Today Health Direction

Routine timings for Swedish Body Massage

Was just interested to hear of the approximate time therapists spend on different body parts during a full body massage. I know it can vary depending on what the client needs, but if somebody came to you with no areas that needed specific attention, how would the routine go?
I'm due back at college on Wednesday and we will soon be treating real clients. I'm struggling with remembering the routine as I haven't been able to practice over the Christmas period as much as I would have liked, but the main thing is the face and scalp massage. Our routine allows 15 minutes on each and it seems really hard with the routine we've been given to actually make them last that long!
Here's the timings we've been given and in the orderof the routine:
Anterior leg and foot - 5 minutes per leg
Arm and hand - 5 minutes per arm
Abdomen - 5 minutes
Chest - 5 minutes
Face - 15 minutes
Scalp - 15 minutes
Posterior leg and gluteal - 5 minutes per leg
Back - 15minutes
If anybody would like to share there routine, I would be a very happy bunny!


Hi Sarah
Happy New Year!
We weren't given specific timings for our massage and only to complete as follows within 50-60 minutes including consultation. At first I was worried that my massage would be too short or too long but in actual fact it was fine. Just go at a slow/medium pace and you will complete in time. I made sure I watched the clock and also bought one of those nurses watches from Argos which I pinned to my uniform. We didn't do the face or scalp however I am sure you don't have to go to the exact timings however maybe compensate when doing other limbs. However, you could always repeat movements on the face and scalp to make up in timings.
For our full body massage it was:
front of right leg, left leg, left arm, chest, right arm, abdomen, back or right leg, left leg and back. I found that if I timed each limb I got very nervous, so just relax and enjoy and go at your own pace - you'll be fine.
Good Luck


Hi Sarah
It is better not to lock things in stone, massage treatments need to flow, each part of the body is treated as a part of the hole, timings are virtually irrelevant, if you spend more time on one area that requires it then you spend less time on the areas not requiring so much treatment.
Just keep your eye on the clock from time to time and you will adjust as you go and finish on time :-)


Hi, I am also doing the ITEC Holistic Massage and we have so far covered front leg, arm, mid-abdomen and face/neck. I strongly believe that the important word here is 'Holistic'; i.e. I will assume the client needs/wants to feel relaxed. Our tutor is v.good, advising us 'not to grip', to use slow, rhythmic movements and gentle, but sufficient with percussion movements to slightly redden the skin. We have someone in the group who is into sports massage (a bit rough) and I think the way you massage someone for this is totally different to the holistic approach, so would suggest perhaps you slow up a little and enjoy the experience almost as much as yr client; soft music; a pleasant aroma in the room, subdued lighting - no chatting if possible, so that yr client can truly relax and enjoy the experience. Give her 100% of yr attention. Our tutor suggested that if we had no-one to practice on, we should use anything to hand, such as a large cushion!! Repetitive practice, I'm sure, is the answer. I am really enjoying the course, but a bit concerned about the detail of the A & P section. Being a Senior member, memory is not as sharp as these young things, although I am OK on the skeleton!!Its the 'Cell Structure' and the other nitty-gritty that's the problem for me.We are about to tackle muscle names - all that latin and all that! Good Luck, Pam


When we learned in college we were given one hour for a full body massage, plus extra time for the consultation. However, I have found that in the working world, timings tend to vary - for example, if a client books a body massage then one hour will be allocated in the book, but this has to include greeting the client, consultation, undressing, redressing etc. so the actual massage time is not an hour. Also, if the client is a few mins late then the time is shortened further.
I find it a bit of a grey area, as clients often ask how long a back massage lasts - well, technically 30 minutes is booked out for them but only about 20-25 mins is actual massaging time.
I would agree that its best not to restrict yourself to timing specific areas of the body - with more practice you tend to just learn how long to spend on one leg, or one arm etc. Just keep an eye on the clock and if you feel time is running away with you, I just make the arms quicker, for example, so that you still have a good 15-20 mins on the back, which is most people's favourite area. If you only leave yourself 10 mins or so for the back the client might feel a bit disappointed, whereas not many people mind a shorter arm/leg massage.


Hi Sarah
I’m surprised that your tutor is apparently telling you to devote 30 minutes to the client’s head (15 face and 15 scalp) and only 15 on the back. My experience of receiving massage is that most therapists (quite rightly in my opinion) devote more time to the back than they do to the face and scalp combined. So I would certainly be inclined to reduce the time on those areas.
Your routine gives 85 minutes of actual massage. Allowing time for a client consultation and for the client to dress and undress, it would be difficult to fit all this into a 90 minute appointment. Again, my experience of receiving massage is that many therapists try to get a ‘full body’ massage done in just 60 minutes. This was discussed at more length on the thread .
With regard to ’sharing routines’, you’ll find a lot of different sequences on the earlier threads and (although most of them don’t give timings).


Trying to recall the routine I was taught, it's been a few years.
Start prone
20mins back
5 mins one leg
5 mins other leg
flip client supine (I reread this and thought of those people who pull tablecloths from under crockery crossed with people tossing pancakes high in the air)
5 mins leg
5 mins other leg
5 mins arm, shoulder, hand
5 mins arm, shoulder, hand
15 mins neck, scalp and face
Well something like that anyway..

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