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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
Khin T.
nice massage
Jasmine cosmeticJasmine cosmetic
Amy C.
Great prenatal massage
Jasmine cosmeticJasmine cosmetic
Estela O.
Arrived on time and provided a quality massage
Shannon Kenoyer, CMTShannon Kenoyer, CMT
Kazu O.
Just had an excellent deep tissue massage from Edwin. I rarely can find massage therapists that have the combination of strength and knowledge to effectively get rid of my tightness and knots, but Edwin was top notch and one of the best massages I've ever had. Highly recommended!
Edwin Cacdac , CMTEdwin Cacdac , CMT
Jeff K.
I had a great 2-hour massage from David at his studio. I enjoyed his massage and it definitely helped release my body tension. I will book with him again soon!
Men's Massage by DavidMen's Massage by David
Jeff L.
After receiving massage from Hank, I felt really relaxed. Highly recommended!
HankHank
Whitney T.
Best massage I’ve ever had! Lawrence is my husbands and my go to masseuse now!
Daily Relax BodyworkDaily Relax Bodywork
Angela o.
Rhodel was great! It was my first ever massage and I was nervous at first but good vibes. And he was very professional. I also through out my back a week prior to getting a massage and same day I had practice and felt great. And great deal! Highly recommend!
Rhodel Rosales CMTRhodel Rosales CMT
Ashley G.
I had a wonderful experience with Backspace Mobile Massage and would highly recommend them for anyone looking for a high quality and professional at-home massage session. I hired them for a girl's at-home spa day and everyone in our group had a great experience. I will be booking them again!
BackSpace Mobile MassageBackSpace Mobile Massage
Helen L.
Lawrence is awesome. So glad he was able to fit me in last minute today. Extremely professional. Very relaxing massage (I think I fell asleep in the middle). And very responsive when I was setting up time and coordinating this massage last minute. Would highly recommend!
Daily Relax BodyworkDaily Relax Bodywork
María B.
I'm 8 months pregnant, have had a couple of massages with Shannon and she has been amazing. Highly recommended!
Shannon Kenoyer, CMTShannon Kenoyer, CMT
Sean M.
My wife gave Sam a rave review for her massage - very relaxing and helpful. Sam was professional and friendly and we appreciate it - thanks!
Impress BodyworkImpress Bodywork
Thumbtack Customer
A dedicated professional...I have special massage needs due to two herniated cervical discs and he knew how to relieve my pain.
Daily Relax BodyworkDaily Relax Bodywork
Sara D.
Kate was great! This was a wonderful massage, and she made it very easy to do within my home. She was friendly, skilled, and it was a great experience overall.
K B MassageK B Massage
Jon C.
Sam was Great!!! I just had double knee replacement surgery and she was extremely knowledgeable about how to provide safe yet healing massage
Impress BodyworkImpress Bodywork
Ivan s.
I have to say it was a breath of bliss. I feel like a new human have to say yeah. I will be extending out for another soulful massage.
528 Samadhi Healing Light528 Samadhi Healing Light
CYNTHIA W.
Carly was outstanding! This was my first massage with Carly, but certainly will not be my last! She is extremely responsive and professional. Her ability to channel her energy and read my body's needs added to the massage experience. She had several recommendations as I am ~25 weeks pregnant, which I gladly welcomed. She demonstrated professionalism throughout and was a pleasure to welcome into our home. I look forward to our next appt!
Ko-CreationKo-Creation
Angela C.
Joanne responded so quickly to my request to book an at home session. She showed up on time, was very efficient, and gave me a great massage, checking with me if the pressure was good. I highly recommend her!
Yujuan Zhou (Joanne)Yujuan Zhou (Joanne)
Jamie G.
Right off the bat, the communication was excellent and reassuring and the massage was incredible! Not only that but she had such a calming way about her that I was able to fully relax for the duration feeling refreshed and energized (and less achy than ever in my pregnancy!) afterwards.
Ko-CreationKo-Creation
Kazu O.
My wife got a pregnancy massage from Jasmine. Jasmine did a great job, and my wife was very happy with the level of pressure, her ability to get all of the trouble spots, etc. Jasmine was also very nice and easy to schedule a booking with. Highly recommended!
Jasmine cosmeticJasmine cosmetic
Mikayla W.
Glen was great and the service was so much more than just a massage! He really took the time to listen to my aches and pains, work on the problem areas, and also educated me the entire way. I highly recommend him and am excited to book my next service!
Glenn Gangano, RN, BScN, CMTGlenn Gangano, RN, BScN, CMT
Helen L.
Ben is an absolute professional. I booked a massage appointment with him today. He was on time, setup was easy, and he was great about asking questions to understand what I needed. Great massage. Ben's really thoughtful about making sure to adjust as you need. He checked how the pressure was along the way. And overall, the session really helped me destress from a crazy week of work! Extra bonus: he's really chill. I always worry about having pros carry equipment up to the second floor, or when my dog gets antsy and wants to explore before or after the appointment. But Ben took it all in stride. Very relaxed and calming personality. Really helped set everything at ease.
Benjamin LimBenjamin Lim
Raul L.
Ben is an outstanding massage therapist and personal trainer! I booked him for a deep tissue massage because I could barely move after all my 5k training. I'm not gonna lie, it was super painful but the next day I felt like a new man! He offered me a free training session at his private gym and I took him up on the offer - one of the best decisions I've ever made. He's super detail oriented and showed me a bunch of exercises to make my knees and hips more stable. I ran a mile without any pain for the first time in YEARS this morning and had to write a review! I'll definitely be training with him more frequently and can't recommend him enough. (And the gym is awesome, there's even a backyard training area!)
Benjamin LimBenjamin Lim
Kazuya I.
I had a backache (both upper and lower) and right leg pain about 4 months ago. After having these issues, I was looking for the people who can address them. I finally found Glenn! He understand anatomy, so he tried different approaches every time I saw him. It looks like my issues are not straightforward, but now these are improved significantly. Pain is significantly less, and flexibility of shoulders are much improved! I think his approach is unique probably due to his experiences and knowledge (not only massage but also anatomy and pain management). I highly recommend him if you do not feel that the current treatment has not improve your body.
Glenn Gangano, RN, BScN, CMTGlenn Gangano, RN, BScN, CMT
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