Are consumers ready to return to massage?



As states are slowly reopening and allowing massage therapists to return to their practices, the questions we have all been wondering are: Are consumers ready to return to massage? Will they be afraid to receive my services? Are they willing to spend money on massage? What can I do to make sure people feel safe? We’re here to help answer some of these questions.

1. Are consumers ready to return to massage?

The International Spa Association conducted a survey with 1,019 responses from a sample of consumers in the U.S. The survey respondents represent a broad cross-section of the United States population. Seventy-five percent of the survey’s respondents are spa-goers (defined as people who have visited a spa in the last 12 months) and 25 percent are non-spa-goers (defined as those who have not visited a spa in more than 12 months). It’s important to note that this survey was conducted for insight into the spa industry, and might not be representative of massage clients visiting you in your private practice. Although your clients might answer these questions slightly differently, these results offer valuable insights into the massage industry.

This is what the survey respondents said about visiting a spa…


How nervous are you about visiting a spa?


Compare this to how the same respondents feel about…

Taking a Flight


Visiting Friends and Family


Getting a Haircut at a Salon


2. Will my clients be afraid to receive my services?

According to the survey, 28% of respondents are not nervous at all about returning to spa services, and 47% are a little nervous. We can conclude that consumers might be a little nervous about returning to spa services, but they are much more concerned about air travel and attending meetings and events with many people. If you are running a private practice and only have 1 client in and out at a time, you might even conclude that your number could be more similar to the respondents regarding getting a haircut at a salon: 37% not nervous, and 47% a little nervous.

Another important finding from this survey was regarding communal spaces and shared amenities. 

Will you avoid communal spaces in the spa?


Will you avoid shared amenities in the spa?


If you have a waiting room, locker room, or other shared amenities, it’s important to communicate with your clients and let them know what you are doing to keep these spaces sanitized. This includes signage, email, social media, and website communications.

3. Are consumers willing to spend money on massage?

This is the question all massage therapists have been asking. Should I raise prices? Should I offer discounts? Before you make any decisions, let’s look at the data. Eight out of 10 respondents report that they will spend as much or more on spas after the pandemic ends as they did before! Learn more in our blog: Should You Charge More For Your Services After the Pandemic?


4. What can I do to make sure people feel safe?

Spa-goers say they are going to return to spas, but they need to be confident that they will feel safe. You clients will most likely pay close attention to your policies on sanitation and hygiene, and look for evidence that you are actually following through. This means that not only do you need to communicate with your clients about your sanitation practices, but they actually need to see you doing it. Here is what survey respondents said about their therapist wearing a mask:

Do you anticipate asking your therapist to wear a mask during your treatment?


Thank you for reading! We hope this has been helpful for you and supports you when you decide the time is right to open your practice. If you would like to learn more about Yomassage and low/no touch offerings you can add to your practice, please visit this page.

We have created tons of other resources to support you in your practice during this time. You can find them here.

If you want to join the Yomassage community, you can do so through our free Yomassage Facebook group:

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Source: iSpa Consumer Snapshot Vol. X. April, 2020. Navigating Through the Covid-19 Pandemic. A Consumer’s Point of View.

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