Appointments are 60 – 90 minutes and available to all UW Madison students, campus affiliate members, and community members. Our skilled massage therapists use a variety of techniques to tailor each massage to your individual needs and goals for the session. They will work with you to understand the type of massage you want and answer any questions you have. 

Massages take place at the Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center, in the second floor wellbeing suite within Thrive.

Appointments are scheduled online and can be made up to 60 days in advance. We recommend checking our website often, as late cancellations happen and same day appointments are sometimes available.

During the summer term, UW-Madison students not enrolled in summer credits are required to purchase a Student Summer Membership in order to book a massage.


Massage therapy can decrease stress, reduce pain, promote healthy sleep, and relax the mind and body.

Make an Appointment


Membership Type 60-minute 90-minute
Student $75 $105
Affiliate & Community $85 $120


  • Please arrive at least 10 minutes early for your appointment. There is no check-in required. You can go directly to the Thrive waiting area in the wellbeing suite on the second floor.
  • Massage appointments are reserved for each client and as such, we request the courtesy of a 3 day cancellation notice. Cancellations will not be accepted in-person or over the phone. Please cancel your appointment online using the steps below.
  • To request a refund, please see instructions below. No refunds will be given for cancellations within three days of the appointment.
  • Tips must to be paid directly to the Massage Therapist via cash or Venmo (industry standard is 10-20%). We cannot provide change.


At the beginning of an appointment, clients are welcome to let the therapist know the type of massage they prefer. Alternatively, the therapist will select the best type(s) based on the client’s massage therapy goals.

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Therapist uses long relaxing glides and kneading techniques. Great for relaxation, insomnia, digestion, anxiety, improved circulation, improved immune response, lessen pain and muscle tightness, and overall well-being.

Deep Tissue and Sports Massage

Therapist warms the tissues with lighter strokes before using firm pressure and slower techniques to reach the deeper layers of muscle and fascia. Used to treat musculoskeletal tissues such as strains and injuries. Also great for quicker muscle recovery between workouts, improved flexibility, lessen pain and muscle tightness, and improved circulation.

Myofascial Release (MFR)

Therapist uses more superficial gliding and cross fibering techniques to address the body’s fascial system. Fascia surrounds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle in the body. Great for addressing adhesions and issues in the fascial system and to relieve pain and other dysfunction.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST)

Fully clothed treatment. Therapist uses a series of hand holds to create space between the sacrum and the cranium, and around the spinal column. Can be an effective treatment for lower back pain (SI joint), neck pain, and headaches, as well as relaxation, anxiety, and emotional well-being.

Trigger Point Therapy

Integrated during a deep tissue treatment, the therapist finds and treats “knots” in muscles through ischemic compressions. Doing so helps bring blood flow and oxygen back to those areas to promote healing. Trigger points can cause referral pain in other areas of the body, so treating a trigger point in one part of the body may relieve pain in another area.

Ashiatsu Massage

Currently, this is only available by Sarah. Ashiatsu is a massage technique that involves the application of the practitioner’s feet, rather than the hands or arms, to a client’s body. In Japanese, ashi means foot, and atsu means pressure; so it literally translates to foot pressure. During an Ashiatsu massage, therapists use their bare feet to deliver deep compression, long gliding strokes, and/or assisted stretching. Ashiatsu provides the same benefits as a deep tissue massage and often feels rhythmic and fluid, getting deep in the body’s structures and offering longer-lasting benefits. At Bakke, practitioners offer a seated ashiatsu sequence targeting deep relief in a client’s back, shoulders and neck.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Currently, this is only available by Sarah. Manual lymphatic drainage is a gentle form of massage that targets your lymphatic system to help facilitate the movement of lymph throughout your body. This relieves painful blockages, swelling and stagnation. It’s most helpful for clients recovering from injury or surgery, oncology patients, and/or clients with autoimmune issues and can be delivered to a targeted area or through a full-body treatment.


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What happens during a massage?

To start, you will chat with the massage therapist about any questions or concerns you have. The therapist will then leave the room and close the door so you can undress to your comfort level. Once undressed, you will lay on the table face down and cover up with the blanket. The therapist will knock before entering. During the massage, the therapist will only uncover the section of your body they are currently massaging, leaving the rest covered. Some clients like to close their eyes to relax, or even fall asleep. Feel free to provide feedback on the pressure or if there is any pain. Following the massage, the therapist will let you know the massage is complete and leave the room so you can get dressed. Once dressed, you will then open the door to let the therapist know you are ready. The massage therapist will return to chat about your experience and provide any suggestions.

What should I wear?

The short answer is whatever you are comfortable with. To put it simply, there are three options: fully clothed, semi-clothed, and naked. Fully clothed massages are possible but you may miss out on some benefits of long, flowing muscle techniques. Some prefer just underwear on. For those who wear a bra, it can be beneficial to remove this so the therapist can properly work on your back muscles. Like any massage, therapists are required to keep all private areas covered. You will always be sufficiently covered with a blanket so you never feel exposed. Your wellness and comfort is priority, so the therapist will accommodate any level of dress you prefer.

What products are used?

Oil or lotion is most often used during a massage. Therapists may also use aromatherapy oils. If you are allergic to oils or lotions, or would prefer the therapist not to use certain products, please let them know beforehand.

How do I cancel my appointment?

  • Go to
  • Click Log In in the top right corner of the page and log in using your NetID or Guest credentials.
  • Once logged in, click your name in the top right corner of the page and select Profile from the drop-down menu.
  • From the menu on the left side of the page, click Program Registrations.
  • Find the appointment you’d like to cancel, and click the 3 dots on the right, and select cancel.
  • If this option is not available, please email to cancel.

How do I request a refund?

Refunds will be provided if cancelling more than 3 days in advance of the appointment. All refund requests must be submitted via the Refund Request Form below within 3 days of the appointment. A cancellation processing fee of 10% of the refund amount will be applied for all approved refunds. Credit card payments will be refunded to the original card used at the time of payment.

Refund Request Form

Who do I contact with questions?


Allan Esser

Position title: Massage Therapist

Laura DiJulius

Position title: Massage Therapist

Sarah McMunn

Position title: Massage Therapist