I started doing some independent contractor work for a place that calls itself a wellness center. They call their treatments “wellness” while they rub pumpkin spice scented cream into people’s hands and have them rest their head on a fancy, unsanitary pillow which throws their neck into forward flexion. It is good and necessary to pay attention to the hands as a function of overall wellness, but not necessarily with scented cream or a goopy green masque that makes the whole massage room smell like a commercially cleaned bathroom.
I am confused about why businesses think we need to make massage so fussy. Adding scrubs here, moisturizing “treatments” there, oils that smell like seasonal foods (and leave me with a raging headache.) Massage alone is powerful, with proven benefits. Why do we need all this frou-frou?
I offered a little extra to my clients in my last email blast, but I tried to keep it simple and directly connected to massage. Clients could choose to use extra time to address their body’s need: sore feet from months spent in snow boots, or congested sinuses from spending so much time indoors. They could choose a treatment that would materially affect their quality of life. I doubt anyone woke up this morning feeling like their mood, productivity, or overall physical comfort could only be improved if they smelled a little pumpkin spice latte hand cream.
Businesses that try to both join the health and wellness approach and offer these fussy little spa treatments frustrate me. If you aspire to be a spa, just be a spa. It’s confusing to clients when you try to be both. Last time I went in to do some work for them, a client asked me, “What is this place? Can you explain it to me?” I tried to say the words the business owner said to me, about wellness focus and helping people move to optimal health, but the words got stuck. I was shockingly inarticulate, and I think the client could tell I didn’t really believe what I was saying. She won’t be back.
But she was a Groupon client anyway.