How much to tip a massage therapist can be a confusing thing. On one hand you have the spa massage therapist that can be put in the same group as nail technicians and hair stylists. Another group is sports massage therapists and medical massage therapists. Typically people in the medical profession do not receive tips for their services. Lastly, what if you are not from the United States? Different countries have different customs. For example, Canada reimburses its citizens for massage, so massage is seen more as medical service versus a pampering service.
Below are listed the basic rules of how to tip a massage therapist:
Table Massage Tips Basic Rules
Chair Massage Tips Basic Rules
* If you do want to tip, ask what the establishment's guidelines are. Tipping may be against the company's policies or they might not mind. Each situation is different.
What if you do not want to tip?
An exception to all of the above is when a customer does not want to tip and it's not a reflection on the services they received. Customers have a right to not tip because tipping is a courtesy. Many massage therapists I know are grateful for tips and do not expect them. Tipping, and how much, is absolutely the decision of the customer.
Beware Hidden Tips
Lastly, a word of caution; In many tourist areas, a spa or salon will add a tip to the bill for the customer – without asking! This is an automatic process at many places. Then, because the customer is not aware of this, the customer will add a tip to the bill not realizing they're double tipping! This is an unfortunate reality that massage customers need to protect themselves from.
Hopefully this has answered all your massage tip questions. Remember, if in doubt; Ask the massage therapist or company. They will be pleased that you care enough to want to tip.