April Daily Blog Challenge – Day 22 – How not to advertise professional massage treatments

Last week I was walking past a Chinese therapy clinic on the High Street I noticed a picture advertising massage in the window. The photograph below is what I saw. It was the usual photograph of a back massage being given to a woman, but what really caught my eye were the ads below for the clinics other services. One said, “Herbal products for premature ejaculation” and the other “Sex drive”. I didn’t think that it was appropriate to have those ads to be below the photograph advertising their massage services. Maybe I am being overly sensitive but as a professional massage therapist I felt that the advert gave the wrong perception about our profession. The ads had nothing to do with massage but I felt that it had the potential to give clients the wrong idea about massage. Most therapists including myself at some point have received enquires or requests about let’s call them “non therapeutic services”. I have dealt with these situations swiftly and professionaly (this could be the topic for a future blog post).

I wondered if I was alone in thinking that this window display advert was not totally appropriate. I posted the photograph on Twitter with the words, “How not to advertise massage”. I immediately got a response from a fellow massage therapist Hernan who said, “That’s just made my blood boil! That’s just wrong!!!” and also “I want to throw eggs and flour at the window”. Another of my followers who is not a massage therapist said, “Oh dear!”.

Today I was in the area and decided to go to the Chinese therapy clinic. I spoke to a man inside the clinic and told him my concerns about the ads below the photograph. I said that although the ads directly below had nothing to do with the massage because they were relating to sexual disorders it might give the impression that “extra services” were being offered in addition to the massage treatment. I said it could cause their massage therapist problems in that she would get constant requests for sexual services rather than just therapeutic massages. Although I could force him to do it I asked if he would move the ads to another section of the window and replace it with non-sexual disorder ads. He said “no problem” but I was not sure that he was taking what I was saying seriously. I pressed him further and he eventually said that he would change the ads around. I told him that I would check again in a few days time. I should also have said, “If you don’t then my mate Hernan is going to throw eggs at your window” – lol.

I spoke to a non massage therapist friend about the window display, he believes that the man knew what he was doing as there are no accidents in business or war!

Following my discussion at the clinic I posted what I had done on twitter and got the following response from another massage therapist called Dothe saying, “Good, we need to all raise the profile wherever we see it badly presented”.

I have previously reported inappropriate adverts on Gumtree posted by “Massage Therapists” who from the photos and descriptions of their massages were clearly not offering therapeutic massages.

I do strongly believe that it is important to send the correct message about therapeutic massage. If you feel the same way then do not be silent when you see our profession being misrepresented.

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