I love a good massage, but I have to admit that on occasion I’ve left feeling a bit disappointed. Relaxation massage is not my thing, so I’m always very clear about what I’m looking for. When I trek across Edmonton to see a licensed massage therapist, I’m not there (just) to listen to Enya and smell essential oils, I want them to dig in and address every last sore spot.
Massage in Edmonton
You might want to get a massage in Edmonton for other reasons — relief from chronic illness, to strengthen your immune system, recovery from an injury or maybe even stress reduction. To each their own.
If you’re looking for the best massage therapy in Edmonton, let me save you a little time (and maybe even some money). I’ve traveled from one end of the city to the other, trying out everything from therapeutic massages to Thai massages and even foot massages. Here are my recommendations:
Deep Tissue Massage Edmonton
For long standing issues or injuries, Therapeutic Body Concepts, with their wide range of services and large roster of professionals, is my number one choice. My first visit was on a cold, blustery day, and the rustic, earthy decor throughout the studio immediately put me at ease and took off the chill.
After settling in, I had an in-depth chat with my RMT (and owner) Tia Blakely, to discuss what I was hoping to accomplish and the type of massage I was looking for. Then she dug right into each and every tight spot, using just the right amount of pressure. After one of the best massages I can remember, she went the extra mile by offering up personalized tips and exercises to help prolong the time between visits.
Therapeutic Body Concepts offers the full range of massage services including: deep tissue, relaxation, couples, sports, pregnancy, myofascial release and lymphatic drainage. But they also go even further with: acupuncture, osteopathy, rapid neurofascial reset, cupping, and on and on. If there’s a therapy you need, I’m pretty sure that they offer it.
Their 2 locations (one in just off 149 St and one near 111 St and the Anthony Henday) have 33 massage therapists and 2 acupuncturists on staff, and will direct bill your insurance company. I would highly recommend Therapeutic Body Concepts for (as their name suggest) all of your therapeutic massage needs.
Asian Massage Edmonton
Asian massage in Edmonton is thriving thanks in part to Soul 2 Sole. If you’ve never had a Thai massage, I highly recommend that you get out of your comfort zone and try this more interactive style of massage.
With luxurious marble, sparkly chandeliers and lofty ceilings, Soul 2 Sole’s clients relax in a modern and sophisticated urban oasis. Peaceful Thai music and a gorgeous herbal aromatherapy blend fill the waiting room, while you wait for your uniformed massage therapist to take you to your room.
Clients have a choice of a variety of services, but I recommend starting with the steam room (for an additional charge), before moving on to either their signature traditional Thai massage or a range of standard services that you’d find at any good studio (prenatal, deep tissue, hot stone, myofacial cupping, sports massage or reflexology).
Because Thai massage involves movement, you’ll be given a pants and a top to wear, plus the option to either be massaged on a table or a mat on the floor. A full body massage requires 2 hours, but if you don’t have that sort of time, shorter appointments are available.
Foot Massage Edmonton
Sonja Richardson at Overproof Foot Lounge might have the only massage studio in Edmonton that specializes almost exclusively in feet, and I think she’s on to something. I’d never had a foot massage in Edmonton before, but I can see this becoming a go-to.
Located in a residential area in the far south of Edmonton, you might need to plug the address of into your GPS to navigate the cul-de-sacs and find the address. Don’t worry when you pull up to a house, you’re at the right place.
A massage from Overproof Foot Lounge isn’t your standard foot rub. I’d liken it more to a therapeutic deep tissue massage than the gentle rub you get with a standard pedicure (although the pressure is always up to you and you shouldn’t hesitate to make your preferences known).
As a certified reflexologist, Sonia knows that our feet carry the strain of our everyday life and can somehow identify issues throughout your body by tension spots in your feet. Seriously! In less than 5 minutes she asked me if I had lower back pain (yes) and then concentrated on whatever part of my foot relates to my lower back. I have to admit, it did feel incredible.
