No, we don’t accept tips.
Reasoning behind our no-tipping policy
You see, the work we do at Soma is different than most places you’ve been to. We’re not going to slather you up with oil for an hour, and slide you out the door a little more greasy than when you got here.
We’re going to focus on your posture, your trigger points, and your connective tissue. We’re going to stick our knuckles in your trapezius, break down the adhesions in your sacroiliac joint and iliotibial band, and use our elbows to strip your hamstrings and get those muscle fibers to line up again.
Sound therapeutic? It is.
(Sound intense? It can be. But we are certainly able to give you less pressure if that’s what you need. Just say the word!)
Our philosophy of massage is that this is vital to your health and well-being. Countless studies have proven the health benefits time and time again: it boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, speeds recovery after surgery, improves focus, decreases the risk of heart disease, and in some cases is even more helpful for low back pain than NSAIDS and chiropractic care.
Besides that, the last time we checked, we’ve never heard of anyone ever tipping their physical therapist or chiropractor. If you’ve never tipped them, why in the world would you tip us? Though the modalities are different, the intention is much the same.
It’s not “just a massage” — It’s Therapy!
Ever wonder why insurance companies won’t pay for your massage, but they will pay for your physical therapy? Because tipping your therapist puts them squarely in the service industry, not the healthcare field where they belong.
We are not doing your nails or getting you a drink — we are helping you heal and recover from injuries, whether they are acute or chronic. Nail techs, hairstylists, baristas, and servers have good, honest, hard working jobs — but they’re not exactly providing therapy in the same way a massage therapist does. (Well, maybe baristas. Coffee is life!)
Until we start seeing and treating massage therapists as the healthcare professionals that we are, insurance companies will continue to dismiss us, which will make it harder to convince them why you need massage to help your sciatic pain / carpal tunnel / migraines / high blood pressure / fill in the blank.
We pay our therapists well
The average corporate spa pays about $17 – $20 per hour for massage. Which sounds mostly reasonable, until you consider that it’s physically impossible (and dangerous) to do massage 40 hours per week, and still have a long-term career. Brand new therapists might be able to (temporarily) work that many hours right out of school, but after a year or two, their hands are trashed and they’re suffering from chronic migraines and numbness in their arms, and typically have to find another line of work.
To make up the difference, most therapists are hoping for a tip to bring them back up to a reasonable rate that gives them the ability to pay their bills. But that causes stress for the therapist, which means that they’re focusing on their bills instead of on you!
That’s why at Soma, we pay our therapists more than twice the rate of the average corporate spa. We care for our therapists first and foremost, so that they can care for you. Stress free.
We don’t want to stress you out
Stress is literally the opposite of what we’re about!
Though we try to keep our price point as low as possible to make sure that we can be accessible to as many people as possible, the cost of adding a tip just adds more stress for everyone involved! If you’re enjoying your session and breathing deeply into the healing work you’re receiving, and then suddenly start doing math in your head about how much you can or can’t afford to tip your favorite therapist, and what that means for how soon you’ll be able to come back for a follow up appointment, then you’re not able to be fully present in the moment. We want you to set aside all your worries and stress and focus on balancing your body, mind, and spirit — not balancing your checkbook.
So please, PLEASE — don’t feel guilty the next time you come to Soma and leave without adding tips for massages. It honestly is okay. And besides: the best tip you can give us is to tell your friends about Soma! Word of mouth advertising is the very best way any small business can grow!