Massage Therapy

Find a massage therapist near North Berkeley, CA

Find a massage therapist near North Berkeley, CA

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a massage therapist during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Ask your massage therapist if they offer consultations over a video chat or phone call. If they do, ask them any questions you have about the upcoming appointment. For example, ask what precautions they're taking to keep both parties safe due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You might also want to ask if they offer gift cards that can be used at a later time, remote services or even virtual lessons for you or members in your household.

Also, ask how they plan to handle payments, and whether you can pay through an online or digital method instead of with physical cash or credit cards. 

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a massage therapist when social distancing?

Because massage therapy requires person-to-person contact, social distancing is not possible. However, you can ask massage therapists near you if they can offer remote services instead, such as lessons for you and your partner.

If you don’t want to book an appointment with a massage therapist right now, but you will in the future when the pandemic subsides, consider paying your massage therapist in advance or tipping them anyway. You can also ask about buying a gift card for future work. 

Do massage therapists offer remote or virtual services?

Ask massage therapists near you about the possibility of remote services. You might come across profiles that state the therapist is offering remote services such as lessons and techniques you can do on your own, with a friend or with a partner.

Does a massage therapist need to enter my home?

Many massage therapists operate their businesses out of their own homes, though some offer mobile massages and come to your home. You should ask the massage therapist where they typically operate and if they are making any special accommodations to better observe the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing

If you must cancel or delay your massage therapy appointment due to COVID-19, consider asking the therapist if they can offer massage techniques or lessons via video chat, email or some other digital format. You can also ask if it's possible to buy gift cards that can be used at a later time.

Can I use digital payments to pay for a massage?

Many massage therapists accept digital payments through Venmo, Apple Pay, PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, Zelle and other online platforms. Even businesses that do not typically accept digital payments may be changing their methods to practice social distancing. Just check with your massage therapist before the appointment to see how they handle payments.  

How can I find out if a massage therapist is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

The definition of an essential COVID-19 service provider varies from state to state and city to city. To see which businesses are considered essential in your area, visit the official government website of your state or city.

You can also read CISA’s publication on identifying critical workers to find out more information on a national level. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

How much does it cost to get a Swedish massage?

Having a Swedish massage can promote relaxation, relieve stress and help you feel great. The national average price range to hire a massage therapist is $70-$90, with prices varying based on length of massage and location. Costs may be higher for a Swedish massage if the client would like services in their home or office, as the massage therapist has to transport their massage table and account for transportation costs. Geographic location can also affect costs, as regions with a lower cost of living and a lower cost to do business will have lower rates than pricey areas such as San Francisco or New York. Here are some examples of average Swedish massage costs:

  • $50 for a 60-minute massage in North Texas.
  • $55 for a 60-minute massage in Central Texas.
  • $60 for a 60-minute massage in New Jersey.
  • $100 for a 60-minute massage in San Francisco Bay Area.

Why is it called a Swedish massage?

Everyone loves Swedish massage. It’s soothing and relaxing and, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, is proven to relieve pain. Swedish massage can also relieve symptoms associated with chronic illness, arthritis, depression and other ailments. The term Swedish massage is actually a massive mixup, according to Massage Magazine. The technique would be more aptly named classical massage, which it is often called. What we in the United States refer to as Swedish massage was actually invented by a Dutch physician named Johan Georg Mezger. Mezger systematized and gave French names to the five massage techniques used today in Swedish (or classic) massage: effleurage, friction, petrissage, tapotement and vibration. The confusion began when the techniques systematized by Mezger were attributed to Per Henrik Ling, the founder of the Swedish Movement System who had practiced his similar techniques in his gymnasium. In many parts of the world, Swedish massage is called classic massage, and most massage therapists will understand either term.

What are the different Swedish massage techniques?

There are five main techniques in Swedish massage: effleurage, friction, petrissage, tapotement and vibration. Within each category there are various movements, all intended to ease muscle tension and pain. Each movement has a specific purpose for loosening, warming, soothing or stimulating your muscles during your massage. Here is a breakdown of each of the five Swedish massage techniques:

  • Effleurage: Sweeping, gliding, smooth long strokes done with the hands or forearms. These strokes can loosen and warm the body and are said to help stimulate blood flow.
  • Friction: These circular or transverse rubbing strokes are also warming and can get deeper into the muscle tissue. They should be avoided on injured or inflamed areas or areas.
  • Petrissage: Lifting, kneading, skin rolling, muscle rolling and wringing. These movements help with circulation, which stimulates cell regeneration, and aid in loosening tense muscles.
  • Tapotement: Tapping, plucking, cupping and pounding. Tapotement movements can help improve blood circulation and cell rejuvenation, and also relax and release tight muscles.  
  • Vibration: Rocking, shaking and trembling movements. These motions can help muscles release.

Is Swedish massage safe during pregnancy?

