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The Tipping Topic


To tip or not to tip?


There are two sides to the tipping debate in the massage profession- one side vehemently against accepting tips and the other who say they wouldn't be able to put food on the table with out them. I see both sides, but don't really agree with either. I sit on the fence here.


Therapists who are against accepting tips generally use the argument that if we want to be seen as medical profession, we should not allow our clients to tip us. No one goes to their doctor, chiropractor or psychologist and tips when leaving, therefor we should be in the same realm.


I might agree with this when:

  • massage therapy is a bachelors degree equivalent program or more,
  • we are seen by these (& other) health professionals as being on the same level of importance in health care,
  • insurnace covers the cost of massage, and...
  • we can make a comparable living to said professionals.


Then you have the therapists who say they need these tips to live. Which is probably true. A lot of therapists are employed and getting paid crap wages. (In a previous post, I guesstimated $25 per session. I've since been informed therapists make $12-17 per hour at a well known massage establishment not too far from my office.) So, I can see why a therapist would be happy to get a $10-20 tip if that's all they're making. Sad, but true.


At Bodywork by Bobbi, I say this about tipping: they're graciously accepted, but never expected. My level of care does not change whether you tip me or not.


If you view massage on a level comparable with your doctor, chiropractor, psychologist ect., thank you! I appreciate that more than you know. Keep your tips in your pocket and come get more massage.


If you just want to show your appreciation and feel good about leaving a tip, as opposed to feeling obligated to, then by all means it'll be accepted graciously.



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