Rude Massage Therapist

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Rude Massage Therapist

Postby MassageTherapist1998 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:25 pm

I will try to keep this as short as possible. I would like opinions and feedback on an incident that happened recently. I am an LMT and was given a gift certificate for a massage at a local business from a client. I brought my own massage oil for the therapist to use on me. When I asked if she had a problem using it, she said she did. I politely stated my belief if it can't go in my body, I do not want it on my body and apologized a couple of times during our conversation for it. She had a bottle of lotion she wanted to use and neither one of us could read the ingredients list since the font was quite small. She said she would use my oil. During the massage it felt as though she was really upset at me based on the pressure she was using, I said at one point the pressure was a bit much, but she still kept it up. She ended the massage 7-8 minutes early then commented my special oil massage was finished and walked out. I ended up leaving a $10 tip on the table just to be nice. When I came out she brought my water and said she did not like me shoving the oil in her face to use and if I asked a little nicer she would have been nicer. I apologized again and said I had been working all day and just wanted a massage. I said she had good pressure and was glad it was not weak. Instead of thanking me she said that was not deep tissue just medium pressure. Just before leaving she made a comment about my oil bottle and said it should be glass if I was so concerned about my oil, I politely agreed. Before I left, I asked if she had a business card and she said she does not hand out cards there and walked away. She only works at this facility on occasion and has an office at another location. Was I in the wrong for bringing what I wanted used for my massage?

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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby kathryn on Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:01 pm

Not at all. I have had a couple clients bring in something they prefer. Who knows what her problem is- I've also had many experiences with rude mt's over the years and I just ignore it. They don't get my business or referrals.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby squash_blsm on Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:22 am

^^^yup, what kathryn said
I've had client bring in their own lubricant, sometimes it's really crappy lotion!
Personally I use jojoba oil and because I don't care for what a lot of MT's or clinics use I have brought in my own oil too.
You had nothing to apologize for - by apologizing you re-inforced her lousy attitude.
However, that clinic may have rules in place that force her to use certain products and she could have been annoyed with them and not you.
In the future, when making the appointment just ask what they use and tell the appt maker that you will be bringing in your own lubricant because you have ingredient sensitivities.

I don't think that you can fault her ending the session early - she probably ended on time, but because you did not have the lubricant discussion ahead of time, you took up part of your massage time.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby pueppi on Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:41 pm

MassageTherapist1998 wrote:Was I in the wrong for bringing what I wanted used for my massage?


Not at all. I have a local MT who I work on who brings in a specific oil. I can't hardly deal with the smell, as it is too fragrant for me. But, it's what she wants and I don't see her too often, so I just suck it up and use it. I never get mad about it. I just know I wouldn't purchase it for my office.

I agree with s_b, apologizing probably did nothing but reinforce her bad behaviour.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby Pete on Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:47 pm

MassageTherapist1998 wrote:Was I in the wrong for bringing what I wanted used for my massage?


IMO yes you were wrong to bring it in and expect the MT to use it without prior discussion. Regardless of the rationale for your preference of oil, I think the onus is on you to make sure it's ok with the MT BEFORE you arrive for your appointment. To make requests like this during the intake puts the MT in the position of either having to go along unwillingly (which is how it sounds in this case) OR to refuse your request and risk the possibility of their time being wasted should you choose to forego the session and not compensate them for their time. Also, bringing this up at the time you booked the appointment would have allowed you the opportunity to research the lubricant they use to make sure it met your standards or to schedule with a different MT in the facility who was more open to your request and avoid any unpleasantness; assuming of course that your GC was for the facility and not just that MT.

Like Squash, I've had clients express a desire for a particular lubricant or to bring their own music in, etc. I'm generally open to it, but do like to have advance notice, especially in the case of lubricants, so I can do a little research first to see what the implications are. I recently had a client ask to bring in a particular oil that, upon researching, I discovered is IMPOSSIBLE to get out of the sheets - so if I'd allowed it unknowingly, I would have ruined a set of sheets and possibly my table had it seeped through the upholstery (very possible with this oil) and even the carpet in my treatment room if it had dripped/spilled. I politely declined to use it, explained to the client why and she understood.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby pueppi on Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:51 pm

Pete makes a good point. Because the lady I worked with was a friend, I probably took that whole conversation a lot differently than I would have with a "new" client.

