Getting a massage is one of life’s little luxuries – whether you’re an athlete who needs some targeted deep tissue attention or are in need of some relaxation with a therapeutic Swedish massage, it’s a treat we all enjoy from time to time.

The trouble is, between work, wellness, and our busy social calendars, it can be pretty tough to schedule an appointment exactly when we want one. Until now.

Massago is a new Toronto-based, on-demand mobile app that brings the therapist to you – at your home, office or hotel – in as little as an hour.

With services available from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, clients can book, track, and pay for their massage with just the click of a button.

We chatted with Allan Skok, the CEO and founder of Massago, to find out more about “the Uber of massages.”

What’s your background?
We come from the spa business and have one of Canada’s top brands – Sanctuary Day Spas. We know the business well and RMT is the most popular service.

How was the idea born?
Too often we’re turning people away, so essentially this was a way to scratch our own itch. We knew there were more people out there who just can’t find the time to get a massage and we had the know-how because we’ve been in business for 17 years.

Who are the Massago therapists?
All of our RMTs are licensed and registered with the College of Massage Therapy of Ontario. We meet with every therapist in person and they’re all background checked. But of course the safety of therapist is equally important. Other than Airbnb, we’re the only app in the country that uses a third party verification tool. Clients will be asked (once) to scan a government issued ID, so everyone feels comfortable.

massago

What kind of services do you offer?
We have four massage types – Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sport and Pre-natal. We offer single, back to back, or couples massages of 60, 75 or 90 minutes.

Will I have a regular RMT or just whoever is available?
You can schedule the same therapist you had last time. But we didn’t want this to become too much of a requesting scenario. You can choose your gender and therapist, but for the model to work properly we need to be able to fulfill requests quickly. While we recognize some people want their go-to therapists, Massago is about unlocking missing massages.

What’s the appeal of Massago versus going to a clinic?
People wait until they’re in a lot of pain or very stressed to book, and often when you make the appointment you have to wait days to be seen. Booking ahead can be frustrating because they want to see an RMT when their need is the greatest. Our claim to fame is that if you want a massage today, you can get one with Massago. Plus, you don’t have to get in a cold car or on the subway after your relaxing massage.

What if my house is a mess?
As long as you have a 10×3-foot space cleared you’re all good. You don’t have to worry about your house being a mess; these are professionals and their goal is to provide you with a therapeutic service. So there’s absolutely no need to clean before they come!

Why do you think this will work in Toronto?
I see a lot of busy people, and also people embracing the mobile and on demand space. The instant gratification, mobile payments, the trust, efficiency – Toronto has embraced it. The idea of having something delivered is not a foreign concept. Uber is the benchmark and they’ve made the concept easy for us.

Why do you think it’s important that we all get a massage every so often?
It’s a classic case of “the shoemaker’s son never has shoes” – I’m the worst culprit for not getting them enough. But you can’t beat that feeling after a massage. It has major therapeutic value and I’ve never heard someone regret having one.

How is this different to your average mobile therapist?
Mobile has existed for about 15 years so it’s not a new concept and most RMT therapists have a mobile table with them anyway. We’ve just added a layer of tech and sophistication to an existing model. We can coordinate two therapists across town to arrive at the same time to give a couples massage. To do that manually, with the bricks and mortar model, would have been a challenge

Do you have plans to launch Massago in other Canadian cities?
By end of this year we want to be in Ottawa, Waterloo, Guelph and London. We’ve already started recruiting in other provinces and in the next two years we expect to be in urban centres across the country.

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