How Often Should You Receive A Massage?
The benefits of massage are many and extend beyond simple relaxation. A massage can counter stress, relieve chronic pain including back pain, headache and arthritis, reduce muscle tension, and increase your overall relaxation and sense of well-being. Regular massage therapy increases in blood flow throughout your body and has even been shown to lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety and depression.
Considering this long list of benefits, how often should you receive your relaxing, restorative massage therapy? How often you schedule your massages is directly related to your own personal physical and emotional needs, available time and budget, but here are a few general guidelines and recommendations:
General Health and Relaxation - If you enjoy a restorative massage for general health and relaxation, consider a weekly massage for the first five to ten weeks followed by a maintenance program of less frequent visits of every third or sixth week. Massage therapy even as infrequently as once or twice per month can still provide health benefits and help reduce the accumulated effects of stress.
Stress Management - If you live in a high-stress environment or have a stressful occupation, you may want to consider more frequent appointments to help you cope with your stress. The tension that accumulates from these external stressors can be more easily managed with weekly massages. Additionally, having scheduled appointments weekly or bi-weekly can provide you with a sense of comfort and relief as you look forward to your next massage.
Pain Reduction and Pain Management - If you suffer from pain caused by a chronic condition like arthritis or pain related to an injury such as a car accident, consult with your physician. Once you are cleared medically, your physician may recommend that you start your massage therapy as often as one to two times per week for the first week followed by appointments that gradually decrease in frequency as your condition improves, injuries heal and pain diminishes. More simply, as your pain is reduced so is the frequency of your appointments. Again, after those initial twice weekly visits, consider a weekly massage for the next five to ten weeks followed by a longer maintenance program of less frequent visits of every third or sixth week.
As stated earlier, your massage frequency is determined by your underlying need for therapy, chronic pain, high stress levels, or injury recovery require more frequent appointments and therapy. Once healing begins and you become more relaxed and pain-free the frequency of your massage appointments can safely be decreased as you move into a maintenance phase. Listen to your body and your therapist, together they will help you determine how frequently you should visit.