Regular massage – yes, but how often?
There is no question that massage is very beneficial for physical and mental well-being. Also, without a shadow of a doubt, a regular and controlled therapy is much better than just a random one-off treatment. But the question how often one should receive a massage to get the most out of it inevitably comes up. So what’s the right duration and frequency to maintain the balance of your body and mind?
Things to remember about
There are two important aspects you need to be aware of when considering a massage therapy. Firstly, massage has a cumulative effect which means when received at the right (for your individual needs) intervals, every next session builds up on the results of the previous one(s). When two sessions are too much apart, the effect is not as good as it could be. Secondly, an isolated treatment will not cure a chronic problem. Sometimes, it takes years to develop a medical condition so you should not expect to reverse it with a 1-hour massage session. If you understand these two basic things, you can be sure your money will be well invested.
Your life patterns, your condition, your goals…
Are you a sales person spending a dozen of hours a day on the road lacking any physical exercise? Are you a ‘white collar’ working at high pace and under constant stress? Or maybe you are an athlete working out intensely every day in preparation for a sports event?
All these people have different life patterns, different physical and health conditions and different goals to achieve. So will their needs and massage therapy differ. Every person is unique, so there is another thing you need to know. Remember, always…
… Listen to your body
You need to find your own best interval of regularity. Consider how you feel before and after the session and be aware of how long you have maintained that improved state. Consult the results with your professional masseur to work out the best pattern of your massage therapy. Here are some general recommendations:
For general wellness plan to reduce stress and relax tight muscles, massage once a month is a good recommendation. If going through especially stressful time or having a permanent high stress life, a session every 1-2 weeks can help establish a pattern of relaxation.
Athletes doing intense workouts often receive massage even as often as twice per week to help maintain flexibility and the healthy condition of their muscles. During less intense training, massage frequency may drop down to once every two weeks or even once a month.
Patients with chronic muscle tension or long-term musculoskeletal problems (like headaches, shoulder and low back pain) need to attend more frequently for a short period of time. Typically weekly visits for 4-6 weeks will help overcome a chronic problem. Afterwards a less intense maintenance schedule will be suitable for them, typically about once a month.
In case of extreme conditions such as a muscle strain or spasms, frequent visits (2-3 per week) of shorter duration (30-45 min) for 1-3 weeks often help resolve problems. You can then diminish frequency until you reach a maintenance schedule to help keep you pain-free.
Struggling with the bucks?
It is a no-brainer that health should come first but many of us are faced with the dilemma of deciding how much we can spend on it. If that’s the case, a reasonable and cost effective solution could be to purchase a pre-paid package which can significantly reduce the price of an individual massage session.