Massage Therapy

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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 long is a Swedish massage?

A Swedish massage can range from 45 minutes to 120 minutes or more. A longer massage allows the massage therapist to give you an all-over massage and then circle back to focus on areas in need of extra bodywork. Some massage therapists recommend that your first massage be longer to give the therapist time to learn more about your health and any injuries or pain before providing you with a healing massage. The longer your massage, the more it will cost. Swedish massage is made up of five body strokes designed to relax, heal, improve circulation and maintain health. The techniques are called effleurage, friction, petrissage, tapotement and vibration. During Swedish massage, all parts of the body are addressed, and the client is often unclothed and draped with a cloth. Swedish massage is proven to be beneficial to mental and physical health, and has been shown by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine to boost the immune system.

Is hot stone massage safe in pregnancy?

If you’re ready for relaxation and relief from pregnancy pains, prenatal massage may be a great healing option. Once your prenatal care provider has approved you for pregnancy massage, look for a licensed massage therapist who also has training and certification in prenatal massage techniques.

The safety of hot stone massage during pregnancy depends on several factors including the stage of your pregnancy and where on the body the hot stones are applied. The massage therapist should avoid raising your core temperature or using hot stones on the abdomen. When in doubt, talk to your prenatal care provider.

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.

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.
Reviews for Ashburn massage therapists
Vincent I.
I enjoyed the massage.
Massage by SuzanneMassage by Suzanne
Leo Z.
the best massage I received
Pat, Massage therapist freelancerPat, Massage therapist freelancer
Cheri M.
I received a 90 minute massage from London and it was amazing. I loved the music play list and she was very professional asking me if I was okay multiple times throughout the massage. The massage itself was wonderful and something I truly needed.
Black Ivy WellnessBlack Ivy Wellness
Karrie T.
Kat is amazing! She was able to squeeze my husband in for a last minute birthday massage. She has a great personality and the massage was extremely relaxing!
peace massagepeace massage
Kate M.
Outstanding experience! Great massage. Communication was excellent.
Handsinmotionmobile (Donnell)Handsinmotionmobile (Donnell)
William C.
Massage was amazing! I feel brand new!
Masseur Shar/Bethesda, MD (Fully Vaccinated)Masseur Shar/Bethesda, MD (Fully Vaccinated)
Bryian c.
My session with Chaun was simply amazing. By far one of the best massages I've ever received. He's definitely skilled at his craft and was able to work all tension out of my shoulders. I highly recommend him to anyone wanting a firm deep tissue massage; or any massage for that matter.
Chaun RogersChaun Rogers
Maryann H.
My mom hired Hands of a Goddess for a massage, I bought her a gift certificate, and my mother reported that the massage was wonderful and that the masseuse was very timely, professional and very very good.
Hands of a GoddessHands of a Goddess
Sean W.
Wonderful massage. She understood my my concerns and addressed them perfectly. I like deep tissue and strong massages and she definitely is an expert. Do not hesitate to book her!
Gifted Handz MassageGifted Handz Massage
Omar E.
Great massage, great atmosphere, it was clean and comfortable.Thank you
Rain Walker HealingRain Walker Healing
Nadia N.
Amazing experience! After living in Asia for a couple of years, I am quite spoiled when it comes to massages. This massage truly brought me back to those tranquil spas. Very professional and punctual, too!
Elemental WellnessElemental Wellness
Kortni M.
Suzanne was great. My sister and I really enjoyed our massages!
Massage by SuzanneMassage by Suzanne
Terri K.
Sonya is very good. She applies the right amount of pressure and goes back to the areas that need extra attention. She gives a thorough massage. Being able to receive a massage in your home is wonderful. I recently had double hip surgery and have a hard time getting around. Sonya is taking great care of me. I look forward to many more massages from her. She is passionate about her work and you feel much better after her massages. Thank you Sonya!!!
Sonya Toole LMTSonya Toole LMT
Zach B.
Michael responded to my request almost immediately and was able to schedule me within 24 hours for a sports massage. This was one of the best massages I’ve ever had. He was able to identify specific problem areas on my body and work them out. I particularly liked his use of assisted stretching during the massage to target and relieve specific areas of tightness. Highly recommend!
In Good HandsIn Good Hands
LaTrice H.
I booked Black Ivy Massage for a couples massage for my 10th wedding anniversary; both London and Sterling were absolute professionals! Extremely attentive, responsive and talented to say the least. Upon arrival, they thoroughly sanitized all surfaces and frequently washed their hands while performing our massages. The quality of the services surpassed my expectations and I look forward to booking them in the future.
Black Ivy WellnessBlack Ivy Wellness
John K.
Michael was perfect. You can tell he has 15+ years of experience. He was extremely professional and an excellent communicator. The massage was wonderful. One of the best I’ve ever had. I look forward to my next massage.
In Good HandsIn Good Hands
Chelsea B.
It was my Mother's 70th birthday. Sonya did massages for myself, my Mother and my sister-in-law. It was amazing! Sonya communicated with us so we knew what she was doing, she was knowledgeable and gave amazing massages!
Sonya Toole LMTSonya Toole LMT
Faith F.
Thank you for the quick response and the great massage shee you again soon!!!
Hao Industries IncHao Industries Inc
Jacqeline C.
Absolutely amazing massage! My tension is good and I feel brand new!
In Good HandsIn Good Hands
Michael S.
She came on short notice and the massage was really amazing. I appreciated her professionalism. .
Lakresha's Therapeutic Mobile MassageLakresha's Therapeutic Mobile Massage
Jeff H.
He was on time, gave a great massage, and was able to work with me to address problem areas.
In Good HandsIn Good Hands
Kristle P.
Lawrence is an amazing therapist. He listens and focuses on the areas that are causing trouble. The place and ambiance are very relaxing and I feel very comfortable and relaxed during and after the massage. I have now incorporated massages with Lawrence into my self care routine.
Fresh Start MassageFresh Start Massage
Jennifer K.
Are you looking for a massage and life direction? Look no further! Nikki was amazing. The massage was the best one I ever received and her healing practices are truly valuable. I would definitely recommend her for a little self care and positivity. Definitely going back!
Rain Walker HealingRain Walker Healing
Raymond M.
I contacted Linda for Valentines Day to surprise my wife with an in-home couples massage. Not only was Linda extremely easy to work with, she and Dawne arrived earlier than expected, they were very friendly, and personable. And to top it all off, they provided the BEST massages that myself and my wife have EVER had! After those massages, we felt blessed and “highly favored”! We are definitely long term clients after this experience! A-1 Service!
Highly Favored MassageHighly Favored Massage
Jennifer L.
Great massage. Came on time with his own equipment. Very professional. I highly recommend.
In Good HandsIn Good Hands
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Everything you need to know about massage therapy.

