I am probably asked four or five times a week how often someone should get a massage. The simple answer is "it depends." I am sure this question has been answered in many different ways, by many authorities, but I thought I could shed some light on the subject for all you real people out there. The first thing to do is figure out what your goals are for the massage. I see about three different, generalized categories of clients, and I am sure you will probably fit into one of them. The first are those who have an injury or chronic pain and are looking for relief and management. The second are athletes who use massage as part of their training routine. Lastly, some just enjoy the work and like to gift it to their bodies every once in a while. This blog will break down each of these categories and explain how often massage should be used.
For those of you with a nagging injury or want to improve posture the most important knowledge I can impart is that it takes time for the body to change and heal, which requires some investment on your part. The good news is that it is not much. I usually tell my new clients that after the first session they will notice improvement, but it usually takes 3-4 sessions to make a lasting change. For the best results, these should be completed within 7-14 days of each other. This allows the body to heal enough between sessions, but still have the effect of the previous session so the therapist does not have to back track. Once the goal is reached, sometimes maintenance is required. These sessions usually start about once a month and can spread out as far as 6 months or more.
Where my athletes at? This one is for you! Using massage as a part of a training regimen can boost your performance and shorten recovery between workouts. It doesn't matter what caliber of athlete you are, massage will help. For top athletes who train everyday for hours on end, usually once a week is good, right before the rest day. This gives the body time to let the massage sink in before the abuse starts again. (you know who you are and know what I am talking about.) For the rest of you weekend warriors, I recommend once or twice a month to tweak things here and there. These sessions should also be done before a rest day.
Lastly, for you lucky people who just want to enjoy the feel of your body being put through the ringer just because, get a massage as often as you like. I would not do it more than once a week, but hey, if it floats your boat, it won't really cause any harm as long as your therapist is cognizant of what they are doing and how often you are receiving body work.
Thanks for tuning in again! Hopefully you now have a better idea of how often you should receive a massage. Just know that it is always best to consult your therapist and if something doesn't sound right, it probably isn't. Always looking for more ideas to write about in the realm of massage. Please leave questions in the comments. Talk to you all soon!