Perplexing Questions of Massage Practitioners in the Philippines

What do you do when your client gave you tip after giving massage? An
absurd question but it was asked? What will you advise?


I found this draft in my file I wrote two years ago. I think I should share it so that masseurs/masseuse who might have the same question will have an idea. This is about accepting TIPS.

After our training in Tuina one afternoon, we happened to sat down with some of our classmates who are still newbies in the craft of massage. We talked about massage business until the discussion focused on what to do about TIPS.

Here were the questions and ideas we talked about. I tried to remember them during the night and was able to write down just three of the topics. Probably because they were the ones we intensely talked about.

1. I feel guilty to accept a tip which is 100% of my standard pay

= First of all, let us understand that humans have that good side of them and always try to reciprocate the good service they receive from someone, in this case, the massage practitioner.
a. If you’ve massage the patient more than the amount of time in his request then there’s no reason to feel guilty in accepting the pay because he is paying you what he believes is due to a worker – and it is understood that overtime pay is double the amount of the regular time, although, in this case the overtime was not asked but is voluntary given by you. So, usually a patient feels he got more than what he asked for; he is willing to give more. However, the bottom line here is, regardless of the time given, it is the quality of your work is being appreciated by the client.
b. If the client is a well to do patient, then, the amount is nothing. Especially for patients who knows they can’t see you again next time because they’re going away, and this is the only way and time to thank you so much for the help you’ve given which is in their assessment is worth more than the amount is supposed to be paid.

c. There are clients who are truly just generous in nature and as long as you did your best what is there to guilty about. That’s why the advice is always give your best

2. I volunteered to offer my service for free but the client insists to pay  me or give me a tip.

a. Let us understand that, like us, who wanted to volunteer our service to help someone in need, many clients, also want to do the same albeit they’re in the opposite end, thus, giving you a tip is their way of showing how much they want to help you so that you can continue helping others, too, who are in need of such free service.

b. Volunteerism is a two way relationship, one gives free service and the receiver give something like, food, free shelter if the volunteer stays longer or the weather is not good, and cash for the volunteer to pay its travel and use to buy his needs, such as oils.

3. But I don’t want to receive anything of a kind because someone sponsored it or I only want to help.

a. The principle of “happiness in giving and receiving” must be applied here. A giver feels the happiness and satisfaction in giving and the only way to do it is by giving out something voluntarily without expecting something in return. On the other hand, a receiver is happy to receive the service or gifts and to complete that happiness, the receiver will do these things: If he is poor or has nothing at the moment, can give a hearty appreciation by saying thank you, or if it has something/cash to spare will give a gift to strengthen his words.

So, if one does not want to really accept a gift for personal use, I suggest that a donation “box” for cash (since money is the most convenient today to carry) should always be put in a side for those who want to donate. Be sure that use only the accumulated amount to further the volunteer work because if you use it for personal use then you’re lying to yourself.

What happens if the donation of appreciation is not accepted?

The tendency is the receiver will be bothered and feel guilty of not being able to express his/her thanks of appreciation the best he believe he should have done, thus creating an imbalance on their well-being.

Have you have any question, too, about your massage profession? Or probably questions you discussed and what are the final statements you came up with. Please, share on the comments below.

What do you think?


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  • How neat! Is it really this siemlp? You make it look easy.

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