Maybe not, but advance notice is always helpful when it comes to needing/requesting changes.

But, I still think she showed a poor behaviour. Reactions can be everything. And, I have a few clients who have taught me a lot about *how* to react over the years (when it comes to all sorts of things). I see how they handle issues (we talk alot during the bodywork in my office) and I hope I am getting better and more graceful in my response patterns. --- Just noting this, as it occurred to me that I still need improvement, so I should't just be poo-poo'ing without a little self reflection to go along with it.


Thanks for the detailed post, Pete! Always nice to have something else to think about and consider. Haven't seen you in a while. *waves* :smt006
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby riversinger on Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:18 pm

Certainly bringing up the oil preference, in advance - such as when you made the appointment, would have been the best approach. As a practitioner, I would also have been concerned about the ingredients - due to the potential of ruining sheets, etc. and even more so if it was something I may have been sensitive too. I make it a point to use very high quality (fragrance & paraben free) organic oils - so generally speaking all of my clients are happy with them as well. I dislike using particular oils, that aren't up to the standards I prefer, & especially those with artificial fragrances, as some of them cause me headaches & can linger in the room, etc. Keep in mind, that while clients are only exposed to any particular oil, or lotion during the course of a session - however often they recieve them - MTs are exposed to them every time we work. As a result many of us have chosen products that we find work well for their glide, or to allow us more grip, and or to provide deeper benefits for dry skin, etc. and because there are any number of chemicals & preservatives that we may not want to be in contact with - especially those with petrochemicals, etc. which are potentially cancer causing over the long term. (they are absorbed by the skin & into the body after all!)

All that said, the therapist you had appears to have been less than gracious & diplomatic in the way she spoke with you, and I know I wouldn't have been a very happy client either.

Next time, bring it up in advance & be open to discussing your preferences with whichever MTs you see in the future.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby MassageTherapist1998 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:11 am

I appreciate everyones feedback and thank you Pete for your point of view. In the future I will make sure to let the MT know I will be bringing my own oil. I feel like if she had calmly explained why she feels I would benefit better with her lotion (with many unpronounceable ingredients verses my apricot oil which is the only ingredient) I would have more open to using hers.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby riversinger on Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:02 pm

If her lotion had many unpronounceable ingredients, chances are it was loaded with chemicals & preservatives, which as a practitioner & a client I'd have been loath to have on my body too! Many MTs don't really take the time to look into what is in their products, much less the long term effects it can have on health, so it's understandable that you had your own preferences. So long as you put your preferences forward, prior to your next session it's likely you'll avoid further issues in the future.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby KneadedMassage on Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:45 pm

I was quite surprised to read that any therapists would have had an objection to the request of the therapist bringing her own oil. While, I can agree that bringing it up ahead of time would have been the best scenario, the request should not have met with an attitude just because it was not brought up ahead of time. I'm assuming the therapist knew that you were a massage therapist. Right there, that would have given me some sort of confidence in the quality of the oil and that it wouldn't have stained the sheets. If that was my concern, I would have come right out and asked if she has a problem getting it out of sheets. A regular client may not have known this information, but another MT would have. And if the therapist had any concerns about the ingredients herself.....she should have expressed that. I can understand and respect at therapist who may not want to be repeatedly exposed to some ingredients in certain oils and lotions, however, unless the therapist has extreme sensitivities, a once in a while client isn't going to be a problem. This therapist should have just honored the request, unless of course the therapist herself had some extreme sensitivities. Sounds to me like she might have been intimidated and may have thought that you were trying to insinuate that her oils weren't good enough or were harmful and she was acting defensively.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby JasonE on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:12 pm

