Frequently Asked Questions
Why use massage.co.za?
Massage.co.za is the most comprehensive online massage therapist directory in South Africa. Information about massage providers is kept at a therapist level, and users are encouraged to evaluate these therapists. We recognize that the consumer knows that even at the same salon, different therapists all give different massage experiences. The directory aims to make your search for the best massage experience as easy as possible.
Unregistered vs Member vs Subscription
Subscribers (Massage Addict) :
- Get a 1 hour full body massage for every 6 months of subscription.
- 20% discount from participating therapists (indicated as 'Addict Discount' in the last column of all therapist listings)
- Get to see massage prices. Prices will be shown in all therapist profiles and an additional column will be added to therapist listings to display the price of a 1 hour full body massage - this allows for easier comparison of therapists offerings by price.
- Able to sort therapist listings by massage price.
- Access to the additional non-subscribing massage therapists.
- Receive a FREE 1 hour full body massage for every 5 evaluations done.
- Plus all the benefits that Free Members receive.
- See more information on therapists (e.g. website address).
- Can do online bookings via SMS for free.
- Ability to rate therapists.
- Receive a FREE 1 hour full body massage for every 10 evaluations done.
Unregistered users :
- Can view limited information about therapists.
- None of the abovementioned benefits.
Earning FREE massages
Members and Subscribers can evaluate therapists for any paid, non-promotional, massages they received in the past.
Each evaluation brings you one step closer to earning a free massage :
- If you are a subscriber (Massage Addict), you earn a free massage for every 5 evaluations.
- If you are a member, you earn a free massage for every 10 evaluations.
Evaluations are kept confidential and are only accessible by our staff, and not therapists or the public. Therapist ratings are only updated after 3 new evaluations have been performed on a particular therapist. This ensures the therapist cannot infer how a particular customer rated them. We do, however, send an email to the therapist to confirm the date that the massage was actually done - this is to ensure the integrity of evaluations.
Benefits of membership
Membership costs you nothing and requires you to go through a simple online registration process, which takes at most 2 minutes of your time.
The main purpose behind memberships, is for us to better control the integrity of evaluations performed on therapists: we only allow registered members to evaluate therapists. The registration process requires one to provide a valid mobile number, to which we SMS an activation code to ensure its existence and correct ownership. If a fake number is provided, the activation process cannot commence, and the account cannot be used to conduct evaluations. Furthermore, a mobile number can only be used to register one account, which in turn prevents a person from registering multiple accounts under the same number and generating fictitious evaluations.
Besides for allowing our customers to evaluate therapists, there are also a number of other benefits from having a membership:
- You will see even more information on therapists' profiles (e.g. website address).
- You can request an appointment with a particular therapist through the system. The therapist will receive an SMS with your request and your details (mobile number, email address, gender, etc). They are then expected to follow up with you soonest possible, and confirm their availability for the date provided in the request. This facility is provided to you, and the therapists, for free.
- For every 10 (valid) evaluations you do on therapists, you are
rewarded with a free, 1 hour full body massage.
(see also: Where does the massage come from)
(see also: Which therapists are available to use)
Will I be spammed
No. After registration, we will send you some emails that are functional in nature, explaining how things work on the site. We will also send you a few emails over time, informing you of our subscription option. These functional emails cannot be de-activated without de-activating your membership.
Please consider that we also have bills to pay and cannot only provide a gratis service - we rely on a percentage of customers buying subscriptions in order to keep the site running. Thanks to all of those Massage Addicts that keep on supporting us, it is very gratifying to see how many of you value the site by repeatedly renewing your subscription.
During the registration process, you will be asked whether or not you want to receive our newsletter and/or massage related marketing materials (e.g. our annual Fathers Day special). We try our best not to annoy users, and only send out newsletters or marketing mails a few times a year.
Is it safe
Registration takes place over an HTTPS connection. The last part of that acronym - the 'S' - stands for secure. This means that all information you enter is sent to us over a secure, encrypted connection. This is accomplished using security certificates issued by Thawte (the company that turned Mark Shuttleworth into a Billionaire). You can confirm the identify of the site and the working of the SSL security certificate by:
- Looking for the Thawte Seal, located beneath the Search Bar, it should say "Secured by Thawte" and have the correct date beneath it
- In the address bar, make sure the address of the website starts with HTTPS and not HTTP. Be sure that you are on the registration page when looking for this - normal pages need not be encrypted as no personal information is passed.
