One of the most common questions about massage therapy is how often one should get a massage. The right answer differs from client to client. How often you get a massage depends on many factors. These include your general health, the reason for getting a massage, how you felt after your last session, your time, and of course, your budget.
Today I’ll focus on the purpose of your massage as a factor in deciding how often to schedule your appointments.
Why Are You Getting a Massage?
Before you and your massage therapist decide on a schedule, you need to talk about why you’re coming in for treatment and the specific modalities that will be used.
Some people get massages for health maintenance and general relaxation. The purpose of these sessions is to support proper body functions, including blood circulation and joint flexibility. Regular sessions like these prevent pain, stress points, and muscle tension from building up. Massage therapy for relaxation may be scheduled every three or four months.
In spite of regular massages for relaxation, there may be times when you will experience periods of higher stress and greater muscle tension. If you are in a high-stress job or work in an environment that requires you to be in one position for a prolonged period of time, you may develop tightly-knotted muscles in your back, arms and shoulders. These may result in reduced movement and significant pain. In addition, constant stress increases your risk of heart disease.
To help you cope with high-stress situations, get a massage once or twice a month.
Sports Performance and Recovery
Athletes and other individuals who engage in intense physical activity require specialized massage therapy to enhance performance, prevent injury, and speed up their muscles’ recovery. Competitive sports, for example, puts a lot of stress on the body. Massage therapy helps to strengthen muscles before the activity, and to heal afterward. The frequency of sessions may range from one to three times a week to three times a month.
Treatment of Chronic Issues
If massage therapy is performed as part of treatment for specific issues, the frequency varies according to the type of illness or injury, as well as overall health. Relief from chronic pain may only be achieved after a program of therapy that includes up to three sessions a week, and additional sessions at diminishing frequency over a few months. Chronic issues that may benefit from massage therapy include back pain, joint pain and localized inflammation.
Expectant moms experience a range of aches and pains as their pregnancies progress. These include back pain and swelling of the ankles. Regular massage sessions, performed by a certified pregnancy massage therapist, may help ease these discomforts particularly toward the end of the pregnancy. A once- or twice-a-month massage will go a long way towards helping you feel great. As always though, check with your doctor to make sure a massage is appropriate for you during pregnancy.
There are many other reasons people come in for massage therapy. Likewise, there are additional considerations to take when you think about how often to get a massage. These include the following:
- Your General Health
If you are a fairly healthy person, with no injuries or chronic conditions, you can pretty much get a massage as often as you want. If you’re suffering from an injury or chronic illness that could benefit from massage, you might come in for regular treatment with a focus on your specific condition.
- How You Felt After Your Last Session
Every time you get a massage, you should evaluate whether you are getting the maximum benefits that you want. If your chronic pain is getting better through massage, you and your therapist might change your schedule accordingly.
- Your Resources
Your time and finances are important factors to consider when scheduling your appointments. Make the most out of your resources by going to an excellent therapist and by using coupons and special offers.
If you want to know more about how often to get massage therapy that would work for your situation and resources, contact me today.