Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Are Spas Conning the Public?
Spa con we could call it—spa goers sign up for, are provided with and pay for “foot reflexology” services yet they receive a foot massage. This has been a common problem for any number of years. However, as reflexology moves from a treat to a treatment—an expectation from consumers for a relaxation service to a health-providing service—the issue becomes more urgent. Urgent for sap goers, reflexologists, massage therapists and spas themselves.
Let’s start the discussion with the experiences of two friends. Both went to high-end spas, one in Albuquerque and one in Dallas. Both asked and paid for “foot reflexology.” Both left the spa knowing that what they had received was not reflexology. Sally was particularly outraged. She loves foot reflexology (as done by Kevin anyway) and she’d paid $100. (Emphasis hers) Joan paid $45 in Dallas—discounted from the usual $65 because of the newly hired massage therapist/reflexologist. Joan was kinder in her comments since her “reflexologist” was a young relative. The “reflexologist” did confide that she really didn’t know what she was doing; had received one day of reflexology training in massage school and had been instructed by her spa supervisor: Do a foot massage. Just rub harder.
(Take a break from this blog and express your outrage here. Misrepresentation of foot massage as reflexology means the idea gets shortchanged. Incompetent services demean reflexologists who have worked for, literally, generations to build the reputation of reflexology as a health-giving service.)
Under these circumstances—bait-and-switch with foot massage substituted for reflexology—everyone loses. The spa-goer doesn’t receive requested services. The massage therapist / untrained “reflexologist” is placed in an awkward and unethical situation. The spa loses future income: the customer may not come back, will certainly not purchase “reflexology” services at this (or potentially any other) spa, and could file a complaint with the attorney general’s office under the Fair Practices Act, failure to receive purchased goods or services. Plus, dissatisfied customers tell others, further impacting future possible income.
So what’s the solution?
• If you’re a spa-goer, ask before you book: Has the reflexology service provider completed a course of study in reflexology? For more tips, see www.reflexology-research.com.
• If you’re the massage therapist / reflexologist at a spa, consider getting educated in reflexology. Expand your skill set and become the “foot person” at the spa.
• If you’re a reflexologist, here’s a chance for a job. Work out a deal with a spa.
• If you’re a spa owner, admit you’re actually losing money by failing to provide adequate, let alone expert, reflexology services. Hire a reflexologist. Get your reflexology service provider educated.