Why do Spas/Massage Envy, etc., Offer Only 50/80 minute Sessions?


For a long time in the U.S. and much of Europe and Asia, 30-45 minutes was considered standard for massage. As we’ve realized over the years how much can be achieved with therapeutic massage, typical sessions extended to 60 or even 90 minutes or more. Most massage therapists prefer to take breaks of at least 15 minutes in between every 1 to 3 massages.  I take 30 – 60 min breaks between each client and limit the number of massages I do each day so I am not overtaxed and you receive a quality massage.

In recent years, many businesses (mostly spas) have discovered that if they cut the session by 10 minutes, they can book the therapists for more sessions and make more money. The problem with this “professional hour” of 50 minutes is that you are often paying for the price of an hour, and getting a very weary massage therapist for less than an hour.  When I first began doing massage, I worked in a spa environment for 1.5 years.  I knew early on that I did not want to continue to work in a spa.   I could never do a 50 minute session and would always go over.  The clients appreciated that I gave them the full time, but the spa owner did not. 🙁 10-15 minutes is not sufficient time to ground yourself,  change linens, and prepare for the next session.

Everyone except the spa owners suffer when sessions are cut short. Clients lose a total of one full treatment every six sessions (10 minutes times 6 sessions is an hour)! Therapists don’t get enough time to keep up/recharge and are pressured to try to fit a full massage into 50 minutes, which is hard enough to do even in 60 minutes.  Unless you are dead set on the ‘spa experience’, I would highly recommend an independent massage therapist or a business who can give you the full 60/90/120 minute session.  Pay attention to the time the massage begins and when it ends.  You pay good money for massage so I believe you should get what you pay for!!


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