Massage. Even the world itself sounds soothing to the ears. What’s not so relaxing, however, is the hit your wallet can take when you start scheduling regular massages at your local spa. Running anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars a pop, massages become less and less attractive when their costs add up. That’s unfortunate though because, in addition to simply feeling good, massage offers loads of health benefits for people.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
How do you define “massage” exactly? When employed in the phrase massage therapy, massage refers to any tactile contact including rubbing, pressing, stroking, and manual manipulation of the skin and underlying tissues (muscles, tendons, fascia, ligaments, etc). There are myriad types of massage that vary in their application, force, and areas of the body on which they focus. Swedish massage, for example, features gentle kneading, circular strokes, tapping and vibrating, while a deep tissue massage digs more forcefully into deep layers of muscle and fascia tissue to break up scar tissue and alleviate muscle damage-related tension.
Massage therapy plays an important role in treating a wide range of conditions and ailments including:
Back and neck pain
Headaches and tension
Soft tissue injuries and strain
Anxiety and depression
Fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathy
Sports injuries and exercise-induced muscle damage
Tips for Saving Money on Massages
With a little creativity and minimal equipment or money on your part, you can enjoy the benefits massage has to offer with these clever tips:
Spa Week – take part in the bi-annual Spa Week and find discounts on massages and other wellness service treatments at a variety of spas and locations near you. Bookings start as early as mid-March for appointments that take place the third week of April and then later in the year for October Spa Week.
Online discounts – speaking of saving money, don’t forget to surf group discount sites like Groupon and LivingSocial for huge savings on massage offerings from local spas, chiropractors, and massage parlors. Just remember, your special offer often comes with limited fulfillment periods (i.e. use by Dec 31st). You may also call around to local spas and find out if there are special discounts offered for groups like seniors, veterans, local employees, etc.
Home massage – whether you’re rubbing your own feet or asking your partner for a back rub, getting a massage at home is easier than you think. Your spouse doesn’t have to be a pro to give you a quality massage either; simple back massage tools like roller balls can be used for an effective massage that’s easy on the hands of the person administering it. Electric massage pillows are also a good investment and can be plugged in and used while you’re watching TV or even just lying in bed.
Go to school – in order to get licensed or certified, massage school students typically need to complete a required number of clinical hours actually working on willing participants. Find out if your local community college or trade school has offerings for people to come receive free or discounted massages from students.
Give foam rolling a try – if a nagging trigger point in one of your muscles is giving you pause during exercise, you may want to try the foam rolling technique for massage. With the right equipment, you can guide your body over a foam roller to help break up tight fascia tissue and target deep pressure to tense muscles.
Look for quick massages in public – skip the whole making an appointment and getting undressed part of getting a massage, and go for a quick chair rub at one of the many booths or stalls offering them in public spaces like malls, airports, and local fairs. Usually, you’ll pay a small sum for a quick massage either from a chair, device, or trained professional.
Follow spas on social media – one of the best ways to find out about last-minute massage discounts or spa service packages is to follow local massage businesses on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Some businesses might even offer you discounts when you book appointments over the phone if you mention that you are taking advantage of a social media promotion.
Research insurance coverage – with a doctor’s referral, you may be in the market for massage therapy that is covered in part or completely by your health insurance. More health insurance companies are looking to cover alternative therapies like massage and acupuncture so it’s worth checking your plan’s benefits and talking to your doctor.