Low-Cost Relaxation: How to Get a Free massage

low cost relaxation how to get a free massage

With costs of pretty much everything going up these days, who couldn’t use some stress relief? Getting a massage can be just the thing to help you relax and unwind, but those spa prices can be painful. Don’t let that stop you from getting those sore muscles soothed though, because you’d be surprised at how many ways there are to score free or cheap massages if you just know where to look.

Whether you’re letting student massage therapists work their magic hands on you, getting a chair massage at the mall, or even learning some self-massage techniques, this blog post clues you in on all the insider tricks to getting your rubdown on without rubbing your wallet the wrong way. Sit back and let us show you the budget-friendly path to massage nirvana.

Look For Massage Therapy Schools With Public Clinics

Massage therapy schools often operate student clinics that offer low-cost or even free massages. At these clinics, students get real-world experience by performing massages on the public under the supervision of licensed massage therapist instructors. It’s pretty much a win-win – you’re going to get an affordable massage and the students gain valuable practice.

Finding Massage Schools in Your Area

Do an online search for a massage school in your area to find ones that offer student massage clinics. Many massage schools advertise clinic services on their website, or you can call them directly to inquire. Some clinics work year-round, while others may only be open during certain parts of the year when massage technique classes are in session. Either way, the clinics provide beginner to advanced massage modalities like Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal, and even sports massage.

Reduced Cost

Many massage therapy school clinics offer one-hour massages for under $30, some as low as $15 or $20. The exact price will depend on the school, but these clinics aim to offer low-cost massages to provide experience for students while benefiting the community. The massage won’t be from a seasoned professional, but students are well trained in proper massage technique and work under instructor guidance.

Make Sure to Book in Advance

Because the clinics are so affordable, appointments often fill up quickly. It’s best to call at least a week ahead to book your massage. Let the receptionist know if you have a preference for a male or female student massage therapist. On the day of your appointment, show up about 15 minutes early to fill out an intake form regarding your health history and massage preferences. Then just sit back, relax and enjoy your budget-friendly spa treatment!

Free Events

Some schools offer cheap or free massage events, like health fairs or open houses, as a way to promote their program. They may offer chair massages, also known as seated massages, where you remain fully clothed while the student therapist provides a 15- to 30-minute massage for your back, neck, and shoulders. While quick, chair massages are a great way to relieve tension and experience massage therapy at no cost.


Many massage students also intern at local healthcare facilities like hospitals, therapy clinics, nursing homes, and spas. They may offer massage services at a discounted rate or possibly for free. Contact nearby facilities to inquire about their massage therapy internship programs and if they offer low-cost or complimentary services to the public. Some may require a referral from a doctor or physical therapist.

check local spas for first time customer discounts

Check Local Spas for First-Time Customer Discounts

Many spas offer generous discounts for first-time customers to try and win your repeat business. This is a great opportunity to score a relaxing massage at a fraction of the regular price.

  • Call around to spas in your area and ask if they offer any introductory specials for new clients. You may find deals like 60-minute massages for $40 or $50, half the normal rate. Some places run specials like your third visit free if you buy a package of two upfront. With some hunting, you can uncover some real bargains.

  • Once you find a spa with a good first-timer’s discount, book your appointment and be sure to mention the special when you arrive to take advantage of the offer. Come prepared to fill out some initial paperwork about your health history and massage preferences. The massage therapist will go over everything with you to customize your treatment.

  • Even after your first discounted visit, many spas will continue to offer you special pricing and incentives to keep you coming back. They may give bigger discounts if you book multiple massages at once or become a member. Some may offer lower rates at off-peak times like mid-week or earlier in the day. It pays to ask if they have any ongoing specials for repeat customers.

  • The important thing is not to be shy about calling around, comparing offers, and negotiating the best deal. Spas are businesses and many are willing to bargain, especially if it means gaining a new loyal customer. With some persistence, you can find high-quality massages at a price that won’t stress you out. Take advantage of first-time discounts and specials, and your wallet will thank you for the pampering.

When Does Health Insurance Cover Massage therapy?

If you have health insurance, massage therapy could be covered under certain circumstances. The most common reasons insurance may cover massage therapy include:

Injury Rehabilitation

If you have an injury like a muscle strain, insurance often covers massage therapy when prescribed by your doctor. Massage can help relax tight muscles, relieve pain, and speed up the healing process. Insurance usually covers a limited number of massage therapy sessions for injury rehab.

Chronic Pain Management

For ongoing conditions like lower back pain, sciatica or fibromyalgia, massage therapy may be covered when prescribed by your doctor as part of a pain management plan. Regular massage therapy can help reduce inflammation, ease muscle spasms and provide relief from chronic pain. Check with your insurance provider for coverage details.

Cancer Treatment Support

Some insurance plans cover massage therapy for cancer patients, especially when massage is used to relieve side effects from treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery. Massage can reduce pain, ease nausea, improve mobility and flexibility, and boost relaxation and well-being. Ask your oncologist if massage therapy may benefit you during or after cancer treatment.

The coverage for massage therapy can vary widely between different insurance providers and plans. The best way to find out if your massage will be covered is to check with your insurance company directly. Ask them if massage therapy is covered for your specific condition and if a prescription from your doctor is required. Even if they do cover massage therapy, there may be limits on the number of sessions covered per year. But any coverage is better than none, so it’s worth looking into. With the right medical justification, insurance can absolutely help cover the cost of much-needed massage therapy.

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