Massage Therapy

Find a massage therapist near Oakland, CA

Find a massage therapist near Oakland, 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. 

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.  

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.

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.

Do deep tissue massages work?

Deep tissue massage not only feels fabulous, it can provide results. The massage technique targets deeper layers of muscle and your connective tissue. For its ability to stimulate those deeper muscles, deep tissue massage is commonly used during recuperation from sports-related and other injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic. Deep tissue massage has been proved to reduce high blood pressure and a range of other ailments. Deep tissue and other types of massage are frequently used for relieving stress, managing pain, breaking down scar tissue, relieving muscle tension and improving health. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health cites the following as health conditions for which that deep tissue massage can provide relief:

  • Chronic low back pain, chronic neck pain, and osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Labor pains
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fibromyalgia pain and fatigue
  • Headaches
  • HIV/AIDS

The proper deep tissue massage may also benefit preterm infant health. Cancer patients may experience reduced pain, increased relaxation, and improved mood.

What is a traditional Thai massage?

Traditional Thai massage is a different experience if you’ve only ever had a Swedish or deep tissue massage. In Thai massage, you wear loose-fitting clothing (often provided by the massage therapist) and start by lying on a mat. Throughout the massage, the therapist moves your body into various seated and prone positions, which stretch and release your muscles and soft tissue. Although your body is moving, the therapist is doing all the work, making it feel similar to supported yoga. The massage therapist will bend, stretch, and compress and lengthen your body using their hands, forearms, elbows and even feet. Don’t be alarmed by the feet! Many studios have overhead supports that allow the practitioners to safely walk on your back, releasing tight adhesions and promoting ease. Thai massage can be both invigorating and relaxing. It is an excellent option for keeping your muscles in good health if you regularly work out, or if you want to overcome a lack of flexibility. Studies show that Thai massage can increase blood circulation, improve flexibility, reduce muscle tension and enhance mental well-being.

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.

How much are pregnancy massages?

Prenatal massages can be a safe and therapeutic way to alleviate the aches and pains of pregnancy. A prenatal massage can promote a sense of relaxation and well-being for expectant mothers. The national average cost for a pregnancy massage ranges between $70 and $90. The cost of a pregnancy massage will vary depending on where you live, the length of the massage, and the massage therapist. Typically, the longer a massage, the higher the cost. Some massage therapists charge the same rate per minute, regardless of massage length, while others charge less per minute for longer appointments. Here are two examples of average prenatal massage costs:

  • Therapist A: Offers a 30-minute massage for $45, 45 minutes for $60, 60 minutes for $75, 75 minutes for $90 and 90 minutes for $105.
  • Therapist B: offers a 30-minute massage for $45, a 60-minute massage for $85, a 90-minute massage for $115 and a 120-minute massage for $145.
Reviews for Oakland massage therapists
Maricela F.
Great massage
Mobile Massages by JessicaMobile Massages by Jessica
Erin S.
Amazing massage!
MandalaMandala
Sydney C.
I was relaxed and rejuvenated after getting a massage from KB. Can’t wait for my next massage!
K B MassageK B Massage
Priya J.
Excellent massage
Maya - CMTMaya - CMT
Nichole Q.
Great massage.
Bodywork by Pol BabiBodywork by Pol Babi
John T.
Great massage very relaxing
528 Samadhi Healing Light528 Samadhi Healing Light
Iván V.
Excellent massage from Oscar. Great energy, very relaxing massage. Felt very comfortable during our session, and rested and energized afterwards.
Oscar's MassageOscar's Massage
AMIE L.
Shannon came to my school to give massages to teachers for teacher appreciation week. She was prompt, professional, and flexible. The teachers raved about their massages!
Sacré Vous Mobile Massage by Shannon Kenoyer, LMTSacré Vous Mobile Massage by Shannon Kenoyer, LMT
Justin M.
Highly recommended. Great massage, well versed in different modalities (I received a combination of deep tissue and Thai massage). Very nice person.
LisaZtherapeuticMassageLisaZtherapeuticMassage
Robin S.
Amy was amazingggggg! Get her massage!
Amy LiuAmy Liu
Michael c.
Very good deep tissue massage.
Amy LiuAmy Liu
Star B.
Thank you for a great in-house massage!
Intuitive Touch MassageIntuitive Touch Massage
Merav S.
Eddy came today for the first time for my husband's birthday massage. He was amazing! Really professional and did an excellent massage. We already booked him for two weeks from today. He's great and we highly recommend him if you are looking for a excellent massage.
Eddy Massage & Body Work CMT.Eddy Massage & Body Work CMT.
Cort L.
Sam provided two in-house massages, first for my husband and then for me. The first was a thorough sports massage and the second was a more traditional Swedish massage. Both were perfect, reflecting Sam's experience with different modalities. She was responsive, professional, and thoroughly skilled, and we'll be working with her again!
Impress BodyworkImpress Bodywork
Kwame S.
She was very pleasant provided awesome massage
LisaZtherapeuticMassageLisaZtherapeuticMassage
Jareena L.
She put me right to sleep! Excellent massage!
Isis Community Health™Isis Community Health™
Jersey n.
Amazing, literally the best massage I've ever had.
Eddy Massage & Body Work CMT.Eddy Massage & Body Work CMT.
Jason J.
Jennifer did a great job massaging my wife and I. My wife said it was the best massage of her life. Jennifer found all the trouble spots and got the knots out.
Isis Community Health™Isis Community Health™
James P.
Ali is professional and a skilled massage therapist. Highly recommended!
Ali massageAli massage
Dara B.
Very good massage. Highly recommend treating yourself.
Daily Relax BodyworkDaily Relax Bodywork
Thumbtack Customer
I just had a baby and currently have a lot of physical pain from past injuries. This was one of the best massages I've ever had. The environment was peaceful and clean. Attentive listening was provided regarding my needs. I was educated on how to make improvements to my health. The massage also began and ended on time. I'd highly recommend Magnolia Massage to others. I most definitely plan to return and incorporate massages from here as part of my self care regimen.
Isis Community Health™Isis Community Health™
Miriam G.
Dijone was so in tune with what my body needed. She followed the pain and addressed issues I didn’t even realize were still going on. She provided me stretches to do alongside massage. I came to her with a locked jaw and shoulders with terrible pain, and she provided a myofascial massage; I feel unlocked and the pain has greatly subsided only after one massage. I will definitely go back to her for all my massage needs.
Peaceful TouchPeaceful Touch
Morgan F.
Jessica performed three back to back 60 minute massages on me and my aunts and we all kept raving about how great her massages were! We all had very different needs and Jessica catered her services to each of us! As seasoned people who have had many massages, Jessica’s skills and professionalism really stood out. She was extremely responsive, professional, and gives a 10/10 massage! Would recommend to everyone
Mobile Massages by JessicaMobile Massages by Jessica
Maha A.
Amy was absolutely wonderful! She came to my home and treated my sister and I to *perfect* massages and left us feeling like jello we were so relaxed. After that massage I had the best day and felt like a true birthday girl. Amy is a wonderful person and massage therapist - do NOT hesitate to book her time!
Amy LiuAmy Liu
Thiago S.
Had an incredible massage with Shannon! She is extremely talented and is able to feel where the tension is and help relieve pressure. We did the massage outside and the chair kept me nice and warm. Highly recommend!
Sacré Vous Mobile Massage by Shannon Kenoyer, LMTSacré Vous Mobile Massage by Shannon Kenoyer, LMT
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