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To Tip or Not to Tip: Should You Tip Your Massage Therapist?

Should You Tip Your Massage Therapist?


On a fairly frequent basis, I am asked by someone if they should tip their massage therapist. In my opinion, tipping any service provider is a personal choice that you make based on the service provided. If you’re not sure, though, here a few of my guidelines for tipping your massage therapist:

Most massage therapists don’t expect a tip

While tips will never be turned down, most massage therapists do not go into a session expecting a tip for their services. You will not make-or-break our income by not tipping, unlike a waiter or waitress who relies on tipping to make a living.

Tip if you liked the service

Did your massage therapist do an outstanding job during your session? Then a tip is a great way to say thank you for a job well done. Anywhere from 10-20% is a good place to start!

Tipping is a compliment to your massage therapist

Again, getting a tip (especially when you have no expectation of receiving one) is a huge compliment to a massage therapist! It means you truly enjoyed the session and the work I did. If you feel like giving a massage therapist a compliment, then a tip will surely do it. Online reviews will also do the trick!

Don?t feel pressured into it

If you didn’t budget for a tip or simply didn’t have a good experience during the session, do not feel obligated to leave one! If the experience wasn’t enjoyable, a better tip would be to let your therapist know how it went. This may make you feel uncomfortable, but keep in mind that the only way a massage therapist will know how to improve is with feedback! Want to make your massage even better? Check out my 10 Ways for Getting the Best Massage of Your Life.

The bottom line: tipping is?appreciated but not required

Some people may make the argument it is not necessary to tip a service provider who is also the business owner (like myself). The logic behind not tipping a service provider is that business owners get to keep all of the money they make from providing a service. While this is true, the owner is responsible for a lot of expenses: rent, marketing, equipment, supplies, etc. Tipping can be that little extra something that helps out immensely. Plus, it’s just a nice surprise!


Ultimately, my function as a massage therapist is not to “work for tips”. Rather, I want you to have the best, most relaxing and therapeutic session possible so you can meet your personal wellness goals. As a therapist, I do not expect a tip and greatly appreciate any that I do receive. I see tipping as a great compliment to the work that I’ve done, but you scheduling another session is all I need to know that I’m doing a good job.

Suzanne Schaper is a Board Certified Massage Therapist serving Lenexa and Overland Park, KS. She loves sharing her knowledge for health and wellness with her customers. "A life free of pain and disease is a more full life." Suzanne enjoys assisting her customers in their pursuit of health and happiness.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I love your tip about how tipping is a compliment to a massage therapist and how you can make someone’s day doing so. My husband and I are looking to get a couples massage here in Toronto and we wanted to know what went into tipping a massage therapist. We will be sure to keep these tips in mind after we find a professional.

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