Massage Therapy

Find a massage therapist near Grand Rapids, MI

Find a massage therapist near Grand Rapids, MI

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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. 

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.  

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.

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 Grand Rapids massage therapists
Jason T.
Excellent massage!
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Dale S.
Great massage
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Christian B.
Johaun was very friendly, easy to be with and instructive as to what he was massaging and why. Haven't had a massage quiet so informative before. I would recommend him.
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Christina d.
Fantastic massage, professional approach, highly recommend
A Better FeelA Better Feel
Mark T.
I am thankful that I was able to get a professional massage. I was impressed by the professionalism and the atmosphere that helped me to be able to relax. I carry a lot of stress in my back and legs muscles. He was able to use deep tissue massage so as to release some of that stress. I highly recommend him for a massage.
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Dennis B.
Deon took the time to understand what I was there for and needed with the massage. He listened, explained what he was going to do and what he was doing during the massage. He was very professional.
Rule Well TherapiesRule Well Therapies
Aaron S.
I was skeptical about getting a massage at first because I had never had one before. But Johaun was very professional and explained everything to me and how a massage would help my body. Definitely a good experience and I will be going back for another one.
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Lianna B.
Johaun is very skilled and a good blend of strength and sensitivity. I felt so relaxed and rejuvenated after my massage.
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Johaun was probably the best massage therapist I’ve had. Intelligent about his craft and did a great job on my stressed body.
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Thumbtack Customer
Johaun's massage was excellent! Just the right pressure made me feel better than I have since I injured my knee
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Cory S.
Ricky was a pleasure to work with. His massage was a special birthday gift for my girlfriend and she could not have been more pleased with his work. Highly recommend!
A Better FeelA Better Feel
Arica D.
I had a very good experience!! All of the ladies at my get together had nothing but positive feedback regarding their chair massages. I would definitely hire him again.
A Better FeelA Better Feel
Chaya D.
It’s been several years since my last massage. The process was explained throughly and I left felling like great. Moving forward this will be a location that I plan to visit monthly to get body back on track.
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Shannon S.
He was punctual, respectful and came right to my hotel room! He did a great job creating an ambience to make to make it feel like you were right at a spa! I will definitely be getting another massage from him when I’m back in the area for work!
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Dawn D.
I got an appointment within 12 hours of initial contact! Johaun listened to my specific requests and periodically asked about how the massage was going. Asked if I wanted anything changed or in addition. Very personable and respectful of my time, limitations and requests. Met and exceeded my expectations! Thank you!
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
Kitty C.
WARNING.... don't waste your time with this person!!!!! After many messages back and forth, this "Profeesional" massage therapist didn't even show up to his own appointment!!!!! On top of that, the Salon owner told me he knew the day before that he wasn't going to show up! After me giving him my email address, cell number and other information he had the audacity of not even bothering to shoot me a text saying he wasn't going to show up! On top of that he also just happened to "mention" in one of our messages on Thumbtack that my appointment was located in a salon. He only gave me the address and I show up, and there are 2 salons with the same adress. I had to figure out which one to go to and the whole experience couldn't have been any worse. Bye, bye Thumbtack!
Be Balanced BodyworkBe Balanced Bodywork
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