How Often Should You Get a Massage?
Plenty of information is available, on this website and elsewhere, about the benefits of Massage Therapy. When you receive regular massages, you feel better—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The process loosens your muscles and your mind, opens your pores and your lymphatic system. Over time, you achieve a balance and holistic well-being that you may never have thought you could feel before you started.
But all of this begs the question: what constitutes “regular” massages? Do you go once a week, once a year, or something in between? As much as we would love to give a clear, specific answer, it depends on you and your needs. If you use massage therapy to complement frequent, vigorous athletic work, your massage routine can and should differ markedly from someone who receives massages for stress relief or general relaxation. To gain the greatest benefits of massage therapy, then, you need to begin by understanding yourself and your needs.
Massage Therapy for Athletes
The more you work out or perform in athletic endeavors, the more strain you put on your muscles. Unlike any other kind of machine, the human body can actually get stronger through regular work. Over time you can work yourself into tremendous physical condition, and your body responds with greater strength, flexibility, and endurance.
That said, you need to do maintenance work to keep everything working well, particularly as you get older. Part of this is stretching, resting, and eating properly. But just as beneficial for you is receiving frequent massages. When you are an active athlete, it can be hard to give your muscles the kind of recovery time they need to truly recover. Over time, this can lead to strains, tears, and repetitive use injuries.
Massage therapy counteracts this by helping loosen tight muscles, and by improving your flexibility over time. An active athlete, particularly during peak season, should receive massage therapy two or three times per week. It helps enhance your circulation and keeps your muscles fresh over time. This leads not only to better performance, but to better long-term health.
Chronic Pain or Health Conditions
If you receive massage therapy to help you deal with a chronic health condition or chronic pain, you may not need your massages quite as frequently as those recovering from athletic activity. Rather than seeking relief for muscular strain that you renew daily, you are looking to simply hurt less. Even so, a chronic condition, by definition, affects you consistently and often. When you plan out your therapy regimen, you should start by thinking about how often, and how intensely, you feel pain.
In many cases, a massage once or twice a week can greatly reduce the impact that chronic pain has on your life. By working with the muscles and nerve endings in your skin, a gentle massage can help both provide the temporary relief you need to function and lessen the impact of your pain and discomfort over time.
Everyone experiences stress of some kind in our lives. We work, we grow, we study, we raise families, and try to find enough time in our days for everything we do. But when stress grows, it saps both our time and our energy. So ironically, the more we think about and worry about how to do everything we need to do during the day, the less time and energy we are able to find to do it. Over time, the cycle of stress builds and threatens to subsume our lives.
If you build in massage therapy once every one to two weeks, though, you can receive one of the greatest benefits of massage therapy: stress relief. We can’t promise that you won’t feel stress anymore, but over time, regular massage can help lessen your stress by giving you time to escape, with physical and mental relaxation built into your time. This timing helps break up your month and allows you to let go of accumulated stress before it has a chance to fully intrude on your life.
Finally, for some people, you simply want to feel better. You may have found other ways to help manage the stress in your life, and be fortunate enough to avoid chronic conditions. Even so, you can receive the benefits of massage therapy with scheduled sessions over time. Muscles tire or strain over time; massage therapy helps them recover faster. It also improves your blood circulation, your oxygen flow through your body, and your general emotional and spiritual sense of wellbeing.
Your massage frequency for this purpose can vary widely depending on you. Some people feel like they need a massage every week or two to feel better, while others do very well scheduling a session once every one or two months. The idea is to establish a regular schedule over time. You will soon find that you look forward to the chance to decompress, relax, and slip away for an hour or two, and to emerge feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the world as you know it.
It is important to remember that these are general guidelines for what you should expect. Everyone is different; you are unique! Your stress comes from different places, and impacts you differently, from what your neighbor or co-worker or sibling experiences. You are not better or worse for needing massage more or less frequently than someone else. The important thing is to get to know your body and your mind, and find the path that works for what you need.
At Versatile Vitality, we work with you as you come. The question of how often should you get a massage will be answered as we take the time to get to know you and your needs. We will then recommend a course that will provide you most effectively with the benefits that massage therapy can offer. We will also fine-tune the process and help you find the relief you need. Contact us today, and take that next step to a better, happier you.