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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

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
Sonie R.
Great massage
Recooperating TouchRecooperating Touch
Darcy p.
Great massage
Attention to Tension Massage TherapyAttention to Tension Massage Therapy
Woody C.
Great massage
Jessica Webb LMTJessica Webb LMT
Larry C.
good massage
Sandra Oaxaca LMTSandra Oaxaca LMT
Mike W.
Great massage!!!
Sophisticated BodyworkSophisticated Bodywork
Jeremy T.
Best massage ever
Divine Touch BodyworksDivine Touch Bodyworks
Latieya P.
Delance is AWESOME!! My husband hired him to surprise me with a massage. My experience was great! I loved it so much, that I hired him to surprise my sister with a massage for her birthday!! Delance is extremely professional and punctual. After the end of my massage and my sister's massage he gave tips on how to stretch and talked about the importance of massage therapy. I highly recommend Delance and most definitely will acquire his services again in the future.
Delance ToranDelance Toran
Ha W.
It was a great massage. Really enjoyed it.
Twin Palms Relaxation MassageTwin Palms Relaxation Massage
Tyasha H.
Very sweet and great massage
Honest MassageHonest Massage
Marc S.
On-site massage therapy. Everything was great.
Sophisticated BodyworkSophisticated Bodywork
Jacob B.
Great massage! Would go back!
Attention to Tension Massage TherapyAttention to Tension Massage Therapy
John W.
Great massage and very nice person!
Cowtown MassageCowtown Massage
Cheryl G.
Hannah did an excellent job listening to what type of massage that I like. She asked for feedback during the massage and made adjustments in the pressure as I requested.
Hannah Biffel, LMTHannah Biffel, LMT
Sonya H.
This was one of the best massages I have had in quite some time I would definitely recommend him and I am definitely going back for a second massage.
Euphoros TouchEuphoros Touch
Shayla W.
Wonderful massage and atmosphere! Will definitely be booking again!
Deep Knots Massage TherapyDeep Knots Massage Therapy
Keith R.
Amazing experience and very professional service! The massage was one of best I've had, and I consider myself a bit of a coinnesuer. My husband and I will definitely be subscribing to future massages!
Recooperating TouchRecooperating Touch
Maurice G.
Great experience!! I have now hired her to give me a massage once a week. It is hard to find someone to do real DEEP tissue massages. My search is over.
Sophisticated BodyworkSophisticated Bodywork
Garrick W.
Beyond my expectations! Really great massage therapist.
Attention to Tension Massage TherapyAttention to Tension Massage Therapy
Shawnessy R.
Very relaxing massage, I will be booking again soon.
Blissful MassageBlissful Massage
Lee M.
Josh was listens and pays attention to your needs. Great massage!
Attention to Tension Massage TherapyAttention to Tension Massage Therapy
John M.
Clinton was very professional and great. I’ve had a few massages and they always lack the strength and need for a deep tissue massage. Clinton was able to perform it perfectly. Relieving pressure that’s been in my back for months.
Therapy by ClintonTherapy by Clinton
Noni A.
Really great massage. I walked in with a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders and walked out with no pain. No other massage therapist has been able to resolve some of my issues. I will definitely be a repeat customer.
Euphoros TouchEuphoros Touch
Shawn M.
Great massage! Great pressure and stretching, I would highly recommend!
Attention to Tension Massage TherapyAttention to Tension Massage Therapy
Lee P.
Amazing massage! I highly recommend Takeeyia for your therapeutic needs!
The Necessity SpaThe Necessity Spa
Kenneth R.
Really great massage therapist!! Immediately rebooked for my wife and me!!
Sophisticated BodyworkSophisticated Bodywork
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