What is the most important tool that massage therapists use?

Massage therapists are experts in soft tissue manipulation. They primarily focus on treating muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Although many of us picture massage therapists using their hands to treat clients, a good massage therapist will know the importance of using their body. Since there are many different styles of massage, different therapists may use different parts of their body to massage you. In general, a massage therapist should be well versed in using their hands and forearms to apply direct pressure during a massage. They may use pretty much everything from their fingertips to their elbows to provide massage. While using their arms and hands to massage, therapists must also know the proper way to position their body. They must know how to derive power from their legs and torso to create pressure for their clients. In doing this, massage therapists are able to treat multiple clients for long periods of time. If massage therapists make the mistake of using only their arms to create pressure, it can decrease both the number of clients they can see and the length of time they can treat.

While massage therapists must be experts at utilizing their bodies to provide massage, many therapists will use other tools as well. Massage therapists may use acupuncture needles, cupping, and other hand held instruments to manipulate soft tissue, depending on their training.

While no technique is inherently better, some individuals may respond better to one treatment over another. As such, it’s valuable for massage therapists to be trained in using different tools for massage, but by no means is it mandatory. In fact, it can be more valuable for massage therapists to have strong basic skills than a bunch of fancy tools. A good massage therapist knows that the basics of massage are crucial for client success. The use of tools can be helpful, but cannot replace the foundation of building good rapport with clients and catering to their needs.

Why is massage so expensive?

Massage therapy is expensive for a number of different reasons. Massage therapists require specialized training in order to obtain their license. To become a massage therapist an individual must complete a recognized massage therapy diploma program and the required certification exams. A typical diploma program for massage therapy is about 88 weeks long and includes 440 hours of clinical internship. The certification exams include a multiple choice section consisting of 150 multiple choice questions, as well as an objectively structured clinical examination consisting of seven test stations.

With all of this training, massage therapists are experts in human anatomy and specific massage techniques. Furthermore, once an individual passes the certification exams, they must obtain professional liability insurance and register with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario in order to practice massage therapy. Since massage therapists undergo such specialized training and regulation, it’s important that they charge appropriately for their services. Massage therapists also provide you with one-on-one treatment. Thus, you’re not only paying for your massage therapist’s skills and knowledge, but also their undivided time and attention. Finally, your massage therapist must be able to pay for all of their operating expenses before paying themselves. With all of these considerations in mind, it’s no wonder massage can be expensive.

How much should a massage therapist cost?

Massage therapists may vary greatly in cost depending on where you are and what type of massage you’re receiving. The fees associated with massage are set by each massage therapist themself, or by the organization they work for. The cost of massage is not regulated, meaning there are no set rules to determine a maximum or minimum price. Some massage therapists may provide direct billing to your insurance provider, while others require initial payment and provide you with an invoice to submit for reimbursement. The Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario has created a guide for average massage therapy costs according to time. This allows you to get a general estimate for how much a typical massage therapist might charge in Ontario. Here is the breakdown of typical massage therapy costs according to length of time, including HST:

  • 15 minutes: $40
  • 30 minutes: $64
  • 45 minutes: $78
  • 60 minutes: $103
  • 90 minutes: $140

While this price guide provides an idea of how much massage therapy might cost, many therapists may charge significantly more or less than what’s listed. It’s important to consider what type of massage you’re getting and where the services are being offered when considering the price.

Still not sure what to expect with massage therapy? Call us at 519-895-2020, or use our online booking tool on www.strivept.ca to book an appointment with one of our knowledgeable physiotherapists, and they will be sure to help you understand your injury. 


Liam Newlands

Physiotherapist at Strive Physiotherapy and Performance

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