- To the left of the address bar, next to the HTTPS, should be an icon of a lock. Click this lock to confirm the identity of the site.
- Still not sure? For more information on security certificates, go to http://thawte.com.
Once you have registered, be sure to login to the system using the credentials you provided, such as to enjoy the benefits of being a member. The login button is located at the top right-hand corner of the website.
Will you share / sell my information
We will never sell your information to a third party (point 4 of our Privacy Statement).
If you have opted to receive our Newsletters and/or related marketing materials, then we will occasionally send you such information.
The only scenario where we share some of your information, is when you use the system to request an appointment with a therapist. In this case, we clearly need to send them your name and contact information, such that they can get hold of you to confirm the appointment.
How do I register
Registration is simple and will take at most 2 minutes of your time. Simply click here and complete the online registration form. An email will be sent to you confirming your membership, minutes after registration.
Once you have registered, be sure to login to the system using the credentials you provided, such as to enjoy the benefits of being a member. The login button is located at the top right-hand corner of the website.
Updating my information (cell, email, etc)
To change your membership details, do the following:
- Make sure you are logged in with your username (mobile #) and password.
(The login button is at the top right-hand corner of the screen)
- Once you are logged in, it will say "Logged in as ..." with your name.
- Just to the right of that is a button "Your Account". Click on that.
- You will be taken to a screen similar to the one you used when registering.
- Change the details you want to change.
- If entering a new password, remember to do so twice in the spaces provided, and to rather use a password you are familiar with.
- Click on the “Save” button at the bottom.
Subscribe / Unsubscribe
You can opt in or out from receiving our newsletters and/or related marketing materials. Simply check or uncheck the relevant checkbox under your profile when logged in. (see also: Updating my information).
Note that even if you opt out from receiving our newsletters and/or related marketing, you will still receive emails that are functional in nature, explaining how things work on the site. We will also send you a few emails over time, informing you of our subscription option. These emails cannot be "unsubscribed" from. If you are not willing to receive them, then you will have to de-activate your account and forefeit your membership (see also: Removing my account).
Please consider that we also have bills to pay and cannot only provide a gratis service - we rely on a percentage of customers buying subscriptions in order to keep the site running. Thanks to all of those Massage Addicts that keep on supporting us, it is very gratifying to see how many of you value the site by repeatedly renewing your subscriptions.
Removing my account
If for any reason you wish to de-activate your membership and be removed from our system, please drop us an email to this extent, at email@example.com, and we will gladly assist you. Be aware that you will then forefeit any membership benefits you may have had.
Forgot my password
You can easily reset your password, simply click here. You will be prompted for your username:
- If you are a member or subscriber, your username will be your cell number
- If you are a therapist, your username will be your email address
An email will be sent to you. Click on the link in the email. You will be taken to a page where you can enter your password twice to reset it. Please remember to use a password that you are familiar with, to avoid forgettng your password again.
If you do not find the email in your inbox, please check your spam or junk mail folder. However, if you do not find it here (allow enough time - 20 minutes should suffice), then in all likelyhood you have provided your email address incorrectly during the registration process and will have to contact us for assistance, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscription (Massage Addict)
Benefits of a subscription
Massage.co.za is .....
Redeeming a voucher
|Step 2:||After Step 1, you will be taken to the Vouchers page. Click on Claim Voucher next to your voucher.|
|Step 3:||Click on Click here to select a therapist. Use the interface to find a therapist.|
|Step 4:||Contact the therapist and make an appointment (this is important). Also inform the therapist you are claiming a Massage Addict voucher for a one hour full body massage with this appointment.|
|Step 5:||Once your appointment is confirmed, click Select this therapist|
|Step 6:||Confirm that your voucher details are correct, along with the chosen therapist, before clicking Claim Voucher|
Contact the therapist before claiming your voucher such as to ensure availability and to confirm a specific appointment date and time. You cannot select a different therapist once the voucher has been claimed. If you incorrectly selected a therapist, please contact email@example.com for assistance.
Requesting an appointment
The best option is always to call the therapist directly, speak to them and confirm a time and place. However, a lot of the time, the therapist may be busy with a client and unable to answer the phone. In this case, consider using our free Appointment Request feature on the website, which can be found on every therapist's profile.