As long as your prenatal care physician has cleared you for prenatal massage, it should be safe to indulge yourself in a Swedish massage during pregnancy. In fact, scheduling regular pregnancy massages can have wonderful health benefits for you and the baby. Swedish and other massages can feel great and also have a variety of health benefits, according to studies published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Some of the benefits of pregnancy massage include reduction in leg and back pain, lower levels of anxiety and depression, and a better overall mood.

To find the right massage therapist for you, read the therapist’s online reviews and call to ask them about their experience with prenatal massage. Massage therapists who have been specially trained in prenatal massage techniques often advertise this area of expertise on their websites. Don’t hesitate to ask questions beforehand, and to communicate during the massage about what does and does not feel good.

Reviews for North Berkeley massage therapists
Laura R.
Not in a massage studio, but in a private space, which was new to me. Irmi was very friendly and the massage was a good value.
Restorative Flow Massage
Sarah W.
Fabulous massage
Restorative Flow Massage
Julia T.
Excellent massage!
Amy LiuAmy Liu
Francisco r.
The best massage therapist
Impress BodyworkImpress Bodywork
Jon N.
Eastern Massage Therapy
Isis Community Health™Isis Community Health™
Thumbtack Customer
Excellent deep tissue massage!
Restorative Flow Massage
Carlos F.
Great massage! Highly recommend!
Peaceful TouchPeaceful Touch
Raquel B.
Eddy was very professional. He combined several different massage techniques, including deep tissue and Thai massage. I would be happy to work with him again!
Eddy Massage & Body Work CMT.Eddy Massage & Body Work CMT.
David H.
Amy came to our home to give my pregnant wife a massage. She was very responsive, showed up on time, and my wife thoroughly enjoyed her massage. Will definitely use again.
Amy LiuAmy Liu
Thumbtack Customer
Lawrence gave me a fantastic therapeutic massage to help rehabilitate an upper back muscle strain I have. He was professional, on time, and thoughtful. He followed up with me the next day to see how I was doing. It's timesaving and comfortable to have a massage in your own home. I've already booked another massage with him!
Daily Relax BodyworkDaily Relax Bodywork
Sarah M.
This was an awesome massage. Really strong pressure, great experience. Maya is super easy to communicate with. This was my first time having an in-home massage so I wasn’t sure how it’d go, and she is excellent.
Maya - CMTMaya - CMT
Kyra H.
Lawrence is the real deal. One of the best massages I've had in a long time!
Daily Relax BodyworkDaily Relax Bodywork
Nadia V.
Maya was wonderful - great massage experience, and she was very professional and attentive, highly recommend
Maya - CMTMaya - CMT
Evan S.
Sam is a really good massage therapist. You can tell she really cares.
Impress BodyworkImpress Bodywork
Thumbtack Customer
Ana has great hands! I am still feeling the results of her massage two days later. She gave me a very thorough massage, is a very receptive practitioner, and had availability for me right away. Easy to communicate with. Highly recommended.
Eastern Healing ArtsEastern Healing Arts
Raquel B.
My massage with Meeka was terrific. She is both strong and intuitive. I will book with her again.
Blue Mountain Holistic MassageBlue Mountain Holistic Massage
Vipul G.
Impress Bodywork was very professional and has advanced training in massage therapy that was effectively applied to my needs.
Impress BodyworkImpress Bodywork
Chelsia Y.
Had a great massage with Maya! She was easy to coordinate with, came early to set up, and knows her craft.
Maya - CMTMaya - CMT
Nancy D.
Maya was very professional, and the communication was easy. Her massage helped my lower back pain. Highly recommended!
Maya - CMTMaya - CMT
Erin C.
Wonderful massage, you can tell Patricia really cares about her clients, their experience and healing. Highly recommend!
Common Health ArtsCommon Health Arts
Mandie C.
I'd give Jessica 10 stars if I could. She came to my house on my birthday and gave me the BEST 90min massage I've ever had. I spent the next several hours feeling like I was walking on air and my shoulders and neck, which normally are painfully tight were relaxed and tension free for days after. I've already scheduled her for another massage and will do so each month going forward! If your budget allows for regular massages or even occasional ones, Jessica is worth every penny!
Jessica Hobbs, LMTJessica Hobbs, LMT
Brittany S.
Sam came to our home for 90 min massages for my partner and I. Wow, I feel like I drifted off to another planet.. so relaxing! She is very intune with each clients specific needs and delivered one of the best massages we have ever had! Thank you so much Sam and see you soon!
Impress BodyworkImpress Bodywork
Brittany S.
We hired Nathaniel for two deep tissue massages at our home. He responded to our inquiry very quickly and arrived at our home on time and ready to get started! He personalized the massages for my partner and I and left us both feeling completely relaxed and recharged. We will be hiring him again, he really has a magic touch!
Attunement MassageAttunement Massage
Raquel B.
I had a wonderful Thai massage today with Sierra. She was very professional and skillful and kind. I am eager to book with her again.
Sierra Laurel YogaSierra Laurel Yoga
Antwan M.
Never had a massage before and really glad I decided to allow Issac to be the first to introduce me to a world I definitely been missing!
The Hands That EnhanceThe Hands That Enhance
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