A deep tissue massage costs $80 to $120 per hour on average, depending on location and the therapist's experience. Rates are higher for in-home deep tissue massage, costing $100 to $130 per hour for the added convenience and reduced stress of not having to leave your home or deal with traffic.
A deep tissue massage involves firm pressure and slow, smooth strokes to sink deep into the layers of muscle and connective tissue. Rather than just focusing on relaxation like Swedish massage therapy, deep tissue massage aims to reduce chronic pain and stiffness by breaking down knots and adhesions that are restricting movement and causing tightness and discomfort.
Using their hands, forearm, elbow, or specially designed massage tools, the therapist may use one or several techniques during a deep tissue massage, including:
No, deep tissue massage should never hurt. While you may feel some soreness for a day or two after a massage, you should not feel pain during the massage. Always communicate with your therapist if you feel pain during the session. Experiencing pain during a massage can cause your muscles to tense and tighten more, resulting in the opposite effect that most people are seeking when they schedule a massage.
Most doctors and therapists recommend avoiding deep tissue massage during pregnancy, especially deep pressure to the legs that could dislodge a blood clot. Prenatal Swedish massage using gentle pressure and avoiding the abdomen can help lower stress, decrease leg and back pain, and improve sleep and mood. However, be sure to discuss any type of massage with your doctor first to confirm it will not put you or your baby at risk.
Most therapists recommend waiting at least 48 hours in between deep tissue massages, to allow the system to rebalance itself after such deep bodywork. A general scheduling guideline is to get a deep tissue massage once per month at minimum or up to 3 times per week to manage pain and stress, always leaving at least a 2-day gap between sessions.
Tipping a deep tissue massage therapist 15% to 20% is common in most areas. You do not need to tip for a deep tissue massage at a medical office or hospital where the therapy is often covered by insurance. If your therapist works for a spa or non-medical setting, a good amount of what you pay goes to the facility, not the therapist. While tipping is not required, it can make a significant difference in a massage therapist's take-home income.
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