Guys and massage…its kind of like saying oil and water right? That is changing and as a male massage therapist and bodyworker I can tell you that men do want to try it but don’t know where to start. This blog is to help ladies understand some of the hangup men have (in general will massage and bodywork) and to help guys figure out how to “dip their toe” in to the massage and bodywork world.
So lets start with some general trends that I have seen in how male clients and female clients find and get massage and bodywork. In general, woman trend towards asking people about their experiences with massage and bodywork before they even consider making appointments and will not consider a practitioner first but the idea of getting a session. If peoples impressions of the industry “fits” their impressions in a good way then they will ask about getting a practitioner. In general, ladies want a place that is “professional” or more office like with a lobby and many staff members around like a spa or chiropractic office. As far as a gender preference this is one area they tend to share with men and that is they prefer female practitioners. **writers note here: according to the state of the industry reports that come out every year female practitioners book appointment 4X faster than their male counterparts regardless of experience or education. So for me being a male massage therapist I have found it to be a REAL STRENGTH because it means that you can get a therapist with just as much skill and experience (for around the same price) but you have 4X better chance of getting the appointment time you want!** Men in general are more private (unless they are in a lot of pain) about getting massages or bodywork. Men tend to make up their mind about bodywork fast and start looking online or in publications shortly thereafter. Men will normally tell someone like a spouse or friend they are looking for someone in confidence and ask for advice but with the advent of technology men go searching quietly. This is a great time to bring up someone about male behavior that I have seen work it self out in front of me more than once before or during massage sessions: Ladies, men sometimes need privacy to figure things out and would prefer not to talk about it until they are conformable with what they know and don’t know. This is very different then men looking to “get away with something”. Actually in another context they use this same but of their nature to make you happy, it’s called a surprise! Ya know when they try really had to plan something without you knowing and then spring it on you and just wanting it to be “perfect”. I have seen many couples come in for massage therapy and ladies either “want to keep an eye” on their man or they want to “share the experience" with them by going at the same time or going into the same room. If both people are deep down honest and willing to share the experience than it’s great otherwise it really does cause issues (many get aired right in front of me). Men in general like value privacy so they tend to gravitate toward private practicers in private offices or homes. Again, I have asked this of my male clients for years and I always get the same reply: I want privacy because it helps me shut out the world.
So how can we help guys get massage? Well now that we have talked about the differences between the genders why don’t we talk about some common ground. Male massage clients want a session that is a good value. How does the word value translate for men? In general men will pay for session that does what they are looking for whether it’s pain reduction, stress reduction, or anything else. They got what they were expecting if not more. They are looking for routine if they can get it. If they liked the session their next goal is to incorporate it into their life somehow in the least complicated way possible. So for instance I do not offer packages or memberships not because they are not profitable (believe me I would be making a lot more if I did) but it creates an obligation not an opportunity. As a result I offer online appointment requests and discounts for repeat clients.
Some Tips for getting more men to try massage:
- Suggest massage and bodywork by talking about benefits for them.
- Don’t make sales or Groupon a selling point make VALUE the answer to price
- Offer the means to find therapists you like or in general available to them
- Remind them whatever their hangups to call the practicer (there are no dumb questions) we WELCOME questions and we have heard it ALL.
- Remind them pain is not a luxury they can afford and neither is stress reduction.
I hope that this has helped and if it has not call, email, snap chat me and I would be happy to answer anymore questions that are specific to your situation.
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