After reading my friend’s blog post “5 Things You Should Never Ask Your Massage Therapist,” I was inspired to write likewise. So here’s my take on …
5 Things You Should Never Ask Your Professional Healing Facilitator
Just like Michelle stated in her post about massage therapists, healing facilitators – Reiki, Shamanic, Emotional Freedom and other like practitioners – are asked many questions by their clients; some of which are simply bad-mannered.
I get a family/friend discount, right?
While not necessarily a bad-mannered question, this can be … well, a dubious question.
While there are numerous service providers – for example: hair dressers, massage therapists, photographers, and even energy-workers – who do provide a friends and family discount, many are in one of these two categories:
1.) The provider has another job from which she is transitioning out of (whether or not this has been shared with you), and into a new career in subtle energy healing. In this case your full payment for the services provided helps move the budding practitioner in that direction. It’s a win-win situation; you receive the service you need and the practitioner has made another step toward her goal.
2.) Subtle energy work is the practitioner’s only (or primary source of) income. Therefore, what makes asking for a friends and family discount dubious is that you’re essentially asking her to pay you to be her client. You’re asking her to provide you service, and then shorting her on her income. It’s equivalent to your employer shorting you on your paycheck. Chances are that wouldn’t go over well with you. [It doesn’t go over well with me either.]
[This question becomes serious bad form when you start out as a client of the practitioner and through time have developed a good relationship with the practitioner which becomes a level of friendship. If you paid her appropriately before, it’s appropriate to continue doing so.]
As my family member or friend, I’m delighted you want to work together. Know that I’d never expect you to hire me just because of our relationship. Before we get started, make sure I’m the person you really want to work with because I don’t offer a friends and family discount. If you want to proceed, click here to peruse the service options along with their rates.
Your skills are truly a gift/special, why are you charging for them?
This is bad-mannered in that you’re implying several things: you benefit from my services but don’t want to pay for them, I’ve had no or limited training or clinical experience, it doesn’t take much time or effort on my part – and these are just a sample few.
For the first piece of this, I’m going to regurgitate, in part, what Michelle stated about having someone sit in on a massage session (No, I do not offer massage.):
“Basically when you say this you’re saying, ‘I like the results I get with you and trust you [Thank You] but I don’t want to pay you [I understand not wanting to part with money, really]…’”
Believe it or not, even energy work (and intuitive assistance) require some kind of training, even if you slid into the physical world bare-butt naked “gifted.” Those who come in “gifted” must learn to hone and control their skills in much the same way as you needed to hone your own for the work you do. Put it this way: everyone can learn to play the piano, but not everyone will be a Mozart. [I thank John Edward for that line!] It takes a lot of work; study; experiential, clinical and practical experience; ongoing study and research; as well as real focus and commitment. I’m so good at what I do because I’ve done all these things (and more) and continue to do so, almost daily. Yes, daily. I have spent thousands of hours studying and learning. To be a damn good energy practitioner takes incredible commitment.
If I didn’t charge for my services, I’d have to engage in other work in order to provide funds for my living expenses. This would mean I’d have less, if any, time remaining to offer the services that help you. My work is my career; not a hobby nor an aside. And believe me, you want someone with my level of real world experience handling your subtle body and who knows how to maneuver through all the gradations within it. You want a practitioner who has more than adequate skills, especially if you are committed to improving your own health/life.
Additionally, a major tenet of being an energy work professional is working on the self, first and daily. While most practitioners I know treat this as an option – in spite of what the trainings tell us – I treat it as a must in my life. I have myself scheduled in on my appointment books every single day. If a practitioner isn’t taking care of himself on a regular daily basis, he has no moral right to be working on you. By their own admissions, I don’t personally know even one other practitioner who works on himself every day, not one … and I know many of them.
This next question comes straight out of Michelle’s article (slightly modified to suit my profession) because I too hear this all too often …
Why do you charge so much? I know another business or therapist who charges half what you do.
Wait. Why is this question bad form? Here’s what the underlying statement is / how it is often interpreted by the practitioner, and so beautifully stated by Michelle in response to the same question: “I don’t think you or your profession are worth spending very much money on.” [My question to you then is this: Then why are you booking a session?]
In reality, bodywork and intuitive work are very physical professions and most practitioners cannot do 8 hours of energy work or intuitive guidance in a day, write up accurate session notes, and still have time to eat, go to the bathroom, and complete all the various administrative tasks associated with running a business while maintaining the calm demeanor and critical thinking skills that you expect from us as professionals. Chiropractors charge $45 for an adjustment that takes less than 10 minutes and they schedule 2 patients in every 10 minute time slot. When you think about it that way, you’re getting a great deal when you only pay $65 for an entire hour with your energy-based healing practitioner. As to those therapists that are charging only half of what I do, all I can say is you get what you pay for. If they were even half as good as their rate (unless they are altruistically dedicated to serving those who are financially disadvantaged – and there are some), you’d be booking your appointments with them wouldn’t you?
A continuance of the above question …
But you work out of your house …? Your business expenses can’t be that much?
Oh, really? I wasn’t aware. Thank you for pointing that out. ;) The healing room needs heat/air, electric, proper lighting, healing table for you to lie on (or couch to sit on, depending on which service you’re here for), blankets, pillows, stereo, music CDs for you enjoy while relaxing on the table, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies (you don’t want to lie on dirty table dressings, do you?), continuing education (and research and study), website, time for scheduling/replying to emails and phone calls … Shall I go on?
Every business, whether home-based or elsewhere has many expenses clients/customers don’t see. Home-based businesses are often just as expensive to run as those located elsewhere.
Working out of one’s house – be it cozy and humble or more aesthetically pleasing – doesn’t detract from the skill set and practical experience of the practitioner.
If you don’t take care of (pay) your practitioner, your practitioner can’t take care of you.
Can we do a barter/trade/exchange?
While this question isn’t necessarily disrespectful, it is often nonetheless uncouth. Many people in the bodywork field feel inclined to provide services on the cheap, on trade, or even for free. But rest assured such situations are almost always unbalanced, which goes against what the work is about. Not to mention, trades/barters/exchanges don’t pay the bills. I did this for many years and believe me, I’ve paid an immense price for doing so. You live, you learn.
While such situations may provide benefit for both parties – perhaps your practitioner would welcome some yard work or snow removal and sees the exchange as being beneficial and balanced – they just don’t pay the bills: rent/mortgage, utilities, trash removal, phone … you get it. We are unable to barter/trade/exchange with these service providers – they, like all of us, need and want and deserve monetary payment.
If you’re looking for a barter/trade/exchange situation, there are practitioners who are open to that and they usually have something on their website or brochure stating so. If it’s not there, it’s better not to inquire. If it is there, make sure you’re getting a committed, qualified and well-experienced practitioner. After all, you’re trusting them with some of your healthcare needs. And your health is priceless!
If you respect your practitioner and would never dream of asking any of these questions, show them how much you appreciate them by booking an appointment with them today. Then, spread the love by sharing this post with all your peeps.
Where I’ve quoted directly from Michelle’s article, “5 Things to Never Ask Your Massage Therapist”, and/or used her wording verbatim, permission has been granted.