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8 Places to Find a Discount Massage

Young woman having her head massaged
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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

While I was getting an expensive four-part body treatment at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale — offered to me free of charge — I thought of that saying, “Do more of what you love.” The quote generally applies to work.

But as I lay on that massage table for 80 minutes, my masseuse, rubbing the knots out of my back and neck, then covering me up like a burrito for the herbal-infused heat wrap, my eyes covered with lavender-soaked pads, my mind, without need to exert any mental energy at all, realized, “This is what I love! How can I do more of this?”

Well, if you’re like me, I’m lucky if I splurge on such treatment once a year, let alone monthly. And yet, there are ways to affordably incorporate more of this relaxing comfort into your lifestyle.

Here’s how to find a discount massage near you.

1. Find massage deals in your city

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A great place to start looking for massage discounts are sites like Groupon. Most of these discounts are good for one treatment, but they may help you find a massage place you love.

These one-time services also make great gifts for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and anniversaries — just to name a few. So go ahead and grab that great Groupon deal. (We do!)

Then try one of these ideas too to get your monthly discounted massage.

2. Visit a massage school

Man receiving a massage
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You can spend as little as $20 on a full-body massage at your local massage school, says blogger Whitney L. Smith, blogger.

She says the treatments are performed by students in training, overseen by professional therapists who make sure your procedure is performed properly.

Since the treatment is in a more clinical setting, don’t expect the frills you’d find at a spa, such as the plush robe or hot tea in a comfortable waiting room. You will get the benefit of quality massage oils and probably soft music. Students are eager to please, so you’ll be in good hands.

Male or female therapist? If you have a gender preference, you can make that request when you call the school. You can find a school near you through the American Massage Therapy Association.

3. Go to Chinatown

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If you live in a larger city or a metro area where there’s a Chinese population concentration, you’ll likely find an affordable massage in that neighborhood.

Josh Scharf, president of Archetype Ltd. of Short Hills, N.J., says he travels extensively for business to China, where massage is very inexpensive.

“A one-and-a-half-hour massage usually costs $15 in China,” he says.

But if he needs a massage while at home, he heads to New York City’s Chinatown, where he can get an hour-long, Shiatsu-style (very hard pressure) treatment for $40.

4. Ask about specials

Man on a computer and talking on the phone
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Day spas like Massage Envy offer discounted massages as part of their business plan, but if you cannot find such a place in your hometown, ask the spa you’d like to frequent about discounts for regular customers or rewards programs.

If they don’t have this, they might implement it if you ask.

Shopping local versus going to the national chain is another option to finding lower rates.

5. Attend a health fair or community event

athlete's relaxation massage before sport event
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You may find great chair massages at a discount at local health fairs, and community arts and music events. To find such events, stay alert to what’s happening in your area.

6. Look for deals in the airport

Boston Airport massage relaxation chairs
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You can find a chair (and even table) massage for cheap at some airports. One company, XpresSpa, offers a 15-minute head and back massage for $35. I’ve had one for as little as $15.

If you travel a lot, this can be a fast and convenient way to fit that affordable massage into your lifestyle — and you don’t even have to take off your clothes.

7. Wait for National Spa Week

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In the spring and fall, when National Spa Week rolls around, spas across the country offer special discounts on signature massage treatments, usually $50 each.

In addition to announcing special events and discounts occurring during these two weeks every year, the Spa Week website also lists daily specials year-round.

You can also save when you buy gift cards for special occasions. Sign up online for notifications in your email.

8. Get it free from your partner

empty nesters
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

If all else fails, and you really need a body treatment, why not ask your spouse or partner?

Even if you need to pay to take a “spa 101” or couples spa class somewhere first to learn the proper techniques, from there on out, it’s FREE.

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