Archive for December 13th, 2018

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Owner, Working Well Massage

Recently, I had the chance to work a few hours in the Working Well Massage chair massage station inside Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park. In years past, I’ve spent many hours in the WWM booths, giving chair massages, talking to clients and enjoying the time in the store. While I was giving massages recently, I was mindful of the time I started and kept track of the pace of my massages based on the clock we have in our booth. And I thought back to a Yelp review we once had in which a client complained that her massage therapist was a “clock watcher.”


Normally the term “clock watcher” is a pejorative term. According to dictionary. com,  a clock watcher is “an employee who demonstrates lack of interest in a job by watching the time closely to be sure to stop work as soon as the workday or shift is over,” or “any person who watches the time closely, as in expectation of some news or event.” It seems the Yelper thought the massage therapist was watching the lock because she was disinterested in giving her a massage. Far from it. Like a coach using a stop watch to track a students race times, or a dentist waiting a certain number of minutes for Novocaine to kick in, some jobs are time dependent.

Minute Hand Time Clock Hour Stopwatch Second

When a massage therapist gives a massage, but especially a chair massage, we based our pace and the amount of time we allocate to each area we massage, on the number of minutes of the massage the client requests.

Addressing neck pain means we may focus more time on the upper torso and neck. How much time we focus directly on the neck depends on the overall length of time of the massage.

Massage therapists watch the clock to make sure we stay on track and have enough time to effectively address each area the client wants work on. Most massage therapists will periodically look at the clock and note how much time we have left to address the areas we need to work. If we did not do this, you might get a really great massage on one side the body and then about 1 minute to address the other side!

Andrew Petrikiv, LMT ready to give massages by the minute!

So if you are receiving a massage and see your massage therapist glance at the clock,  it is not that he or she is bored or wants to get the massage over with. Rest assured that your massage therapist is doing their best to pace themselves and make sure the areas you need addressed are massaged effectively. Then, go ahead and relax and enjoy the massage!

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