Why are massages so expensive?

The cost of the massage is relative. If you find a massage therapist that makes you feel better then a massage at almost any cost is worth it. If you get a massage that doesn’t meet your needs then it was expensive and not worth your time or money. So, the expense of a massage is relative.

Supply and Demand

In recent years we are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking massage.  People are using massage for a number of different reasons, mostly related to health and stress relief.  Also, health professionals are referring people to massage to help with a number of health conditions and reduce the prescribing of pain medication.  

Massage is more than an oil rub, it has been found to be therapeutic and healing.  These are huge benefits to the overall health community and individual health.  But here’s the thing, there aren’t enough experienced massage therapists to accommodate the masses of of people seeking massage.  This drives up the price of massage.  

Prices for massages are less than they were in previous years.  Years ago it used to be the opposite where the demand for massage was less and prices were significantly higher.  People viewed massage as a luxury because most massage facilities were spas.  They were massive, beautiful places with many amenities while people catered to your relaxation needs.  As you can imagine, there was and still is a huge price tag associated with these environments. As a result many of us cannot afford to get massages in those locations at all or very often.

Now, we have more choices at more affordable prices but still the average price for a massage is around $100 per 60 minute session.  Many perceive this as expensive.  I agree, it is expensive but it takes me back to my original point.  It’s relative.  

Hard Work

Massage is hard work.  It is an extremely physical job.  It requires you to be on your feet and moving all day. Puts a great deal of stress on your joints especially wrist and fingers.  Because of the physical aspect of the job therapists typically leave the field within 2-3 years of starting it.  That’s just how demanding the job is.  As stated before there’s a lack of qualified experienced therapists in the field to handle the demand of people seeking more than an oil rub.  This is a large contributing factor to this and the reason why massages are expensive.   

Cost of Doing a Massage

Looking outside in, it’s easy to say, “Well the cost of doing massage is cheap.”.  That’s not the case.  For many individual successful massage practitioners and businesses to have their businesses in ideal locations where the public feels safe to receive a massage usually comes at a premium price.  That costs gets absorbed into the cost of the massage session.  Then there’s all the other costs of doing business like insurance, accountants, attorney’s, supplies, payroll, health insurance, education.  Driving up the costs even more.  

Paying for Expertise

Expertise in any field comes at a cost.  The longer a person is in a field usually equates to cost. The higher skilled and educated a person is usually equates to cost.  This holds true for massage therapists and massage businesses.  

I don’t expect the cost of massage to ever be “cheap”.  Better yet, it’s advisable to find a massage therapist that you connect with.  One that has the skills and education that you are looking for.  The ultimate goal with massage is to leave the session feeling better, that something was accomplished. With the outlook that there is hope for improvement, maintaining or whatever your goal might be.  

Hi. I’m Felicia. I’ve made a 20+ year career of massage and bodywork. And, I still love it. I also enjoy writing, playing music, photography, cooking, baking and painting. All of which I’m not very good at. I’m also a daily bike commuter.


  1. april whitfield October 31, 2023 at 10:23 pm

    As an LMT, when people ask why it’s so expensive, it has to do with a lot more than expertise. It’s hard, physical labor. That should be appreciated more than it is. How much therapist sacrifice their own bodies.

    1. Felicia Hayes December 6, 2023 at 10:40 am

      I agree. I think our clients are appreciative of our work. I have found that people who ask questions about the expense of a session either haven’t had any or have had very little experience getting a massage. And, sometimes people can’t afford or justify the cost for massage. I understand that too. I’m sure people are appreciate of the work and wish to receive a massage but it’s other factors that prevent them from getting them. So they ask the question, “Why is it so expensive?”. Thanks for commenting! I appreciate it.


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