The "Appointment Request" feature prompts you for the intended treatment (e.g. full body massage), followed by the desired appointment date and time, as well as an alternate date and time should the first not be available. This information, along with your name and contact particulars (derived from your account) is then automatically SMS'ed and emailed to the respective therapist. Please only use this feature if you definitely want a massage with that therapist.
Therapist is not responding to appointment request
Firstly, we apologise that the therapist is not coming back to you. It might mean:
- that the therapist is new and does not know exactly how things work; or
- that technically something went wrong (like a phone being off or stolen) and the request was not received; or
- that the therapist previously had a negative experience with you and is ignoring you (you would know if that is the case).
(see also: Requesting an appointment).
If you have exhausted all your communication options and given the therapist a reasonable working-hour period to reply, and it is clear that there is a problem, then please contact us and we will try to assist you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where does the massage come from
Massage.co.za is quite unique as a business, as it allows therapists to optionally pay for advertising on the site by providing massages in kind, instead of paying money. To list on the directory, therapists either pay a full monthly fee, or a lesser monthly fee, plus + 1 gratis massage per month. On average, 75% of all therapists opt for the payment-in-kind method.
These massages - owed to the directory by therapists - form part of a "pool" that is utilised in various ways to promote growth and use of the directory.
One of the methods in which these accumulated massages is distributed, is through subscription sales to the directory via its loyalty program (Massage Addict). When a customer subscribes to the website, they receive a number of benefits, including a free full body massage for every 6 months subscription.
Which therapists are available to use
Only therapists that have opted to pay for their listing on the directory, with a monthly massage-in-kind, can be claimed against.
(see Where do the massages come from)
We indicate which therapists provide the massage in kind, in two areas of the site :
- The pages listing therapists in table form. Registered members look out for the Addict Massage Provider column, and subscribers look out for the Addict Massages Available column (indicating the number of massages owed by the respective therapist, to the directory).
- On therapist profiles. Using the same labels as above, depending on whether you are a member or subscriber.
As long as a therapist is an Addict Massage Provider and their count of Addict Massages Available is greater than zero,
the bearer of a voucher can lay claim to a massage against such a therapist, and the therapist must honour the massage booking.
(see Therapists must honour bookings)
The therapist I want has no available massages
For therapists that have opted to pay for their listing on the directory, by providing a massage in kind per month, such massage accrues on the 1st day of each month. So if the therapist you want to book with, has no available massages to claim, you can wait and be the first to claim in the new month (be sure to set a reminder on your calendar).
Contractually owed massages (payment-in-kind)
Contractually owed massages are utilised by the directory in various ways:
- The "initial upfront massage" is used by our staff, to perform an evaluation of newly registered providers and ensure that they are delivering a quality service.
- All customers that are paid Subscribers, get one FREE full body massage for every 6 months of membership. This massage is claimed against the pool of massages owed to the directory by its therapists.
- Awarded to customers for evaluating therapists.
- Awarded as prizes in various ways to promote the directory.
- Massage a month
- Gift vouchers
- Updating details on massage
- 6 steps to make your profile work for you
- Customize your profile
- The massage therapist and the adult dimension
- How to Upload a picture on your profile
- Today I make the choice
- Claiming vouchers on Massage
- Recipe for time management
- The probabilities of relationships
- Essential Marketing Elements of a Massage Practice
- Word of mouth marketing
- Three to get what you want
- Marketing massage to moms
- Five ways to put emotion into your massage therapy marketing
- Making Mistakes When Marketing Your Massage Therapy Practice
- Creating Energy For Your Massage Therapy Practice
- Five Tips for Expanding your Practice With Ease
- Generating word of mouth referrals
- The Art of Making a Decision
Types of Massage
Reflexology is an alternative medicine method involving the practice of massaging or applying pressure to parts of the feet, or sometimes the hands and ears, with the goal of encouraging a beneficial effect on other parts of the body, or to improve general health. It is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, crÃ¨mes or lotions, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body. 
Swedish massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks. It has also been shown to be helpful in individuals with poor circulation. 
