Get a Free Massage

The idea of receiving a free massage probably sounds too good to be true. Since a massage can be enjoyable and provide health benefits, it is worth your time to learn how to get one for free.


Bartering for a Massage

  1. Swap massages with a spouse or partner. One of the best ways to get a free massage is to swap massages with a loved one. This will require both of you to learn proper massage techniques. Learning to massage each other will make massages available at home.
    • Giving each other a massage can be entertaining and enjoyable. You can buy books on how to give a great massage or you can borrow books from the library. You can also search on YouTube for massage techniques.
    • Buy products needed to make the massage as enjoyable as you possible can. Your purchases may include massage oils and scented candles. To avoid spending money, you can also just use lotions and oils that you have at home.
    • Create a relaxing atmosphere when conducting a massage. You can do this by dimming the lights and making sure the temperature is comfortable.
  2. Exchange massages with a friend. Identify a friend who is interested in exchanging massages. Not everyone feels comfortable being massaged by a friend, so be sure that they do not feel pressured.
  3. Promote the benefits of a massage. Convince others to barter a massage by saying that it can be relaxing. It can also increase flexibility, reduce pain, improve concentration, and provide more restful sleep.[1]
  4. Barter with a Licensed Massage Therapist. Licensed Massage Therapists are people too. They are just as likely to barter a massage as everyone else.
    • If they do not want a massage, find something else to barter. Consider artwork, babysitting, housecleaning, or landscaping.
  5. Check your health insurance coverage. There was a time when massages were rarely, if ever, covered by health insurance. That is no longer the case. There are instances when a massage is covered, depending on the person’s health condition. Some anxiety and stress related illnesses could benefit from a massage. [2]
    • Consider a chiropractic massage. This may increase the chances of being covered by health insurance or by an employee benefit plan. It never hurts to ask.[3]

Helping Massage Therapy Students

  1. Identify massage therapy schools in your area. You can find a list on the American Massage Therapy Association website. [4] Some massage schools offer free or reduced rate massages to the public. This allows students to gain experience. Check to see if a nearby community college or hospital has a massage training program.
    • Massage schools may only offer appointments periodically and sometimes get booked quickly.
    • Students in massage training centers are still learning. Provide honest feedback that will help improve their new craft.
  2. Be flexible. When you are looking for free services, it’s important to be accommodating. Be willing to adjust your schedule based on their needs.
  3. Don’t forget to tip. Whether or not a massage is free, be sure to tip the massage therapist. This does not apply if the masseuse is a spouse, partner, or friend. The average tip is between 10 to 20 percent. You can tip more or less depending on how pleased you were with the service.[5]
  4. Understand the dangers of an amateur massage. There are times when it is a bad idea to get a massage. People who are not licensed in the field may not be aware of the dangers. [6]
    • In some circumstances, a massage would be considered a health risk instead of a health benefit. In most cases, individuals using blood thinners, experiencing a heart condition, diagnosed with cancer, currently pregnant, or with internal injuries from an accident should not get an amateur massage. [6]
    • There are some instances when getting a massage could be of danger to the massage therapist. Some of those instances include having a fever, rash, or infectious disease.[7]
    • Be sure to inform the massage therapist about your medical condition.
  5. Communicate the type of massage you want or need. Satisfaction requires good communication. There are many types of massages, such as the deep tissue massage and Swedish massage. Be sure to communicate how your body feels and what you need.[8]

Searching Online for Massage Resources

  1. Search the internet. If you can't find a friend who is interested in trading massages, use the internet to locate a free massage. Start with the search term "free massage resources" and look for trusted sources.
    • Be cautious when conducting a broad search online and avoid "adult services."
  2. Check out free massage locator websites. There are a wide range of massages offered in what is known as massage exchange groups. However, be careful not to get involved in illegal activities camouflaged as massage services.
    • Never meet someone that you found online in a private place. Always meet people at a public location to discuss services. Make sure you are comfortable with each other before making any future plans. Bring along a friend for safety purposes. If you feel uncomfortable, leave immediately.
    • If you decide to meet at a massage studio, research the person and the premises before you go. A Google search will sometimes yield helpful information. If you ever feel the slightest bit of discomfort about the situation, don't go.
    • Sometimes there is a membership fee for using a massage exchange website.
  3. Search for free massage contests. Use the phrase “win a free massage” to search for contests. Enter as many contests as you can find.
  4. Ask for a gift card. Most licensed massage facilities offer gift cards. Request a gift card for your birthday or for a holiday gift from your friends and family members. These gift cards can be costly, so you probably should not expect to receive them often.


  • Be clear in your communications that you are not seeking “adult” services.
  • Ask for credentials, references, or testimonials if you use a Licensed Massage Therapist.
  • Never meet a stranger alone, always bring a friend.


  • Find massage exchange sites that provide abuse reporting and a strict non-sexual use policy.
  • If you are under the age of 18, do not search for or use massage services without the permission of your parents.
  • Be aware of the inherent dangers of trying to find massage services online. For this reason, it is always best to seek massage partners from within your group of known friends.

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Sources and Citations