During a recent trip to Boston, my friend had the brilliant idea of booking us massages at a nearby massage therapy school. For $30, we could buy ourselves a session with a massage therapy student in exchange for some basic feedback on their technique. After filling out an extensive questionnaire, I was introduced to Sonia, a slight, sincere girl (with a firm handshake — good sign!), whose hands hammered away at my aching shoulders and back for a glorious 45 minutes.
Even though I’ve been committed to a wonderful massage therapist in my hometown for six years (trust me, it’s one of my longest and most important relationships), I have to say I’m now tempted to play the field. When the money is as tight as my shoulders, I realize I can get more bang for my buck by seeking out a similar program here at home.
Massage therapy schools often offer lower rates — usually in the $25 – $30 range — which is a great savings compared to the standard fee of $60 – $100 from a licensed professional. Yes, you give up the privacy of individual rooms, as most of these programs are set up in a large room with only curtain dividers between you and the next person, the instructors circulating among them at times. But, you’re doing these massage students a favor. After all, they need to practice on someone and as I see it, it may as well be me! Hey, I’m all for giving back to my community!
To find a massage therapy school near you, check your local yellow pages or visit Natural Healers for a nationwide listing of massage schools. Once you’ve located one locally, simply call and inquire about their public student massage programs. Your body — and wallet — will thank you!
Author by Kristi Anderson