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Do You Tip a Massage Therapist Covered By Insurance?

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Many people turn to massage therapy as a way to relax and unwind. For others, it’s the only way to treat a certain medical issue. It can be a restorative experience. Once the session is done, though, you may wonder about tipping your massage therapist. However, it can be awkward to know how much, or if it’s appropriate. 

So, do you tip a massage therapist covered by insurance? In some cases, yes, and in others, no! This article will explore why and when you should tip your masseuse. 

Why Would Insurance Cover Massage Therapy?

Insurance will cover massage therapy if it’s prescribed by your doctor. This indicates that there is a medical problem that can be treated with therapeutic massage. 

If a medical professional doesn’t provide you with a massage prescription, insurance usually won’t cover you. However, there are some instances where this isn’t the case.

Depending on the type of insurance you have, it could automatically cover massage therapy without a doctor’s approval. You might want to check your insurance plan beforehand to see if this is possible. 

Do You Tip a Massage Therapist Covered By Insurance?

Most people who book a session with a massage therapist will tip at the end of their session. It’s a nice thing to do, and many appreciate it while they’re folding up the massage table or prepping the sheets for the next visitor.

Most of the time, tipping is appreciated. Many massage therapists will accept tips even if the session was covered by insurance. Most massage therapists aren’t getting filthy rich through their practice!

However, there are some instances where this isn’t the case. If a massage therapist specifically says they don’t or the company has a strict anti-tipping policy, it’s important to not do so. 

Unless the therapist specifically has a no-tipping policy, it’s up to you whether to tip or not.

You also don’t have to tip if the massage therapist didn’t do a great job or made you uncomfortable. If this is the case, you’ll want to talk with the massage company’s owner.

And of course, if the massage therapist went out of their way to give you an amazing massage, with a heated massage pad and high-quality oils, then offering an extra tip is reasonable.

Do I Have to Tip the Owner Too?

Some clients are confused about massage tipping etiquette. Because of this, they feel they must tip the company’s owner alongside their therapist.

You don’t have to do this.

The only person who should get a tip is the person who performed the service. If that happens to be the owner, then tip them. If you’re feeling generous, you can tip the owner, but there is no reason that you absolutely need to. 

How Do I Tip a Massage Therapist?

You can tip a massage therapist in a few different ways. One is by handing them the money yourself. This way, you know that your therapist got it.

For some businesses, they might have a tip jar or envelope by a door. When you’re done with your treatment, you can slip a tip into it. Keep in mind though that this money might not go directly to your therapist. Instead, it might be put into a large fund and then split up among all the massage therapists. 

How Much Should I Tip?

Ideally, tip about 20% of the total cost. For instance, if your visit costs $50, tip the massage therapist $10. If you feel that their service was exceptional, consider giving them a bit more. 

While massage therapists are paid a salary, they’re a special service that often relies on tips. Massage therapists shouldn’t expect to be tipped, but they always appreciate when clients do.

Are There Other Ways I Can Tip?

Sometimes, you might not be able to tip because you’re tight on money. Other times, it could be due to a massage company’s guidelines. 

There are a few ways you can show your appreciation to your massage therapist without giving them money. For instance, you can spread positive reviews about them and encourage your friends and family to get a massage there.

You could also buy or make a small gift for them. This could be anything from an aromatherapy candle to a fresh batch of cookies.  

These generous acts will show that you respect their services and want to show your gratitude. It could also improve your standing with your massage therapist. If they see that you like their work, they’re more likely to keep giving you stellar performances. 

Massage therapy is a great way to help you relax and heal. But, do you tip a massage therapist covered by insurance? As mentioned above, it’s important to tip even if the therapy is covered by insurance,  but you’ll want to avoid doing so if that business has strict rules against it.

Types of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy comes in a few different types. 


A Swedish massage is one of the most frequently used massages. It uses long, gliding strokes that help loosen up tight muscles and increase blood flow. In some areas, your massage therapist might tap on them to calm nerves. 

Hot Stone

As its name suggests, a hot stone massage uses warm stones around your body. The heat will improve blood flow and encourage the nearby joints and muscles to get fresh nutrients. Because of this, the massage will flush out toxins that could be causing pain and stiffness. 

Deep Tissue

Deep tissue massage uses strokes similar to the Swedish massage but is a bit more forceful. It focuses on your hands, arms, legs, shoulders, and elbows. The pressure applied will release tension to stop pain and improve your range of motion. 

Trigger Point

This type of massage applies pressure to your body’s various trigger points. Situated near your muscles, trigger points can cause intense pain if they’re irritated. A massage therapist will press into these points and rub them. This will release stiffness and toxins that could be causing inflammation. 


A sports massage is designed to help your body recover after intense activity. It stops cramps and stiffness that can make it hard to move. This is ideal for athletes who need their body to recover quickly. 


Shiatsu massage is similar to trigger point massage, but uses more pressure and focuses on other areas besides just trigger points. By massaging special acupressure sections, it’s believed to restore energy and health to them.