As a consumer, I want certainty. I want warranties. I want promises that whatever I’m spending my money on is going to be just what I want or need.
If I’m buying a thing, I look for craftsmanship, sturdiness, warranties, or whatever sign of quality is appropriate to the thing I’m buying. For example, I’m not going to look for a warranty If I’m buying a shirt, but I am going to look at the stitching and the durability of the fabric in relation to the the things I’ll be doing while wearing it. A new washing machine, on the other hand, had damn well better have a warranty, a good energy star rating, and enough capacity to be able to get all my work and home laundry done in a reasonable number of loads.
If I’m paying for a service, however, things are very different. Ok, there are some services where I expect consistent results like having my oil changed correctly or my hair cut the same way each time. But in many instances, I get uncomfortable when a provider makes too many promises. Especially if they’re making those promises before they’ve even seen me.
You see, real life is messy. Bodies are complicated, and our pains and problems are very rarely as clear cut as we’d like them to be. No one has all the answers.
So what’s the problem with certainty? People. People are the problem. People are notoriously unique and complicated. Even identical twins aren’t completely identical in every single aspect of their beings.
Given that, can someone really guarantee that their service is going to have long lasting effects for every single person they see? Really? Every skin type, stress level, personality, muscle tone, body mass?
I’ve been a massage therapist for 19 years now and I can guarantee several things, but results aren’t usually one of them. I have a damn good track record, but no one bats 100%.
When I was in massage school, one of my teachers used to say, “The answer to every question is ‘it depends’.” She was right. There is no single therapist or single technique that can help every single person out there. There’s no single, unwavering cause for pain in any single location. I won’t make promises I’m not sure I can keep. I’ll tell you that if I can help we should see results in x number of sessions, that I’ve helped a majority of clients with your pain pattern, but rest assured, I won’t guarantee I’ll be able to help all the people all the time.