How long are massage sessions, what is a clinical hour, and what is the difference between medical and spa times?

Some major questions that arise are how long are your massage sessions, and how long will the massage actually be.

Parts of this page:  An overview; Time Range; Clinical Hour & Facility Types; The Full hour; Our Session Ranges; How Long Should I Schedule?; Conclusion (The quick n Dirty)

How long are massage sessions? An overview:

This is an interesting question. There is no hard and fast rule. One of the biggest issues is whether or not the sessions are based on a clinical hour or actual hands on time (We will discuss this later). A typical massage can be as short at 10 minutes, or as long as two hours. Most often, you will hear people asking for a half hour, hour or ninety minute session.

Time Range…

At Amazing Hands, we don’t like to give a strict time for your massage, but a range. This better fits your custom session. Sometimes you want to relax more, other times, you need deeper work, and your therapist expends a bunch of extra energy going a little deeper. Sometimes needing to go deeper means that once in a while they might go a little longer sometimes all that extra work means your session is a little shorter to allow more recovery time. It is easier to understand how long your session might be when you think of a clinical hour.

Thus, instead of saying Half Hour, Hour/60 Minute, and 90 Minute, we’ll say Therapeutic Massage, Extended Therapeutic Massage, and Express or Short Hour.  — See what we mean by these times below (Our session ranges)…

Clinical hour & Facility Types:

What is a clinical hour, and what is the difference between medical and spa times?

When you hear clinical hour, it means that you get the room for X time, and your actual hands on time is less. At Amazing Hands, everyone is an independent contractor. This means they are their own business, and set their own schedule and services. Being independent, the therapists often work in various settings, so the time range works well as they often follow standards and habits following from their other settings. Some split time between a spa, gym, medical facility (Chiropractor/Hospital/Other Medical Office), and their own facility.

Either way, it is important to note that even with spaced out sessions, the sessions end with the therapist needing to greet their own clients. There is no receptionist to allow them to work back to back. No receptionist to greet their clients, and checkout their own clients.

Because of this, we ask that you ARRIVE ON TIME.
A: Your session can not generally be pushed back as your therapist must get ready for their next client.B: We ask that you not arrive more than 5 minutes before your scheduled session. If you arrive too early, the door may be locked, and you may be interrupting another clients experience.

A clinical hour: At Amazing Hands, we generally say 5 minutes is used to get on and off the table, this also included time to disrobe and get dressed again.

This is a  fairly loose term. On a short session, you might only need to take a shirt off, on a long session, you might need extra time to relax.  — See “Our Session Ranges” below

Spa vs Medical office: Some spa’s hours can be as short as 45 minutes, and other tout a “full hour”. Medical offices give you the room for a typical time. If a medical office is billing for actual massages, they are generally coding as if billing insurance for specific service (See Medical on another page). These are done in 15 minute segments, and allow for a 7 minute range (3 minutes shorter or 4 minutes longer). These medical offices might give you 3 fifteen minute segments, and give you a few extra minutes in the room, but moving you out with enough time so they can let the next patient start at the top of the hour.

The full hour?

A full hour:  Many places will advertise a “Full Hour” we do not do this, but unless there was a lot of extra tiring work done, often your therapist shoots for the longer end of the range. By quoting a “Full hour”, other studios might be doing cookie cutter sessions, or adding froo froo work just to fill time.

Our Session Ranges:

Generally, modifying our general rule of thumb of 5 minutes each to disrobe and get dressed again, we say 5 minutes for each 30 minute session time…. Thus:

  • Half Hour: Gives you 25 minutes +/- of hands on time
  • Brief Therapeutic Massage/”Short Hour”: Hands on time of 30-45 minutes. This still blocks off the room for an hour, but allows you time to get a massage over your lunch break that is longer than a quick “Half hour massage”.
  • Therapeutic Massage: Most people ask for an hour massage. This is what many places call an hour massage. We say hands on time of 50 minutes +/-… i.e. two 25 minute segments. This gives you about 5 minutes each to dress and undress. Often the therapist pushes this to 55 or so minutes… this time depends on how long you need to change and the amount of work done. This is a basic full body massage. Often the whole body can’t be worked on in an hour time slot. (About 50-55 Minutes hands on)
  • Extended Therapeutic Massage: An hour is often not enough for getting all the muscles needed, the extended massage allows the therapist to get more done. With three 25 minute segments this gives you about 75+ minutes hands on. Being a longer session, the last 5 minutes give you an extra 5 minutes to relax before you need to get up and get dressed. The therapist often pushes this into about 80 minutes hands on.
  • The Two Hour Session: Some people request a two hour session. Many people request a two hour session. This is NOT 2 one hour sessions. The typical hour massage is only 50-55 minutes long, and are spaced out 10-15 minutes. This two hour session is priced higher because the therapist shoots for about 110 minutes hands on usually without a break. This gives you about 5 minutes each to disrobe and get dressed again at the end.
I Need XYZ worked on how long should I schedule?

See: Times

Conclusion (The Quick ‘N Dirty Break Down):
  • 25 Minutes hands on (Half Hour)
  • 30-45 Minutes hands on (Short Hour/Brief Massage)
  • 50-55 Minutes Hands on (Therapeutic Massage/One Hour Massage)
  • 75-80 Minutes Hands on (Extended Therapeutic Massage/Hour & a half)