Find a massage therapist near Santa Cruz, CA

Find a massage therapist near Santa Cruz, CA

Find a massage therapist near Santa Cruz, CA

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Top 10 Massage Therapists near Santa Cruz, CA

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.

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 Santa Cruz massage therapists
Thumbtack Customer
Great massage!
Santa Cruz Core Fitness + RehabSanta Cruz Core Fitness + Rehab
James d.
Great fantastic massage
Sataranga Holistic HealingSataranga Holistic Healing
Katie S.
I feel 10x lighter after my massage. Such a positive and supportive experience combined with an amazing massage. Thank you!
Giovanni TriminioGiovanni Triminio
Cameron H.
Jessa gave a great massage! I've tried a couple other massage therapists since moving to Santa Cruz and the quality was a step above. I could tell that she's super knowledgeable about body mechanics and that this informs her massage technique, but at the same time she's intuitive. Thank you!
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
George R.
Excellent deep tissue massage ! Cannot wait to go back !
Calmels Healing Therapy, LMTCalmels Healing Therapy, LMT
Victor C.
Michel's is very good with information and massage was good very Cain
Santa Cruz Core Fitness + RehabSanta Cruz Core Fitness + Rehab
Felicia G.
Eric’s skills are superb. Not sure if all 90 minute were used (perhaps he counts the time it takes to set up and dissemble the massage table), but my husband loved every minute of the massage and stated it was the best massage he had with the right amount of pressure (hubby had three other ones previously and the pressure was not hard enough for him).
Art of MassageArt of Massage
Kristin B.
Elle was fantastic. Everyone raved about their massage and how easy the whole process was. She arrived on time to the house we rented for the weekend and all 6 women received a great massage. Would hire again!
Mobile Massage by ElleMobile Massage by Elle
Diane L.
Great massage! Opted for a blend of deep tissue and stress relief. Jessa worked out my trouble spots, including ones I didn’t know I had. Rolled into the shower and took a nap afterwards - an at home massage is the way to go!
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
Jakob O.
Great massage! She really focused on the areas that we discussed beforehand. Highly recommended!
Platinum Massage & Body ContouringPlatinum Massage & Body Contouring
Thumbtack Customer
Jessa is a fine massage therapist, knows the body real well and very attentive to pressure points and comfort level.
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
Kara B.
I can't say enough about my massage experience with Jessa. She was professional and a clear communicator. She listened to what I said and was responsive to it. She is a warm and caring person and, most importantly, she gave me a great massage. I wouldn't hesitate to use her in the future or to recommend her.
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
Thumbtack Customer
My upper arms and shoulders are sore from lack of movement and the massage is very helpful. Serena has done a wonderful job.
Santa Cruz Core Fitness + RehabSanta Cruz Core Fitness + Rehab
Ben R.
Jessa gave a me a great massage. Came to my place which was very convenient. I look forward to my next session with her.
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
Alex B.
Jessa was great ! I recently was in a motorcycle accident and requested extra attention in tense areas and her skills were beyond a normal massage. Highly recommend.
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
Paul H.
With skill in many different modalities, Jessa gives a massage that is both strong and therapeutic, and at the same time nurturing and relaxing. I’m glad I booked a 90 minute session with her.
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
Mark w.
Perfect massage both my wife and I found therapeudic and relaxing. Looking forward to learning more about Movement Therapy...Will go again...and refer....I think that says it all..She's great!
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
Tony K.
Jessa gave a very good quality massage. Took the time to talk about my chronic issues and what i am feeling /needed. Had a very nice session and feel much better. I look forward to seeing her again.
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
Karen z.
I've nothing but praise for Jessa. I've been getting massage for over 30years .. Jessa is so good I'll let my long term masseuse go. Time for a change. Shes kind, caring & punctual Will schedule monthly with her. VERY PLEASED WITH THE SERVICE I RECEIVED.
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
Dawn L.
Jessa was great! My husband and I were very satisfied after our massages. She really worked on my neck issue and I was so relaxed I think I nodded off a couple times. She has strong hands and is a very pleasant and warm woman. Thanks Jessa, you rock!
Santa Cruz BiomechanicsSanta Cruz Biomechanics
William g.
I am really impressed with Glenn and he is probably the best masseur I've ever worked with. I like the way he asks questions before, during and after the session. He is extremely professional and knowledgeable, but at the same time very friendly. I am totally comfortable at all times. I have already booked Glenn for several massages and look forward to more sessions in the future. Thank you Glenn for your expertise and support. Definitely a five star experience.
Glenn Gangano, RN, BScN, CMTGlenn Gangano, RN, BScN, CMT
John D.
March 4, 2022 John D. My massage therapist that I had been using for some time moved to Hawaii so I researched Santa Cruz for a top replacement. I was lucky enough to find Cat, who was highly rated. She was quick to respond and easy to schedule. Her Studio is attractive and the table is warm. She asked and focused on my problem areas, which were greatly improved when I left. Parking is great and Catherine Calmels deserves her Top professional spot. Book now and you will thankful you did!
Calmels Healing Therapy, LMTCalmels Healing Therapy, LMT
REED F.
Ever since childhood, I've always had a very tight lower back and neck, which appear to be the main places I hold physical and emotional tension. Glenn was able to hone in on the specific parts of my back and neck where that tension was held, and use Thai, Swedish, and deep tissue massage techniques to give me a level of relief in these areas that I have never felt before. I am experiencing more range of motion, and a humongous relief of emotional stress that had me yawning more than I ever have, followed by the deep sleep of the ages. See Glenn if that sounds like a good experience to you.
Glenn Gangano, RN, BScN, CMTGlenn Gangano, RN, BScN, CMT
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