“How often should I get a massage?” I am asked this question many times at the end of a session. The answer to this differs as everyone’s needs differ. Do you come for pain management, stress relief, relaxation, help with athletic performance or recovery? Regular massage gives the most benefit – once a week or once every two weeks is ideal but of course this may not be realistic for everyone or their budgets. To put into context – one training run does not prepare you for a marathon or doing one session of weight lifting does not give you bulging bi-ceps – one massage cannot undo years of build-up of tight muscles.
If you come for pain management, then after an injury, a massage once or twice a week would be beneficial for the length of your recovery. In the case of a chronic (long term) condition once a week is recommended but this depends on how your body feels – does your pain return after a few days then its time to make another appointment; if, however, you are pain free a week after your last massage you can begin to add more time inbetween sessions. In general, you need more sessions in the beginning and then as your muscles relax and healing begins, massage sessions decrease in frequency and you can come say, once a month – see this as a “maintence massage” 🙂
Stressed out? Massage is a wonderful way to reduce the stress in your life – be it mental or physical, at home or in your work life – its time 100% for YOU. Weekly (or bi-weekly) massages can work wonders and often you may not realise how many sore spots you have until you have a massage. Having a massage to look forward to each week/every other week/every month can also help to reduce stress levels 🙂 You don’t need to have a particular muscular ache or pain to book a massage session.
If you are an athlete…. in the run-up to an event you are training for, weekly or bi-weekly massages for sure help you prepare and be in good form. Pre-event massage warms and stretches muscles, reducing the risk of injury and helping you to perform better; post-event massage immediately afterwards helps reduce soreness and aids flexibilty. No specific events to train for? Maintain your flexibility and reduce the chance of being injured – book once a month, again “maintenance massage”.
Can you get too many massages?
After a massage you will often feel the benefits for a full week (unless you are dealing with pain or injury). Its quite normal to feel soreness after your massage but this should lessen a day or so afterwards (this is due to tight muscles being moved or injured muscles being worked on). Your body needs time to readjust and settle. More frequent massages are necessary when treating specific injuries and pain and for relaxation most people come once a month. However, there is nothing stopping you from booking a massage whenever you want to! 🙂