Among the many questions I get about my massage therapy practice, one of the most common is, "How long of a treatment do I need?" This is an important question, and I will try to make some general statements about length and how to book appropriate treatments. Consider whether you have an injury or chronic issue as well as how important the relaxation and de-stressing component of massage therapy is to you when you are booking your appointment. Again, this is a general guide, and please contact me directly with questions if you have them.
15 Minutes: A new addition to my practice, this duration is (mostly) for returning clients who either have one specific issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, or for people who need a quick follow-up a day or two after a longer treatment. This short appointment will likely take place through or around your clothing to improve the efficiency of the treatment. With that in mind, consider wearing stretchy apparel or athletic wear as you would to a chiropractic or physio appointment (if you don't, no need to worry!).
30 Minutes: Generally speaking, this is the shortest duration that will allow for focused work on an area while still providing some relaxation. For example, if you are a violin player and need your neck and arms worked on, 30 minutes will allow for a full treatment of your arms and neck but likely not your entire back. This is also a good duration for someone who needs a relaxing but non-specific treatment of their back and neck.
45 Minutes: This is a great way to keep a treatment short, focused, and relaxing for those who are looking to save a bit of money or time but still get their painful area worked on. An example might be someone with an injured knee who also has a stressful job that causes some headaches or back pain. There will be plenty of time to do focused work on the leg while working on recurring tight and sore areas in the back, neck, and shoulders.
60 Minutes: A duration so commonly requested that people don't even know other treatment lengths exist! In my practice, a full-body treatment is possible if there are no (or very minor) complaints in specific areas. I will usually keep this treatment to back, neck, shoulders, and either arms or legs, depending on what you are feeling that day.
75 Minutes: This is where full-body treatments are almost always possible while still being able to focus a little more on an area of pain or tension. Say you have recurring headaches or an injury to a muscle or joint: I will be able to provide a full-body, relaxing treatment with specific work on your ongoing or recent issues.
90 Minutes: The king of the relaxation treatment for those who need full-body massage therapy and who have some other bodily issues, like headaches, injuries, or general sports/work tension or pain. We will be able to cover both your specific complaints and any recurring problems as well as leave you feeling very relaxed (and possibly very sleepy).
**One quick note: the duration you choose reflects the total time that you are in the clinic room with me. There is ALWAYS going to be some amount of intake conversation about why you are here, and there will almost always be some conversation after the treatment regarding follow-ups, self-care, and questions you may have. The talking part is just as clinically important as the manual therapy!**
See you soon,
Joe Ryan RMT