Many people view massage as a luxury, but it doesn’t have to be. Aside from the fact that massage provides a number of important physical benefits, such as lowered blood pressure, greater range of motion, and an immune system that works better, it feels great. Still, some places charge $100 for an hour of basic massage, and that can be very hard to justify on a limited budget.
Yet, if you know the systems, you can get good massage for a lot less. Here is how.
No matter where you live, massage therapists must get some education to hang their shingle. Pull out the Yellow Pages, open a browser, and find out where the schools are in your neighborhood. Call the schools and find out if they have a student clinic; chances are they do.
Students are required to document a certain number of hours in a clinic before they graduate their program, and only the “senior” students work in the clinic under normal circumstances. The best part is that you will usually pay less than half the going rate for a professional massage.
Of course, there will be some variability between massages, even though all the students learn the same techniques, but if you find a student you like, you can stick with them until they finish their clinic hours.
Search for Promotions
New massage therapists often advertise their services in local money saver magazines. This is a way for them to build their business. They offer discounted massages as a way to get you in their office in the hopes that you will return later and pay full price. How much can you save this way? It varies. Some will offer a few dollars off, others as much as half off.
You should also ask if a therapist offers promotional discounts if you purchase several massages at once. It is fairly common to give a discounted price if someone pays upfront for three or more massages. You may not save as much as if you jump from promo to promo, but you will get more consistent treatment.
Many massage therapists will barter their services. If you have a service you perform, for example if you design websites, business cards, or any of a number of other options, you may be able to barter your services for massages. I have a friend in the business that has had a deck put on her house and her basement finished and is now working off some landscaping all for her massages. Everyone walks away happy, and all you give up is some time.
Many therapists donate a massage or two to fundraisers. The catch with silent auctions is that massage is often a very coveted item, which can drive the price up. This takes a bit of finesse and knowledge of the market, but these fundraisers are definitely a great way to score a few massages for less than retail.
In my town the average massage goes for about $55, but in my parents’ town it goes for $80. Paying more than about 60% of the face value is not really much of a bargain, even if the money is going to a good cause.
With a little creativity, some good bargain hunting skills, and a willingness to be a guinea pig for a student, you can find well-priced massage just about anywhere.
This is, again, from the How to Save Money on Everything ebook. Take your free copy today by getting on the frugal newsletter email list.