How Often Should You Get a Massage?
Massage therapy has been used for centuries to promote relaxation, relieve stress, and alleviate pain. It can be a powerful tool for managing a wide range of conditions, from chronic pain to anxiety. However, one question that many people have is how often they should get a massage. The answer is that it depends on your individual needs and goals. In this article, we will explore the different factors that can influence how often you should get a massage.
Massage for Athletes
Athletes often use sports massage therapy as a part of their training regimen to help reduce muscle tension, increase range of motion, and improve performance. Depending on the level of activity, athletes may require massage therapy on a more frequent basis than someone who is less active.
For example, professional athletes may receive massage therapy several times a week to help manage the physical demands of their sport. However, amateur athletes or recreational exercisers may benefit from massage therapy on a more infrequent basis, such as once a month or more, if needed. It is important to note that if an athlete has been dealing with chronic discomfort, frontloading sessions may be necessary. For example, treatments once per week for 2-4 weeks, to get the pain pattern under control, then, maintenance visits once every 1-3x/month, depending on the advice of your Sports Massage Therapist.
Ultimately, the frequency of massage therapy for athletes will depend on the intensity of their training, the frequency of their workouts, and their individual goals and needs.
Massage to Treat Injuries
Massage therapy can also be an effective treatment for injuries such as sprains, strains, and other soft tissue or joint injuries. In these cases, massage therapy can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle tension, as well as promote healing and prevent further injury. A skilled massage therapist can also help guide you on whether you should use heat or ice and advise on ways to unwind your pain pattern.
The frequency of massage therapy for injuries will depend on the severity and nature of the injury. For example, a mild sprain may only require one or two massage sessions, while a more severe injury may require multiple sessions over several weeks or months. We recommend treatments 1x/week for at least 3 weeks with constant re-assessments.
It’s important to work with a healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan that incorporates massage therapy as part of a comprehensive treatment approach.
Massage for Chronic Pain
Massage therapy can also be an effective treatment for chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and chronic low back pain and even scoliosis, to name a few. In these cases, massage therapy can help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and promote relaxation while advising on postural anomalies.
The frequency of massage therapy for chronic pain will depend on the severity of the condition and the individual’s response to treatment. Some people may benefit from weekly massage sessions, while others may only need monthly sessions to manage their symptoms. It’s important to get “momentum” with your care, so receiving more frequent visits in the first few weeks can be beneficial.
It’s important to work with a healthcare provider who really listens so you can develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your needs, and so you’re constantly updated on any progress or setbacks. Sometimes, this care can completely unwind chronic pain patterns but, if the symptoms have been there for many years, this care may be needed on an as-needed basis for ongoing maintenance.
Massage for Stress and Anxiety
Massage therapy can also be a powerful tool for managing stress and anxiety. In these cases, massage therapy can help to promote relaxation, reduce muscle tension, and improve mood.
The frequency of massage therapy for stress and anxiety will depend on the individual’s needs and goals. Some people may benefit from weekly massage sessions to help manage their symptoms, while others may only need occasional sessions as needed. Our best advice is to schedule your appointment before you get too stressed or anxious, to stay ahead of your symptoms.
It’s important to communicate your needs and goals with your massage therapist to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs.
Other Factors to Consider
In addition to the specific conditions or goals that massage therapy is being used to treat, there are other factors that can influence how often you should get a massage.
For example, if you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk for long periods of time, you may benefit from more frequent massage sessions to help alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation…and get friendly reminders about proper posture.
Similarly, if you have a high-stress job or lifestyle, you may benefit from more frequent massage sessions to help manage stress and promote overall wellness.
It’s important to listen to your body and, with the guidance of your massage therapist, to develop a treatment plan that is specific to your situation.
Massage therapy can be a powerful tool for managing a wide range of conditions, from chronic pain to stress and anxiety. However, how often you should get a massage depends on a variety of factors, including your individual needs and goals, the condition or injury being treated, and your lifestyle and level of activity.
In addition to working with a massage therapist, collaborating with other healthcare practitioners can also be beneficial in developing a comprehensive treatment plan. For example, if you are receiving massage therapy to manage chronic pain, you may also benefit from working with an acupuncturist to help with your symptoms or physical therapist to develop a specific exercise program or a pain management specialist to develop a medication plan.
Similarly, if you are an athlete receiving massage therapy as part of your training regimen, you may also benefit from working with a nutritionist or strength and conditioning specialist to optimize your overall performance.
By working with a team of healthcare practitioners, you can develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your individual needs and goals and incorporates a variety of complementary therapies.
Ultimately, the frequency of massage therapy will depend on your individual needs and goals, as well as the advice of your healthcare practitioners. By incorporating massage therapy into a comprehensive treatment plan, you can promote overall wellness and improve your quality of life.
About the Author: David is the founder of Boulder Therapeutics, Inc, and has been treating athletes and injured clients since 1999. He is passionate about educating people on massage therapy, injury rehab & injury prevention, sports performance and stretching. He has learned over the years that getting enough care early-on dramatically helps reduce symptoms, and makes them much more manageable. He advises his clients on the frequency of their care and when they may need to collaborate with other healthcare professionals.