Although Overproof Foot Lounge does offer a variety of aesthetic services ranging from manis/pedis, facials and scrubs, I’d recommend booking those as an additional service, so you don’t miss out on the chance to care for your often overlooked feet.
Pro tip: Don’t under any circumstances wear skinny jeans! I did, and I nearly cut off the circulation in my legs when I had to push them up to my knees.
Massage South Edmonton
There are a lot of places you go for a massage in south Edmonton, but Riverstone came highly recommended. It’s what you might expect for a studio located in a professional building — new, beige and somewhat medicinal. But it’s a good choice if you live on the Southside and are looking for a therapeutic rub down.
Offering a range of massage services (including osteopathy and couples massage), plus alternative therapies like women’s health, acupuncture, physiotherapy and chiropractic services, Riverstone takes an integrative approach to healing.
Despite the spa-like feeling that the website tries to project, upon visiting, Riverstone’s decor and vibe is decidedly clinical. My experience was above par and when I left, my back was happy.
Massage Downtown Edmonton
If you’re looking for a decadent day out and are hoping to score a massage in downtown Edmonton, then there is no better choice than the spa at JW Marriott in the Ice District.
Unfortunately parking isn’t included with treatments, so you’ll either need to find a place to park in the busy downtown core or take an alternative form of transportation. Upon entering the hotel, avert your eyes from the uber-chic cocktail lounge in the lobby and make your way to the bank of elevators and head up to the 5th floor.
From the moment that you enter this downtown spa, you’ll be blown away by spot-on design details like the calming light wood, brass fixtures and ink blue velvet seating accented by cream and olive textiles.
After registering with reception, you’ll be led to a change room and given a locker for your clothes and bag. From there, you can either chill in the sumptuous waiting room (I like lingering for a while to enjoy the comfy chairs, magazines and snacks) or alternatively, take advantage of the adjacent Archetype Fitness Club’s drool-worthy pool, hot tub and steam room until your scheduled appointment.
I booked a one hour full body massage and was led to a quiet room where my masseuse asked the standard question about the type of massage I liked, preferred level of pressure and oils. The massage itself was pretty good, but nothing about it stands out as remarkable. However, don’t let that stop you from going!
Every massage is different and this whole spa experience was the best I’ve had in Edmonton. In fact, you might even consider booking a staycation at the JW Marriott to take full advantage of their other spa treatments, fitness club, speakeasy and restaurants.
Please note: The Spa is closed to public until at least October 2020 in order to host the Stanley Cup playoff NHL players.
Mobile Massage Edmonton
Perhaps even more luxurious than an afternoon at the JW Marriott is the pure decadence of getting a mobile massage in Edmonton, That’s right, you can get a massage without leaving your own home. Edmonton has a few options when it comes to mobile massages, but I decided to go with Massago, a nation-wide service with a simple app-based booking process.
After choosing from either Swedish, deep tissue, sports or prenatal massage, then indicating my my availability on the app, the brains behind the technology got to work and matched me up with my Registered Massage Therapist.
Lisa arrived wearing a mask, gloves and lugging a folded massage table. The customer is responsible for providing their own sheets and towel, which the masseuse arranges on the table. After selecting a playlist and discussing the type of massage I was looking for, she got to work.
It felt every bit as professional as a massage in a studio without the wasted time driving to and from, finding parking and hanging out in a waiting room. As far as safety is concerned, you can rest assured that similar to other online services, each masseuses has undergone a complete police background check.
I loved the convenience of having a massage in the comfort of my own home and next time will make sure to allow time afterwords for a quick nap. I’m at home all day after all, so why not?
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Guest post by Michelle Kohl.
Michelle earns her massages by running two businesses, while trying to get her tweens to stop fooling around and start getting their online school work done. In between hollering at her children, Michelle manages to create beautiful rooms – either custom with Michelle Kohl Interiors or pre-designed and fully installed with RoomMaker.
P.S. Check out Michelle’s gorgeous Edmonton home here.