Trends in Jackson Hole Massage and Bodywork

I know…it’s been a long time since I’ve contributed to the blog. I haven’t been inspired to write about anything. I kept thinking about a client of mine who once told me she would rather read a really good blog, even if it only came out every once in a while, than a crap blog that was regularly published. She hated reading crap blogs. This stuck with me. I hope I’m not just using it as an excuse 🙂
I’m also thinking the blog is morphing into something other than strictly super health and super nutrition because I’ve been mulling over this topic for a while now and I’ve finally decided I’m going to write about it….it’s inspired me 🙂

So…on to the new topic at hand!

I follow spa trends. I feel it’s important in the industry to keep up with what’s going on, what’s new and what people are getting into. I also find it fun and sometimes fascinating. I love to read the treatment menu descriptions of really she she spas, and the up and coming things that they will be introducing or the newest treatment or genre of treatments that they will be offering. However, recently I’ve really been pondering what kinds of spa trends are actually happening in Jackson, WY. This would make even more sense as my practice, Bliss Bodywork, is here. The thing that I find really intriguing is that I believe that the trend is moving away from the spa here in Jackson.
Let me give you a little background on the Jackson Hole area. We are supersaturated in the area of spas, massage therapists and every kind of holistic bodyworker and healer. I always joke that the therapists here are like hookers….there’s one on every corner. This place draws massage therapists like buzzards to a carcass. Things have really changed in the last 10 years that I’ve been here. I remember there was only a handful of spas and the business was great most of the time. Then they kept building more and more and more. The installation of the Four Seasons in Teton Village at the base of the mountain sadly ushered in a new era in many ways. Now every resort has to have a spa as do many hotels; finally, let’s not forget about the independent spas. They continue to build them from time to time, even though a few have had to shut down. With all the competition most of the spas’ business has decreased considerably and it seems like everyone is now fighting for the morsels that are around.

Herein lies the fascinating bit. It seems that people, even a lot of tourists, in fact, are really starting to wise up and become quite massage savvy. It impresses me how many people seem to be seeking out the individual therapists who have struck out on their own and have their own practices. See, I will let you in on the big secret, but…shhhhhhhhhh….don’t tell anyone! Ok, the biggest kept secret is this: you usually will never find the truly gifted therapists in a spa. Spas are actually notorious for this. Most people know that you go to the spa for the “experience.” Really that translates to be the amenities, ie: hot tub, sauna, blah blah blah. Most people also know that you don’t go to a spa for a really great massage…..what is wrong with this picture?! Most people also know that you pay a premium to go to a spa. Now, why would anyone want to pay top dollar to get a mediocre, at best, massage and then spend 15 minutes in the steam room? It’s ludicrous, but this was the trend for ages. Now people are realizing that it’s cheaper to find the really talented and caring therapists, and they often times will come to you! Now that’s the deal of the century: great massage, therapists who really care about your body, health and experience…about you, AND they’ll come to your place?! Back the yum yum truck up, please!
No one really knows how this shift finally came about or what spurned it, but those of us who have spent our entire careers honing our skills and education to be the best possible therapists out there for YOU, we say….FINALLY and welcome aboard. 🙂

Obviously, this is all my own observation and opinion, but I feel it worthwhile upon which to muse. I hope you didn’t find it boring, and, mostly, I hope it’s not crap.

Experiment, do your own research, and above all never take anything anyone says at face value. Always research. Use what resonates with you. This is how we find our own truth.

3 thoughts on “Trends in Jackson Hole Massage and Bodywork

  1. Stevie,
    I loved this post! I think a lot of people go to spas because they feel safe too. Its not easy if you are new in town, or visiting somewhere to know how to find someone who knows what they are doing. Blogging about the experience, for people to find you is awesome, and I never thought of the perspective you just spoke of. I hope I get to come to Jackson Hole one day very soon – of course, you can always come here first 🙂 Thank you for this insight! Is there a site out there that talks about good therapists etc and rates them, like with doctors and teachers? That would be a cool follow up blog. You’re teaching me a lot 🙂

    1. Thanks, Mila! You can always refer to credential groups such as the NCBTMB (national massage board) or AMTA to get referrals. It is important to be aware that in states like Wyoming there IS NO licensing so anyone, even Joe-shmoe off the street, could work as a massage therapist. This is why people should always check websites and look for national certification and membership to other groups. You can also check sites like tripadvisor or yelp and see if there are the therapist is listing and/or has any reviews posted. Thank you so much for the idea. I think I will do a follow up blog specifically answering your question!

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