How often should I invest in getting a massage?

by Christina Drake LMT

hands on back giving a massage

Receiving a massage is beneficial for so many reasons. It is important to note, though, that the frequency at which you receive bodywork can greatly influence the healing process as well as your general well-being. 

Timing between appointments is an individual experience and preference. There are factors such as your health history and sensitivities that are taken into account when deciding how often to receive massage. Your massage therapist can make appropriate recommendations in this regard. These recommendations can lead to improved performance/movement, stress/pain management, and a more well rounded awareness and connection to your own body.

Something to keep in mind when planning the frequency of massages is how long the benefits of a recent massage last before discomfort settles back in from our individual lifestyles. Massage combats daily, repetitive movements by manipulating muscle tissue in different ways than your nervous system is currently used to. The more often you return for a massage, the more your body can integrate these positive changes. This leads to longer lasting relief and sometimes alleviation of an injury or issue altogether.  

It is important to remember that massage facilitates the healing process and requires consistency for full benefits to be experienced, whether it’s helping to heal an old injury, releasing stubborn tension, or simple relaxation. Tension and limited range of motion can develop over time in our bodies, and feeling pain-free can take an equal amount of time to achieve through massage. A massage can help with the process of increasing blood flow, helping to cycle the lymphatic system, break up scar tissue, and increase mobility. The frequency needed for an individual will vary, but the most important part is to stay consistent in frequency of your sessions.

In my 6 years of experience as an LMT, I will share some examples of frequency to give you an idea of different results with different situations:

-Two 60 minute deep tissue sessions over the course of two months helped to break-up/release tension on upper mid trap/lower neck, resulting in continued relief, even 6 months later.

-One 60 minute sports/deep tissue session once every 2 weeks over the course of 6 months to a year, resulted in a much more smooth range of motion and less nagging hip joint/lower back tension, improving quality of life and movement.

-One session of light lymphatic work on the jaw region (after a wisdom tooth removal) resulted in a visible reduction of swelling in the area. 

If you’re still unsure of how often to come in to see your practitioner, scheduling an appointment once a month is a great place to start. It can be used as a way to keep tabs on your own body, communicate with your practitioner, continue maintenance of your well being, and discover what works best for you!

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