01/08/2019 by Michael Fink, CMT
How often should I get massage?
How often to get massage will vary for each of us. I suggest you speak with your massage therapist about your goals and work together to come up with a plan specific to your needs. Here I will speak in more broad and general terms to give you a basic understanding of how frequently you might want to consider receiving massage.
There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (rejuvenating, therapeutic, stress relief, pain management, mind-blowing), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen.
A Few Benefits of Receiving Massage Regularly:
- Reduces stress
- Mental Clarity
- Reduces anxiety
- Improves sleep
- Boosts the immune system
- Reduces the flow of stress hormones.
- Increases circulation
- Reduces muscle soreness after exercise
During the first session with a new client, I ask a lot of questions about their lifestyle, stress levels, reasons for getting massage, and about any specific goals. These answers give me a good idea of where they are, and based on what I feel going on in their body, we can come up with a plan of action.
If you are dealing with an acute issue such as waking up with a kink in the neck, a pain in the low back that seemed to spring up out of nowhere, or a weird ache that you just started to notice, we might be able to address it with one session. These are often spasms that just need to be calmed down, or from a muscle that has gotten so tight that it is causing another muscle to react. Other times it’s a sign of something more chronic that needs to be addressed with stretches, exercise, further massage sessions, and often a combination of all three.
If you have a chronic issue, something you’ve been dealing with for a long time, you may be best served with series of shorter massage appointments with a very targeted focus to enable us to make progress as we assess your individual situation. This might be 2 60-minute massages a week for a month, and then once a week, to twice a month, to once a month depending on how you are feeling in your body as we go.
Other times clients are just looking for maintenance sessions of once or twice a month to help stay in balance and keep the tension from building up to a point where they are in pain. As clients begin to receive regular bodywork they are able to identify how long the results last after each session and we can customize the frequency based on their needs.
We often don’t think about our muscles until we feel a sharp pain radiate from them or we wake up feeling stiff and sore. Our muscles, however, are active living tissues that need to be cared for and maintained on a routine basis to ensure overall health and wellness. This means we need to move more and sit less. Keeping our bodies in motion helps keep muscle tissue fluid and pliable, joints lubricated and flexible, all to keep the machine running efficiently without the presence of aches and pains. Getting massages just one more thing we can add to our health regimen.
The incredible benefits of massage are doubly powerful if taken in regular “doses.” Professionals at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami explain the more massage you get, the greater benefits you reap. Here’s why:
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress. This translates into better all over health.