Bartering for Crack

Tomorrow morning marks the last visit of my all-you-can-crack buffet chiropractic deal, and I’m not re-upping because it’s just not staying in place. I don’t think he’s doing anything wrong, I’m pretty sure it’s me, and I’m now going the neurology/MRI route. Still, I’m going to miss the hell out of my daily 15 minutes of care followed by 5-12 hours of relief from the neck-shoulder discomfort.

So imagine where my mind went, while I was face-down on the table, when he started asking if I’d be interested in working corporate health fairs with him…you know, those office events with blood pressure screening, flu shots, etc. Apparently, the company gets the whole thing for free and people like the chiropractor pay a hefty fee to participate. Since the promise of free massage lures them over for the spinal assessment, he hires a massage therapist to work the fair with him. He asked how much I’d charge for that, and I got him to keep talking about what was involved while my brain started working on the figures. Apparently he’s not happy with the guy he’s been doing this with, and I suspect the reason is that he’s a he – most women are okay with a chair massage from a guy but few men are, and no one objects to a woman working on them. I’d like to say we’re less threatening and more approachable, but my chiropractor is tall, attractive, and quietly exudes warmth.

So tell me how this is not a perfect barter situation!! I wouldn’t want to exchange services directly with him because lines get blurred and I really really REALLY don’t want that – unless he’s gay, then it doesn’t matter (I put those odds at 30%). He suggested a free month of care per health fair, but I feel like I’d be getting too much more out of the deal than he would. I countered with X number of visits per health fair (didn’t sort out the number, but will shoot for 10-15 depending on the length of the fair) so at 1-2x a week, I’d be covered for the months he doesn’t do one of these events. People, I’ve been wracking my brains for the past 3 months trying to figure out how to get weekly chiropractic treatment on an ongoing basis without paying through the nose, and voila!

To put numbers to the value of all this…
Cost of single chiropractic adjustment: $70 (quite reasonable)
Cost of 4 weeks unlimited chiropractic:  $300
….Going 3x a week, that’s $25 per visit (awesome!)
….I go 6x a week, so it’s $12.50 per visit (embarrassingly cheap)
My rate for 2 hours of corporate chair massage:  $170 (average)
2 hours of corporate chair massage for 10 back cracks:  $17 per visit

I am ridiculously excited about this. It directly saves me $900 a year because I usually need intensive treatment 3 months out of 12, and more important is the preventative aspect of a weekly adjustment – fewer headaches! less achiness! Then there’s the potential bonus of networking with the alternative health crowd as well as getting my name out as a local non-spa massage therapist. Too bad the economy is in the crapper, because this is not the time for companies to contemplate a regular on-site massage therapist as a free or subsidized treat for their employees. But even if there is no benefit to my business, this deal is TOTALLY worth it!

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