Frequently Asked Questions

General Massage Questions

What is massage?

Massage is a medically beneficial therapy that involves the rubbing, kneading, and manipulation of the body’s soft tissues. Massage is typically used to reduce pain and stress and improve health issues, and it has been practiced to this end for thousands of years. It is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that, when properly performed by a licensed massage therapist after appropriate medical clearance, has no significant negative side effects.

How does massage work?

Massage is a touch therapy that improves health in a variety of ways via its ability to trigger both a relaxation response in the nervous system and healthy mechanical responses in soft tissue. Some specific results include (but are not limited to) reduced pain and tension in muscles and joints; lowered levels of stress and anxiety; interruption of pain responses in nerves; reduced inflammation; improved circulation; and more restful sleep.

Are massages painful?

While you may feel pressure at certain points, or greater tension in certain muscles (which massage is intended to relieve), massage should never be a painful experience. Your provider will check in with you frequently to ensure you are comfortable.

What kind of conditions can be helped by massage?

Massage is effective at treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, including low back pain, neck pain, knee pain, and other types of joint and ligament strains and injuries. It has been shown to positively affect many other medical conditions, including arthritis, insomnia, recovery from injury or surgery, and migraines. Massage is also a powerful, drug-free method for treating symptoms of depression, PTSD, and anxiety. Click here to learn more about the conditions massage can help treat.

What kinds of massages are there?

Massage techniques vary in physical pressure and focus and have been developed over centuries to target different types of physical conditions and needs.

Some common massage types include Swedish or “classic” massage (the most common massage modality), deep tissue massage (which incorporates stronger pressure), sports massage (similar to deep tissue, with added focus on movement/stretching and injury prevention/recovery), and pre/post-natal massage (optimized for the unique circumstances surrounding pregnancy and birth).

Zeel In-Home Massage

What is Zeel?

Zeel provides in-home health and wellness services delivered by a network of over 11,000 healthcare providers. Through our technology, we offer a streamlined scheduling experience and more personalized care, all in the comfort of home. The Zeel provider network has delivered more than 1.5M appointments to date nationwide.

Where is in-home massage available?

Medical massage with Zeel is available to Veterans through their VAMCs across the United States, in most cases both in the home and in office-based facilities. We are actively working with VAMCs in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Louisiana, Washington, Arizona, and elsewhere, and we are expanding massage availability every day. Veterans’ VA Primary Care Provider or VAMC administrator can with additional information about VA-covered treatment options.

Why should I trust Zeel?

Zeel is the first company to offer in-home massage on demand, and a leader in the in-home health industry. Zeel’s best-in-class Trust & Safety division is at the core of everything we do. From AI-enabled provider onboarding systems to constant safety monitoring to customer service teams trained to respond to concerns of any kind with speed and sensitivity, Zeel provides a safe and optimal healthcare experience for every patients.

Who are the therapists in the Zeel network?

Providers in the Zeel network are licensed in their state, insured, and have undergone an extensive vetting process before being accepted into the Zeel network. Zeel’s credentialing standards are among the most rigorous and selective in the healthcare industry.

After you schedule your appointment, you will receive a confirmation that includes your provider’s full name, photo, bio, and license information, so you always know exactly who is coming to your door.

Can I choose my therapist?

Initially, you may indicate your preference of therapist gender (or lack of preference), and we will select a top-rated, skilled massage therapist near you. After you see any therapist, they will be shown to you when booking future appointments, so you can easily book with them if you were happy with your experience—or you can opt to be matched with someone else.

What days and hours are massages available from Zeel?

Massages are available through Zeel between the hours of 8:00 AM and 10:30 PM, every single day of the year—including weekends and holidays.

How should I prepare my home for a Zeel massage?

Clear a space about 6′ x 10′ in a quiet, private area. You should have sheets (preferably twin sized) available to be draped over the massage table and yourself. The therapist will bring their own massage table and set it up for you. He or she can even bring relaxing music if you’d like. Most importantly, your treatment environment should make you feel comfortable and relaxed.

Booking on

Do I have to use the Zeel website to book massage appointments?

Most Veterans will enjoy using the Zeel website for the seamless booking experience and ability to view confirmation details, therapist info, and more. However, we can also assist Veterans with booking by phone if they are unable to access the website or prefer not to. Vets can call 877-GET-ZEEL.

Can I use the Zeel app to schedule my massage?

At this time, to be covered by VA benefits Zeel massages bust be scheduled at or by calling 877-GET-ZEEL.

Can someone schedule a massage for me on my behalf?

If you have a referral from the VA for Zeel, and need assistance with the Zeel website, you can ask a family member or friend to schedule your appointment on your behalf. They will need your name, birthdate, mobile phone number, and it would be helpful for them to have your ICN number to match to the referral.

How far in advance do I have to schedule a massage with Zeel?

When booking an in-home massage under the VA program, you can request an appointment as early as 48 hours from the time of booking.

How do I choose an appointment time?

When you submit your booking request, you will be able to indicate the date you’d like your appointment, along with a time range on that date that works best for you. Zeel appointments are available 365 days a year (including weekends and holidays) from 8:00 AM to 10:30 PM.

How do I enter additional notes about my appointment?

When making your booking request, you’ll find a field in the appointment location screen where you can provide logistical information for the therapist, like parking or access details, as well as any other notes you’d like the therapist to know.

Additionally, your massage therapist will have access to any notes provided by your doctor in the referral and will also do a brief intake with you to understand your reasons for needing massage therapy.

VA Referrals

How do I get a referral from the VA?

If you feel that you can benefit from massage therapy to manage pain, injury, or other medical condition, please discuss this with your VA primary care provider or other VA doctor. To receive medical massage at home as a covered benefit, your doctor must initiate a referral and indicate “Zeel” or “in-home preferred.”

How long does it take to book a massage with Zeel once I get a referral?

Once we’ve received your referral from the VA, scheduling your first massage (which includes a one-time account creation, indication of date/time and other preferences, and address confirmation) takes approximately 10 minutes. Future appointments will be booked even faster!

Your first appointment may take place within 48 hours of your referral—or at any time that’s convenient for you, in accordance with your doctor’s instructions for how quickly treatment should begin.

How long are the massages I can get through my VA referral?

The length of your massage is recommended in your initial diagnosis and evaluation by your Primary Care Provider and may be 30 to 60 minutes per treatment.

How many massages can I get through my VA referral?

The number of covered treatments will be determined by your doctor and indicated on the referral. Additional treatments may be requested by the therapist if deemed necessary and beneficial for your care. Such a request will be reviewed by your doctor.

Can I see the same therapist for all my massages?

Yes. At the conclusion of your first treatment, you may schedule subsequent treatments directly with the same therapist.

If for any reason you would prefer to see a different therapist, we will happily accommodate your request.