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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. 

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 Ashburn massage therapists
Don C.
Amazing massage! I will be back soon.
Bgood MassageBgood Massage
Nathan c.
Excellent massage will be contacted her again.
Touched by StarTouched by Star
Phil S.
Most excellent massage, very professional and thorough, highly recommended
The BodyFul ExperienceThe BodyFul Experience
Manuel J.
Very nice gentleman. Great conversationalists during massage and concentrated on the problem areas.
D’Angelo🍒Massage  Therapy & Fitness LLCD’Angelo🍒Massage Therapy & Fitness LLC
Udama T.
Loved the service. My customer said it was the best massage he ever received
Head2Toe Massage Therapy and Body ContouringHead2Toe Massage Therapy and Body Contouring
Rickila H.
Omg! What can I say!! Shaun is good at what she does! I had an lymphatic massage with her and she worked my tight spot out. She knows what area to focus on and how to move it around to help you heal. I recently had a tummy tuck with Lipo to flanks. I got up from my first massage feeling better than when I laid down. I will definitely be getting weekly massages with her.
Mobile Wellness SpaMobile Wellness Spa
Bonnie G.
Francia's massage really relaxed my muscles. I would like to have her here again!
Sacred SunSacred Sun
LeSean D.
I was looking for a massage therapist for my wife as a birthday gift. This young lady is not only professional, she is also punctual and just a nice person period. My wife said she needs a 10 star rating. My wife is VERY HARD to please. We will be getting massages on the regular.
Alishas mobile massageAlishas mobile massage
Karlene k.
Thank you William!!! You are one of the most intuitive massage therapists that I have had the pleasure of receiving a massage from! He was punctual and immediately got set up for us. He is very professional and was able to effectively relieve the tension in my shoulders and lower back. I feel renewed and relaxed. I look forward to scheduling another appointment in the near future.
HealinghandsHealinghands
Angelo M.
My wife and I could not have asked for a better experience. One of the best massages we ever had. Will definitely schedule Francia on a regular basis.
Sacred SunSacred Sun
Rashawn B.
Great w/ last minute booking. Scheduled my gf a 1hr Swedish massage. Quick response to text/call & He was professional & on time for her appointment.
Anointed Touch Relaxation TherapyAnointed Touch Relaxation Therapy
Derad A.
Shaun was incredible. She’s a beautiful woman, and I write that, because if you want a massage from Helga, go ahead...One can’t get a better massage than from Shaun. The whole experience from her knowledge, professionalism, independence, (I offered to carry the massage table up the stairs) No, I have it! One can immediately tell of her training and experience. She knows where one’s muscles split or divided “I’m gonna work on this problem area, relax and take some deep breaths. Maybe take some ibuprofen, drink a lot of water, and ice the area.” Incredible! If one chooses Yas Energy Works, one can’t go wrong!
Mobile Wellness SpaMobile Wellness Spa
Jamaal B.
He was very responsive, nice, respectful, and professional. Took my last minute booking and traveled to me. Came with a his equipment and sanitized everything. Massage was 5 star quality in the comfort of my home. He’s a hidden gem and a great pricing. Definitely recommend!
Damion Massages Therapist the healing TouchDamion Massages Therapist the healing Touch
Krystal P.
Ok so let me start out by sayint that this was a surprise massge for my husband. He just came back from being in the field for 39 days straight. He was complaining about his back and since he didnt get off early enough to go to a spa i broight the spa to him.She was great and very professional my husband enjoyed his surprise 2 hour massage. I will definitely be calling for future appoinments.
Divine MassageDivine Massage
Kena P.
He used baby oil, didn’t ask was I allergic to it, which I am, he put it on my sofa and he used a machine and then asked me after the massage was over did I mind the machine. He did not bring his own sheets and i told him that my feet were my problem areas and he basically just oiled them up. What was suppose to be relaxing and soothing turned out greasy with a messed up sofa. Never again.
Quality Hands MassageQuality Hands Massage
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