How Much Time Does Massage Therapy Take and What Does It Cost?

A man receiving a massage on his back

One-Off Treatments

A one-off deep tissue, therapeutic or sports massage aims to alleviate any type of muscle stress you experience from a particular activity. A session, when executed within a few days of the pain occurring can really aid in relieving the stress that your muscles endured.

Having regular massage treatments like this can also aid more generally in maintaining a healthy body and mind, reducing stress, maintaining mobility and assisting relaxation. Taking care of your body in this way allows you to remain focused and physically productive in your day to day life.

Therapy Programs

Undertaking a therapy program is usually part of a combination of massage and exercise required to rehabilitate from severe injury or illness that has had a detrimental effect on your mobility or ability to perform physical tasks. It should be designed and tailored to your specific rehabilitation, with a focus on targeting any core challenges you experience. For example, difficulty walking or moving, recurring or increasing pain, or an inability to execute the full range of motion in your joints.

Most programs will include targets for rehabilitation and performance to ensure that your needs or goals are met by the end of the treatment program (for example, to return to professional standards in sports or dance, or regain the ability to walk or drive). On average they can last anywhere from one to six months or more depending on the extent of your pain or injury and your therapist will guide you accordingly.

The costs and how you can cover them

Generally, massage therapy is not covered by public healthcare. Although progressive, extended health insurance plans might when treatment is sought by a registered massage therapist. Most don’t require a physician’s order, but some may still have this requirement, so it’s better to check before you book. Nearly all plans expect that you’ll pay for the treatment then submit the expense for reimbursement. This is because most massage therapists operate as independent practitioners and are not in a position to provide credit. They can’t wait for you to be compensated under extended health plans before they receive payment for their services. Contact your employer or insurer for more details on what your plan provides.