Massages can help you feel better mentally and physically. When searching for a massage spa or massage therapist, be sure to let them know what you expect from the experience. They may be able to recommend certain types of massage, such as:

Common types of massages

  • Swedish massage: This full-body massage is best for those who struggle with tension, want to manage pain, are new to massage and are sensitive to touch. A Swedish massage is typically 60 - 90 minutes long. 
  • Hot stone massage: A massage therapist places warm stones in certain areas of the body to improve blood flow, encourage relaxation and ease tension. 
  • Aromatherapy massage: The massage therapist may diffuse essential oils into the room with a mister or use oils in their massage lotion. Aromatherapy can help boost your mood and reduce anxiety. 
  • Deep tissue massage: With this type of massage, the practitioner uses more pressure than with other massage types. A deep tissue massage may be more intense than other types of massage, but it should not be painful. 
  • Sports massage: People with repetitive motion injuries may benefit from a sports massage. This type of massage can relieve pain and muscle tension while helping the body heal. 
  • Reflexology: Using gentle pressure on points in the feet, legs and hands, a reflexology specialist focuses on “reflex” points to help clients relax. 
  • Shiatsu massage: Using rhythmic or pulsing motions, the practitioner helps release tension in certain parts of the body with their thumbs, hands and palms. 

Where can you get a massage?

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a massage in your home, at a spa or at a mobile massage business. Many massage therapists travel to their clients' homes or offices. 

Important things to know about getting a massage.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing for your massage:

  • Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing to your appointment. 
  • Arrive 15 minutes early if it's your first massage appointment with a provider so you have time to fill out paperwork and ask questions. Your massage should start on time; it's important that you’re ready so you can get the most out of your treatment. 
  • Stay hydrated before and after your massage, but don't overdo it.

You should also ask your massage therapist what steps you should take to prepare for your appointment.

How much does massage therapy cost?

The amount of money you'll pay for a massage depends on your location and the type and length of your treatment. Typically, hourly rates range anywhere from $65-$145.

To find out how much it may cost you to get a massage, get price quotes from several therapists near you. 

Benefits of getting a massage.

Regular massages can relieve stress, reduce pain and help you relax. Everyone's experience and results are different, of course. For some, massage provides emotional support and healing by reducing anxiety and helping you sleep better.

How to choose the best massage therapist or spa.

When searching for a massage therapist, look at reviews left by customers. Read the professionals’ online profiles to find out if they specialize in the treatment you’re seeking. You should also get estimates from a few massage therapists to ensure you’re paying a fair price for massage services.

Whether you want to relax your muscles or relieve stress, a professional can help you reach your goals. Start searching for massage therapists near you today.

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