Sports massage is a clinical approach utilizing skilled, specific hands-on techniques to diagnose and treat soft tissues and joint structures for the purpose of modulating pain; increasing range of motion (ROM); reducing or eliminating soft tissue inflammation; inducing relaxation; improving contractile and non-contractile tissue repair, extensibility, and/or stability; facilitating movement; and improving function. 
Hot Stone massage
A stone massage uses stones, sometimes heated, to massage the body. The hardness of the stones allows the therapist to address specific problem areas with more detailed work or deeper pressure. Basalt stones of various sizes, shapes and weights are used throughout and heated in water.
The stones are used in two ways during the massage. One is to impart heat onto the body by laying stones under the client with a layer of fabric between the client and stone (a sheet or towel) and/or on top of the client, again upon a towel. Stone layout typically will be along both sides of the spine, or along the chakra centers on top and baseball sized stones would be placed in the hands. While these layout stones are delivering concentrated centers of heat, the therapist is simultaneously massaging the client with oiled, heated stones held in the palm of the hand with firm strokes along the muscles of the legs, arms, and torso areas.
An authentic hot stone massage is not simply the "gliding" of heated stones lightly upon the surface of the skin, but rather the stones are used as tools to deliver effective tissue and muscle massage at a pressure level comfortable to the client. The client can request light, medium or deep pressure, which is the beauty of the hot stone massage technique. It can be customized in an instant to the request of the client. The hardness of the stones makes for a deep tissue massage and is easy on the joints of the therapist's hands.
The heat from the stones relaxes muscles and increases the blood flow to the area being worked on which is said to further accelerates the healing process. This increase in circulation and the relaxation of the muscles is also claimed to aid in mental relaxation. 
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person's mood, cognitive function or health. Two basic mechanisms are offered to explain the purported effects. One is the influence of aroma on the brain, especially the limbic system. The other is the direct pharmacological effects of the essential oils. 
Deep Tissue massage
Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is also not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly. What one calls deep tissue another will call light. When receiving deep tissue work it is important to communicate what you are feeling. 
Shiatsu is a traditional hands-on therapy originating in Japan. There are two main Shiatsu schools; one based on western anatomical and physiological theory and the other based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and palm of one's hand to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. 
Thai massage is a type of massage in Thai style that involves stretching and deep massage. This form of bodywork is usually performed on the floor, and the client wears comfortable clothes that allow for movement. No oils are used in Thai massage. It can be done solo or in a group of a dozen or so patients in the same large room. The receiver is put into many yoga like positions during the course of the massage.
The massage practitioner leans on the recipient's body using hands and usually straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm rhythmic pressure. The massage generally follows the Sen lines on the body â€” somewhat analogous to meridians or Channel (Chinese medicine) and Indian nadis. Legs and feet of the giver can be used to fixate the body or limbs of the recipient. In other positions, hands fixate the body, while the feet do the massaging action. A full Thai massage session typically lasts two hours or more, and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body; this may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking the knuckles, walking on the recipient's back, and arching the recipient's into bhujangasana or (cobra position). There is a standard procedure and rhythm to this massage. 
The Kahuna massage originates from the Hawaiian islands where it has been practiced for over 5000 years. It is a full body massage using long rhythmical strokes, breath, and movement, which assists the person to relax, rejuvenate and heal. 
What is an Ayurvedic massage?
Ayurvedic massage is a natural health care system originating in India that incorporates massage, yoga, meditation and herbal remedies. Ayurvedic massage, also known as Abhyanga is usually performed by one or two therapists using a heated blend of herbal oils based on the ayurvedic system of humors. 
Email any questions that are not answered by this section to Question@massage.co.za.
- ^ Reflexology on Wikipedia
- ^ "Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics & Code of Conduct" (doc). Reflexology Association of Canada. 2005.. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- ^ Swedish Massage on Wikipedia
- ^ Robertshawe P. (June 2007). "Massage for Osteoarthritis of the Knee". Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society 13 (2): 87.
- ^ Sports Massage on Wikipedia
- ^ Hot Stone Massage on Wikipedia
- ^ Aromatherapy Massage on Wikipedia
- ^ Deep Tissue Massage on Wikipedia
- ^ Definition of Shiatsu Massage
- ^ Shiatsu Massage on Wikipedia
- ^ Thai Massage on Wikipedia
- ^ Kahuna Massage Description
- ^ Ayurvedic Massage on Wikipedia