One question I hear often is “How often should I get massage?”. My answer is usually dependent on the client’s specific situation. I always recommend listening to the wisdom of your body-mind, and considering what benefits you hope to gain from regular massage therapy. Having a self-care plan in place for your life is very important to good health and overall wellness, and massage therapy has benefits that are cumulative. So, the regularity that you receive massage will build results over time. Here are some general guidelines I like to offer to my clients:
To reap many of the wellness benefits of regular massage, plan for at least once per month as a good plan, and twice per month as an excellent plan. Massage therapy has been shown to be a powerful ally in your health regimen. It assists the body-mind by enhancing immune function, improving circulation, reducing fatigue, improving sleep, and giving a person a general feeling of well-being.
Treating Chronic Conditions
If you are seeking to relieve pain from chronic conditions such as headaches, neck pain, back pain, or sciatica, aim for once per week for 4 to 8 weeks to start. Getting the soft tissue to learn to relax and working out trigger points will take some frequency in the beginning. Most clients will notice huge improvements with once per week for 4 weeks and then tapering to every 2 weeks. Remember, muscles that have been in a constant state of constriction due to bad posture, injury, or stress tend to hold a “memory” that keeps them in this state. It will take some time to retrain these muscles to hold a new memory.
If you are going through a particularly stressful time in your life, or you live a very stressful life, massage therapy can help you balance out the negative effects of stress to your body. Studies have shown that massage therapy reduces cortisol and adrenaline (the stress hormones) significantly. During a massage session, beneficial hormones such as oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins flood our bodies. The positive effects of this experience can stay with us for some time and provide benefits in our day to day lives. Anxiety, Insomnia, PTSD, and Depression are all conditions that massage can help sooth the symptoms of.
All in all, the frequency of your massage therapy sessions should be dependent on what is happening in your life and how your body is feeling. You may experience one or all of these categories at different times through out your life. Listen to the wisdom of your body-mind, and
ask your massage therapist what they recommend for you.