Working in the massage industry and most recently my business getting into the Esthetics industry I am noticing a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings in both industries. A lot of it, I am noticing, is due to lack of public knowledge and education. The whole point of this blog is not to say “Come to Purple Lotus we are the only place to come or we are the best out of them all” (okay, I do think we are pretty damn good! But there is also lots of amazing choices around…unfortunately there are also a lot of bad choices around too)
I will start off with massage misconceptions as this is what I am most educated in! First off I am not, I never will, and I really dislike being called a masseuse. I am a Registered Massage Therapist. Masseuse has such a bad connotation. Yes, way back when… it was correct to call our profession masseuse, unfortunately over time “those other massages” have started using the term masseuse which is a service we do not want to be associated with. I repeat I am a Registered Massage Therapist, RMT, and Massage Therapist…not a masseuse.
On that same page, do not call me asking for anything other than a legitimate massage, please oh please don’t. I do not care how nicely you ask or how much you beat around the bush about finding out if I will do more. I will not, I am a health professional nothing more, nothing less. Please do not cheapen my profession.
In recent years, there has been confusion on “who is an RMT?” and “what insurance companies will reimburse?”. Here are the important questions you need to ask!
- Are your therapists registered?
- If so, how many hours of training do they have and/or are they eligible for all insurance companies for reimbursement. (Some insurance companies do not require an RMT with 2200hrs of training, and most RMT’s with training less than 2200hrs will have taken the necessary steps to being accepted by these insurance companies)
- Do you direct bill? You will be surprised how many clinics now direct bill… some, if not most insurance companies! Do not worry if your favorite RMT does not direct bill you can still submit your own receipt!
- What extra training does the RMT have. If you are looking for something different than traditional deep tissue or relaxation there are a lot of cool specialties out there! Give them all a try!
Another industry that has a lot of misconceptions is the Esthetics industry. I would say the public is lacking the most knowledge in this industry which is unfortunate as it’s such a popular industry!
Did you know there is a proper diploma program to become a Certified Esthetician? Estheticians just like RMT’s put in hard work, time, and money into getting trained. Did you also know that since the industry is not regulated that there are a lot of untrained (and therefore not always safe) businesses out there?
First thing when getting any service (manicure, pedicure, waxing, facials, scrubs ect.) is to ask what training the Estheticians have. If the place does not want to tell you, gets defensive, or is very vague…do not go there or walk out. A properly trained provider will be more than happy to tell you all about their training (we are very proud of our training!) A lot of the time places that do not have proper training are not hard to miss…the prices are usually considerably a lot cheaper (cheaper is not always better, you get what you pay for!), they get you in and out real quick, mostly in strip malls, or large chain stores…you know what I am talking about now right?
Okay getting into the specifics…
Manicures and Pedicures: a Certified Esthetician will use clean sanitized, fresh tools on each client (don’t be afraid to ask sanitizing procedures). There is a fine art and science to getting an amazing Mani and Pedi and proper training is key! Tubs should be thoroughly cleaned between each client. I have heard of some of these quick in-and-out places not properly cleaning and fungus transfers do happen. I repeat, do not be afraid to ask about cleaning practices!
Gel Nails and Acrylic Nails: Where do I start, this is an important one….
First off I guess….THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS POWDERED GEL! You either have gel or acrylic. If you are getting powdered gel you are not getting product approved for cosmetic use.
Powdered gel is something called MMA…this is DENTAL ACRYLIC…this does not belong and has not been approved for use on your nails. It does not give like gel or acrylic (if you jam your finger and break a nail done with proper supplies it will do just that it will give and break…MMA is cured to your hand so much it will rip your natural nail. You also can not soak these off, they have to be “popped” off which will ruin your natural nail. Please…Please…Please ask lots of questions before getting gel nails done. Once again if the price is AMAZING or too good to be true….it is…
Waxing: Common sense here… make sure that clean linens are being used, and that the Esthetician does not “double dip” the sticks used to spread the wax. We like to use gloves for more intimate waxing or areas prone to bleeding.
Facials, Body Wraps, Body Scrubs: Do not be afraid to ask what is being used; a Certified Esthetician will not mind showing you products and ingredients. If anyone is ever hesitant to show you the products, I would highly recommend going elsewhere. If an unmarked bottle is shown (which we use unmarked bottles as we buy in bulk) ask to see the container with information on it!
If you take anything away from this, here is what I hope you remember.
- Not a masseuse
- Ask about training and products used
- Ask about cleaning practices
- No such thing as POWDER GEL