How Long Should a Massage Be?

Published: Nov 15, 2022
Edited by: Team TB

How Long Should a Massage Be?

One of the most common ways massage treatment sessions are offered nowadays is by offering them within a certain timeframe. It means that you can choose to have a session of half an hour, an hour, one and a half hour, and so on.

But why would someone choose one or the other? And is there a preferred duration to a massage session?

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Typically, you would pay more for a longer session, but in my own massage therapy practice I never worked “on time.” That is, I would offer sessions without a specific time span attached to them, and I would charge a flat rate per session.

Already early in my career I found that I would prefer to work on what a client needs and what they can handle, and that could take anywhere between half an hour and four hours. Moreover, I would always tell my clients to reserve at least half of their day for a session.

You can be sure that not all my clients wanted that because nowadays people don’t have time, often don’t want to make time. They have too many obligations, too many things planned, and everything needs to be squeezed into a predetermined amount of time. Things need to be quick and efficient, even the healing process.

Nevertheless, with massage therapy things don’t work that way. Each massage session is (and should be) different, there’s no fixed sequence or routine applied (or even possible), because after each session the client and their body (and mind) has changed.

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Each new session again, the therapist needs to adapt to a changing body and a changing state of mind. Some things have been healed, other areas of the body still need extra work, and often you need to bring in other techniques which before would not have been possible with the state the client’s body was in.

It simply means that offering fixed massage treatment durations is basically a farce. Surely it can be entertaining or a way of superficially relaxing the client, but it ends about there. When we engage in therapeutic work, if we really want lasting results for our clients, we will always need to offer custom-made, specifically tailored work.

It’s clear that massage therapists who work this way will have a harder time to make a living. Well, actually, it takes more time to start making serious money, but in the long run one will end up with a client base that really trusts you and appreciates your work.


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