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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
Susan D.
Gave a great foot massage as part of my 90 min massage.
Restoration Sports MassageRestoration Sports Massage
Suzanne W.
I am highly satisfied with my massage experience with Randall Moon of Core Sports Massage. Randall was prompt in responding to my Thumbtack request for a massage. He called right away and scheduled a massage in my home, at a time that was convenient for me. Randall is prompt and professional in scheduling, payments, and appointment reminders. On the day of the massage, Randall was prompt and was flexible around the parking situation at my home. The massage provided by Randall was of high quality. He even spent a few moments at the end of the massage recommending stretches for tight areas. The massage I received was a great value and I am looking forward to the next massage I have booked with Randall.
Core Sports Massage LLCCore Sports Massage LLC
Logan D.
He gave a fantastic professional therapeutic massage I will definitely schedule another massage with him.
BalanceEleven- Massage for BalanceBalanceEleven- Massage for Balance
Dustin A.
Great Massage
Massage by HaydenMassage by Hayden
Thumbtack Customer
Awesome massage!
Massage by SkipMassage by Skip
Sharon Y.
Good Massage
Damion Massages Therapist the healing TouchDamion Massages Therapist the healing Touch
WIlliam d.
Excellent massage!
Natalia’sMassage known as Dunwoody massage spa.Natalia’sMassage known as Dunwoody massage spa.
Sonya T.
Great massage!
Calming Space Massage Mobile ServicesCalming Space Massage Mobile Services
Jeffrey S.
Great massage.
Mission BodyworkMission Bodywork
Kevin B.
This married massage team was prompt and highly skilled. The ladies at my wife's slumber party raved about their massages.
Touch of Delight Massage by D-n-ATouch of Delight Massage by D-n-A
Perla H.
Skip gave massages to 6 of my home guests and everyone had the same response, "That was the best massage EVER!!!" Skip was prompt, communicated well, and was absolutely awesome with his massages. I highly recommend him!
Massage by SkipMassage by Skip
Thumbtack Customer
Nice and relaxing massage
Trinity Therapeutic TouchTrinity Therapeutic Touch
Steve D.
Excellent massage. Alan was very professional and responsive. He checked in throughout the massage for pressure and trouble spots. Highly recommend.
Alan Mobile MassageAlan Mobile Massage
Cornelius E.
Very great massage 💆‍♂️ 🙏🏽
Eight Trigrams Massage & BodyworkEight Trigrams Massage & Bodywork
Steven H.
It was a decent deep tissue massage but not the best. I've never had a massage before where the masseuse wore latex gloves.
Mission BodyworkMission Bodywork
James c.
It was a very good massage ..
Touched by StarTouched by Star
Jason F.
The BodyFul Experience is a top-notch high-end quality massage from the comfort of your own home. My masseuse was Princess. She was on time and an absolute professional. She brings a heavily padded massage table and on it she is highly skilled in massage techniques. I asked for a deep tissue massage and the pressure was absolutely perfect! Her massage is comparable to any Buckhead spas!! I would highly recommend her. You will not regret it!
The BodyFul ExperienceThe BodyFul Experience
Andre H.
The best massage ever!!!!
💦Thepaneye™💦Queen Lotus Healing Oasis💦💦Thepaneye™💦Queen Lotus Healing Oasis💦
Nichole J.
Great couples massage.
Anointed Touch Relaxation TherapyAnointed Touch Relaxation Therapy
Thumbtack Customer
Skip is an excellent massage therapist! Very professional at all times. I was very impressed with his deep tissues massage and the techniques he used in relieving my shoulder pain. I highly recommend Skip for deep tissue and therapeutic massage!
Massage by SkipMassage by Skip
Heavens I.
Great massage and timely responses...🙏🏽
Anointed Touch Relaxation TherapyAnointed Touch Relaxation Therapy
Sedara B.
My massage was great! I like that she had a sports medicine background! It showed in the way she massaged me! I loved it.
Super Hands Therapy (Mobile Spa)Super Hands Therapy (Mobile Spa)
Michael M.
Thank you for great massage
Super Hands Therapy (Mobile Spa)Super Hands Therapy (Mobile Spa)
JONATHAN T.
Professional and timely! Great massage
Hands On Approach massage therapy.Hands On Approach massage therapy.
Jamie G.
The massage was amazing!! Definitely recommend!
Calming Space Massage Mobile ServicesCalming Space Massage Mobile Services
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Why you should hire a massage therapist

From treating pain to reducing stress, there are plenty of benefits to getting a massage. A massage therapist can alleviate your muscle tension and back pain, and also help your circulation. Whether you're looking for a full-body massage at a nearby spa or you want a relaxing in-home massage, you can find a professional on Thumbtack. Compare local massage therapists’ reviews, ask for price quotes and hire a massage therapist today.

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