Sunday, July 20, 2008

Letter to some spa owners

I went for an interview at a very fancy luxurious "vacation rental spa" kind of place which claimed they wanted to be a healing center. Based on what they were saying and how they treated me and the healing, I had high doubts if indeed it was going to be a healing center and not just a corporate vacation resort spa. I charged them my full price because I wanted to see if they are cheapskates like other spas, or really some kind of healing resort. I am done with spas and other cheap places like that. They are cheap in every way - what they pay, the quality of massage they provide, the healing atmosphere, the politics, etc. So this place failed the test, and below is my email response to them.

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Hi,

I was at your property twice and gave you massages. Somehow I displaced your cards and was corresponding with your employee X, who informed me that $120 per massage is too much to pay and that you will not need my services. It is ok that I don't work for you, I am doing fine on my own and am rather famous and getting even more famous, because my treatments are effective. Why I am writing to you now is to clear up some possible misunderstandings that your employee could have introduced. First, she got the price wrong, I charged $85. That price is phenomenally reasonable for at-home massage from a therapist of my caliber.

If indeed X is speaking for herself, then it is understandable from a person in her position. If not, then my point is very different.

To explain further, to me the bottom line is a good massage, and what makes it or breaks it is the massage therapist. That's the know-how. Bodywork is an art form. The therapist is the key to everything. Not the luxurious environment. It is the fundamental difference between looks and inner content, between what is materially visible and what is invisible and understanable only through the heart and the Higher Mind. In short, it is the major contention that the humanity deals with, either belief in the physical world of the ego or the spiritual world of God. Not to mention the therapeutic benefits - no luxurious environment will fix any pain, only a good massage can - and only a competent therapist can do that. A typical therepist provides one hour of relaxation, and that's it, and cannot really deeply affect anything. Some things can be transmitted only via live human contact. For that, the looks are totally irrelevant.

There are places where the looks is more important than the people who provide the service. I left the spa and resort world because those places are like that - they look luxurious but pay so little to everyone who works there. So, the service is actually low quality. The massage therapist is just yet another servant.

Only people who are not good enough to have private practice will go work for a spa. Because those are dead-end jobs - they pay so little that the massage therapist can never take classes and get better. Also, because such jobs don't really require good massage skills, but just being "nice" and rubbing someone, anyone nice can do them and really doesn't have to be any good. I have seen just a few somewhat decent massages in resort spas. Honestly.
Also, in spa massages, no real healing is required. It is a corporate environment where you walk in, someone rubs you, and then you walk out. Deep conversation, personal Inner Work, and all that are definitely not expected. And, no results is expected.

Of course! When the therapist is paid 35$ per hour minus tax. What else can be expected?

That's why the Lady Owner was amazed that I made her back feel better. She said that nobody ever made it feel that good. Have you ever wondered how come, after working in spas for so long, nobody could actually fix it? How much training did they have, how much money did they make, and how much continuous education did they go for; and what kind of cases did they work on in their practice? A typical spa therapist can give only shallow answers to any of these questions.

So, I came to your location really wondering if it is a "spa" or not, and would I want to work there or not. I am a healer, a genuine Native trained person, extremely well trained, with a lot of experience, having 99% successes with helping difficult conditions, and constantly learning. I want to work only in places that are Real. I want to learn and grow.
Since I worked on you, I already took: classes with Vladimir Janda and Carel Lewitt (about 300$), Bowen therapy (425$ and 2 days of no work, twice), Inner Work weekend in Seattle with famous author Jacob Needleman (450$ and 4 days of no work), lomilomi with a local kumu (200$), rolfing (150$), neuromuscular therapy with a famous author ($350), and so on. There is a lot more I do. I am more knowledgeable and more effective, every day.

Of course, that is possible because I get paid accordingly. I get paid well. The service I provide is of high caliber, so I get paid well. That's the bottom line.

If you want good service, you have to pay for it. We always get what we pay for.

Anyone cheap cannot possibly be good, period. If you want "the best" therapists, then you should be ready to pay accordingly. "The best" therapists for cheap price are questionably "best."

As for me, I increased my prices. A rolfer charges 125$ for one hour at their location. For me to have to drive for one hour massage is 3 hours project, plus gas. I better be paid for my time. I am very good at what I do. If I were someone mediocre scrambling to work just anywhere and be happy with peanuts, I could have worked for a spa. They book several massages in a row and also provide medical benefits. But why bother with that? I am so good, I can choose. People are vying for my services because I can actually help them. Someone without any issues might be happy to go to any therapists, but if someone really needs help, on any level, they have to come to someone like me. There are very very few people like me. Someone like me is extremely rare and thus extremely valuable.

Have a nice summer,
Milica

BTW, this email is copyrighted 2008 by Milica Barjaktarovic. It contains some powerful ideas that are being published.

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