From the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Energetic Skin Care,” by Jon Canas, in the February 2010 issue. Article summary: Massage therapists are among the relatively few people who have an intuitive knowledge that the body is not simply matter (solids and fluids), but energy as well. Of course, we are not talking here about the energy released by the myriad of chemical activities going on in the body at any given time; we are talking about vital energy, what Hindus call prana and Chinese people call chi. This subtle and intelligent energy is central to Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine.

by Jon Canus

After the booming years of the spa business, with its attendant increased demand for massage therapists and their expertise, the industry entered a maturing phase made worse by the recent and pernicious financial crisis. As a result, it is more timely than ever to raise the issue of proper compensation for massage therapists.

As demand for treatments slows down while the supply of therapists continues to increase, the pressure on treatment prices gets worse. Many therapists have felt compelled to promote their business on the basis of lower prices. Lowering prices below those of their competition results also in much lower revenues than a couple of years ago.

The opportunity to compensate for this slack in earnings is with the sale of products for home use.

Many therapists will think this is OK for cosmetologists or estheticians, but not for them. Yet, by using skin-care products adapted to the needs of the client, they create an opportunity to make an attractive profit. It is customary to sell a retail product at twice the price it was purchased for, when buying at wholesale (the price offered to licensed professionals).

Consider that your customers already buy products to cleanse, hydrate and tone their skin, without even talking about products to help them with oily, sensitive or toxic skin. Also consider there are therapeutic bath additives that are not only relaxing, but that can promote lymph drainage and detoxification, or to balance fluids and to stimulate circulation or energy.

In conclusion, the need to generate more revenues might also be the answer to offer different and new treatments, yielding pleasing results while reducing wear and tear on the therapist.

Jon Canas is president of Phytobiodermie ( and author of Beauty is Health Made Visible!