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  • Writer's pictureGreg Pritchard

How Much Does Sports Massage or Soft Tissue Therapy Cost?

Money is a big deal for everyone right now. Whether you blame national politics or worldwide events that were uncontrollable, whether you point to politicians or point to the sky - chances are your purse or wallet feels rather lighter than it used to.

A piggy bank on top of a calculator
A piggy bank on top of a calculator

Money has always affected healthcare, even though in the UK we have "free" healthcare - if the government of the day cuts spending to the NHS, then you'll find that waiting lists go up and the quality of care goes down. And when that happens, people look more to private options, and when it comes to joint pain, muscle pain, nerve issues and the like, people think of sports massage and soft tissue therapy. But how much should you be paying for a sports massage or soft tissue therapy appointment? What is the real cost of sports massage? This is a really contentious issue in the world of massage; many therapists often want to help as many people as possible, and feel that the only way to do so is by charging as little as possible.

Charging as little as possible (and we've seen people offering an hour's massage for £10!) works if there's no need to make any money - and this surprisingly common in the world of massage therapy, with unlicensed therapists who don't need to worry about paying for training, professional registration or insurance, and other therapists who are looking to earn a little "cash in hand" money to make life a little easier, without troubling the tax man.

But away from the £10 massages, most therapists are charging anywhere between £40 - £70 an hour for a massage or soft tissue therapy work. This varies depending on where you are in the UK, and the skill set of your therapist. For some people, this can seem a large amount of money; but it's important to be aware of the overheads that most therapists need to pay, including costs like insurance (would you really want to see a therapist who wasn't insured?), training (this includes both initial training but also ongoing training because would you really want to see someone who hasn't refreshed their skills for years?), banking fees, taxes...then there's the cost of "consumables": waxes, lotions, towels, sports tape, business cards...

Many therapists end up clearing little more than the national wage when everything else is taken into account, which can surprise people. Personally, we would expect to pay around £50 for an hour long traditional relaxation style massage or "standard" sports massage, and £60 - £70 for an injury focused treatement as long as the therapist had advanced skills (like us, with our Level 5 Soft Tissue Therapy and RAPID NeuroFascial Reset Specialist qualificiations)

But this doesn't make things any easier for you, the client, when you have a dodgy shoulder and you can't afford to go and see someone for help. That's why, at State 11, we offer a financial assistance scheme where we offer reduced price appointments to people in need. Setting up the scheme was frightening - we worried whether clients who had paid full price would be annoyed, or people would just choose the reduced price appointments. We were really pleased to discover that our clients who could afford full price were happy to support our scheme, and those who felt they needed reduced price appointments often returned later for a full price appointment when their circumstances improved.

Occasionally, we'll also offer a "discount day" - where all appointments are discounted for everyone. This costs us money (we've had to reduce our discount day rate from 50% off to 40% off), but it's a wonderful way of giving back to the community that has supported us much over the last six years. And they're often fun, busy, hectic days with people who are delighted to be getting on the road to recovery.

If you'd like to come and see us at our next "discount day", you can book for June 30th here.

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