Friday, 25 January 2013

Changed Length of Sessions: Reflexology for new clients and Indian back, Neck and Head

The Short Version:

I've decided to make 2 changes to my session lengths and corresponding prices.
One has gone up, one has gone down.

A Reflexology Initial session - ie for a new client - was an hour for £29. It is now longer at an hour and a 1/4, and has therefore gone up to £34.

An Indian Upper Back, Neck and Head massage was 45 minutes for £23. It is now shorter at 35 minutes, and is therefore now only £20.

Want to know why? Read on...


The Long Version: 

When I trained, we were taught to do most treatments, from a Swedish full body massage to an Indian Head Massage to a session of Reflexology in an hour, including consultation + aftercare time as this was the industry standard, particularly in spa's where bookings where made in hourly blocks, and it was emphasized to us that employers would expect us to stick strictly to that time. The exception to this was Aromatherapy full body massage where time would be between an hour and half to 2 hours.

I worked for myself right from the start so could decide for myself the length of treatments. It didn't take me long to decide that most people needed longer than an hour session to get a decent Swedish full body massage, especially on a first visit with a full consultation needing to be done before the person got on the couch. But even on subsequent visits - I particularly feel that the 15-20 mins allocated to the back is just not being long enough for most people. So I offer options of an hour and a 1/4 or an hour and a 1/2.

I also do not include receiving payment, getting feedback on the effects of the treatment, and booking a clients next appointment in the session time. I allow enough time between one appointment and the next to do this in a relaxed way which is a gentle transition from the relaxation of the session. I wouldn't want to be harrying people out the door in order to be punctual for the next client waiting to come in!

So that's the preamble, I guess.


I've offered shorter and longer sessions, but always recommended an hour as an initial session, and as the standard session length. I've always had some clients where their initial session felt shorter than ideal. As well as the fact that more time is taken up on a first visit with the consultation, with new feet, you are getting to know them and how sensitive they are in general, and where there are places that are sensitive or even painful. It is necessary to proceed with caution and only increasing pressure once you know it is ok to do so, to avoid pressing suddenly too firmly on a painful spot! But for some people an hour was enough, and for those where it felt cut short, more often than not they came back again a week or so later, and any areas not thoroughly worked on that first visit could then be thoroughly worked.

However I have been increasingly feeling that I should increase the length of the initial session. I myself have been regularly receiving an hour and a half or longer of Reflexology, and giving the same in return to a local Reflexologist colleague and friend. It never feels too long! I hesitated because making the session longer would also increase the fee - from £29 to £34. I have reviewed the charges of other Reflexologists in Lancaster and the wider area and though it varies, I note that 2 people in Lancaster charge £35 for an hour, and one charges £38 for an hour.

So... I have decided to make the initial session an hour and a 1/4 for £34 so I can work the feet thoroughly but with care and time to release any discomfort and to enable my client to relax fully. After which people can have the choice of a shorter session of an hour for £29 or even 45 minutes for £23, or keep having an hour and a 1/4 session.

More info on Reflexology here.

Indian Head Massage

I wanted to make a cheaper option available for all the people who have tension in their upper back, around the shoulders and neck, and base of the skull. Or who mostly want a head massage. Who don't need a full back massage down to their lower back, and are happy to miss out the arms, face, and energy work part of a full Indian Head Massage. I've been working on some techniques working quite strongly and quickly around the shoulder blades in an upright seated position, even through clothes, meaning I don't need to leave the room for someone to get in a wrap towel AND it is unneccessary to get a client to lean forward onto pillows and bolsters for upper back work. I think I can do a good Back, Neck and Head massage in just 35 minutes, for which I am charging £20. Come and try it out!

More information on Indian Head Massage here.

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