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Spa Massage - Get your Money's Worth

Written By:
Daniel King

As a massage therapist of over 8 years I can honestly say that not all massages are equal. I know this because I practice what I preach and try to receive a massage once a week. I have worked countless hours in numerous spas and know that the “spa massage” is not always what it says it is.

The trend in many spa menus is to offer a 50 minute massage, which is 10 minutes less than the standard full hour massage. Considering all massage therapists are first trained to give a full hour massage in school, we almost have to retrain ourselves to give a quality 50 minute full body massage.

To understand what you’re getting for your fifty minutes, let me break it down:

The first 20 minutes is given to massage your back. That means 10 minutes of massage dedicated towards each half of your back. Then the massage therapist will spend 5 minutes for the back of your legs and feet. We’re 30 minutes into the massage leaving only 20 minutes left to massage your front.

After we turn you over the front of your legs are massaged quickly - 3 minutes for each one. By now the 50 minutes of your spa massage are vanishing. The massage therapist will move onto your arms and hands massaging them about 3 minutes each.

The massage therapist is left with 8 minutes to work on your shoulders, neck, and face. You can guess that’s not a lot of time to massage some of the more tense parts of your body. The spa massage is quickly over. One problem is there’s no chance at extending the massage once you’re on the massage table. Massage therapists have only 10 minutes for you to get dressed, change the sheets, wash our hands, and pick up our next client.

There are drawbacks to getting a massage in a spa. Time is everything, and the quality of a spa massage does not usually equate the price you pay for it.

After reading this you might decide never to get a spa massage again. But it’s up to you to ensure you’re getting a quality spa massage The big thing is making the most of your time. For starters, get more bang for your buck by getting a 50 minute “deep tissue” massage instead of a simple Swedish massage. A 50 minute deep tissue will give any good massage therapist enough time to really warm up and work out the specific tension in your body. If it’s your neck and shoulders that needs the attention then all 50 minutes will be spent working directly on that area. Trust me, if you want to relieve that chronic pain aching between your shoulder blades go with 50 minutes of direct attention and you will thank me.

But what if you want your whole body touched? Upgrade your time to an 80 minute deep tissue massage. It’s amazing what an extra 30 minutes will do for your body. That’s 50 minutes directed towards a specific area and 30 minutes spread across the rest of your body. You’ll walk away feeling relieved that the pain in your shoulders is gone, and that the rest of your body’s been massaged, too.

Spa massage clients who request the longer and deeper sessions get their money’s worth. And as a massage therapist, when I go to the spa, I request an extended massage.

Daniel King is a Certified and Licensed Massage Therapist with more than 7 years experience in the massage and spa industry. To his credit, he has given over 5,000 massages in his lifetime.


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