I'm lucky enough to know the owner of an upscale massage business. Normal rates are $80 for 60 min and $110 for 90 minutes. Being a friend of the business, I am eligible for salvage rates. If a therapist has an un-booked slot three hours or less from the appointment start, I can call and get an hour massage for $24 and a 90 minute for $29.
I just check the schedule whenever I have a free evening to see if any of the gals who work on me are free. I also tip very generously when I get a salvage appointment so the therapists like it, the business recovers a bit of money and everyone is happy.
I've seen a lot of therapists but I've basically settled on two gals who have been working on me for a few years now. I don't do much for stretching or mobility, so getting some serious tissue manipulation done by a skilled professional has been fan-fucking-tastic.
The massages themselves are extremely uncomfortable. There is nothing relaxing about it. I use breathing techniques similar to squatting in order to stay loose and not tense up. These gals are strong, skilled and know their muscles.
Afterwards I feel fantastic for about a week. Loose, strong, relaxed and ready to lift. Aches and stiffness builds over time, my guess is that's just scar tissue buildup from regular lifting. I rarely go more than one month without a massage and get them as often as every two weeks if the salvage appointments are available.
If I was not eligible for salvage rates I would probably find a way to live without them, maybe going in every few months or so.
I'll also add that building a relationship with a good therapist will definitely result in better work being done on return visits. If they care about their craft they will listen to your feedback and get to know your body pretty well.