to be self-employed for the flexibility of setting their own appointments and creating their own schedule. With the decision to be their own boss comes the decision of where to see clients: In their home, in their client’s home, or in an office. There are pros and cons to each.
In the Client’s Home
Pros: Taking your table to a client’s home offers many advantages. Clients may be willing to pay more for the convenience of having a therapist come to them, making it easy to fit massage into their schedule more easily, and more often. Clients may also be more relaxed in their own homes.
Cons: When traveling to a client’s home there could be safety concerns, so a therapist should be familiar with the client and let others know where you are going. They should also factor in travel, setup, and breakdown time and make sure that is accounted for in the fee. When going to see a client at his or her home, it’s difficult for the therapist to control the environment from possible distractions like pets, noises, or other people who may be home.
In the Therapist’s Home
Pros: This provides the most convenience to the therapist. It eliminates travel, setup, and breakdown time, allowing the therapist to see more appointments, and control the environment.
Cons: The therapist is allowing possible strangers into their house, so it may be a good idea to have a security system in place and to take precautions when working with a new client. Clients may be allergic to pets, so if the therapist has pets, that could reduce the potential client base. The therapist should have a dedicated work space in the home. There may be local zoning laws that prohibit a LMT from working at home, so it’s important to do the research before setting up shop.
Pros: An office outside of the home offers many benefits to both the client and therapist. With a controlled environment, a LMT can create the exact experience they envision to help their clients relax, not to mention the increased safety of a public space.
Cons: Having an office space means having the added overhead of rent. Some LMTs bring other professional therapists into the office to share the rent, but with that comes the potential complication of logistics and scheduling conflicts
For Licensed Massage Therapists, work-environment preferences come down to personal situations. The best advice for new therapists is to do their homework and assess their options to make an informed choice for both them and their clients.
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