KneadedMassage wrote:I was quite surprised to read that any therapists would have had an objection to the request of the therapist bringing her own oil. While, I can agree that bringing it up ahead of time would have been the best scenario, the request should not have met with an attitude just because it was not brought up ahead of time. I'm assuming the therapist knew that you were a massage therapist. Right there, that would have given me some sort of confidence in the quality of the oil and that it wouldn't have stained the sheets. If that was my concern, I would have come right out and asked if she has a problem getting it out of sheets. A regular client may not have known this information, but another MT would have. And if the therapist had any concerns about the ingredients herself.....she should have expressed that. I can understand and respect at therapist who may not want to be repeatedly exposed to some ingredients in certain oils and lotions, however, unless the therapist has extreme sensitivities, a once in a while client isn't going to be a problem. This therapist should have just honored the request, unless of course the therapist herself had some extreme sensitivities. Sounds to me like she might have been intimidated and may have thought that you were trying to insinuate that her oils weren't good enough or were harmful and she was acting defensively.


Our business policy is that all of our MTs must use the lubricant(s) we provide. Any and all exceptions must be pre-approved by the owners. There are no exceptions to the pre-approval requirement.

Having a clear policy in place ahead of time provides clarity in decision-making when situations arise.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby candycat on Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:36 pm

I have had clients bring in body lotion and had to refuse to use it. I cannot use Jergen's or something that doesn't have the right slip for massage. Plus, a lot of body lotion pills as you rub repeatedly. It is meant to absorb not massage. But an oil shouldn't cause much problem unless their facility is contracted to only use a specific product. I agree that it is probably a good idea to bring it up when making the appointment. The therapist didn't have to be rude but I can understand possibly being thrown off your game by using something you aren't used to. Even switching from cream to lotion or oil can be jarring when you are used to the feel of what you always use.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby KneadedMassage on Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:28 pm

I suppose that some establishments might have a strict policy. this would certainly protect against potential law suits should the client have a bad reaction of some sort.

I do think that some professional courtesy should be extended in the case of another MT though. And of course, rudeness is just unacceptable.
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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby HappyKarma on Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:13 am

Not really,BUT getting that out in the open before the massage would have been a better thing to do rather than pushing your preferrred oil on her to use. I have had many clients bring in their own stuff to use,but i knew about it ahead of time. She could have been a bit nicer though,so the tension noted goes both ways here. Chalk it up as a learning experience.

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Re: Rude Massage Therapist

Postby PeakPerformance on Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:35 pm

I have had many clients that have brought their own lotion or oil in. I use it DEPENDING on the lotion. If it's just a body lotion you get from the grocery store I will tell them that it isn't a good lotion for a full body massage and why. I will tell them that I can use it for hand and feet massage. A good example of a lotion I have seen many times is burts bees lotion. It's a good lotion just not for a massage. Some get a little upset about the fact that I won't use it. Even if it doesn't work. But there is nothing I can do about that. Most of the time it's cause they don't want to feel oily so I do my best to use as little oil as possible and take as much off after massaging the area as possible. Another client brings in an oil that has an essential oil that helps with her muscle pain. The only problem with that one is that it smells like she put the entire bottle of essential oil in a 2oz bottle of oil. Way too strong for me and gives me a headache. Knowing that she brings it in for the essential oil, I usually just mix it with some of my oil.

That said, I would prefer my clients not bring in their own oil or lotion. I do my best to make sure I have good products. Most clients don't know the difference between massage lotion and body lotion anyways. (From my experience) I have had people bring music in and not being the right music for massage. So while I would never be rude to the client, I would rather them not bring their own lotions. I have only had one client who got mad that I didn't use their lotion (again burts bees) and even though I used very little oil (any less and I would have been massaging with no oil), by the end of the massage she left fuming and asked for a towel to "wipe off all this oil." I guess I should state that I use jojoba oil. Non greasy for the most part and a very good oil.

So where you in the wrong? No. If the therapist couldn't use the oil because of regulation than she should have said so. There is no reason to be rude about it. If it upset her, she should keep it to herself. Not take it out on the client (you.)
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