In my near decade as a massage therapist, one of the most common questions I get is “How often should I get a massage?” As with many things in life, there isn’t one right answer to this questions. There are many factors to consider (especially medical conditions). That factor aside, for a healthy individual trying to maintain their muscular and general systemic health, the best recommendation is a weekly massage.
If you maintain an active lifestyle, a weekly massage will give your muscles a chance to refresh and relax. Through the therapist’s manual manipulation of your muscles and active or passive stretching, you will find yourself standing taller and more centered in your posture. The increase in blood flow and oxygen will also stimulate your circulatory system and your immune system allowing your body to cleanse and detox the toxins that build up daily within us. Weekly massages keeps a healthy body in its natural state of balance.
Certain cases of injuries may require more frequent massages in order to retrain the body to return to its balanced state. Due to the body’s natural response to pain plus muscle memory, our bodies will quickly adapt to a different or unnatural state as a form of self-protection. However, this response will throw everything out of balance. Every other muscle and part of our bodies will start to compensate and attempt to return the whole body back to homeostasis. In these cases, my personal recommendation is a minimum of four massages every other day. Depending on the individual case, more than four massages may be required but four is a good start. Once we have achieved our goal of retraining the muscles, then it is ideal to maintain the weekly massage routine.
Why not daily massages? The answer…Go for it! However, I personally recommend every other day rather than daily because massage is in its essence a workout for your muscles. This is why some people may feel sore the day after a massage. The body reacts as if you had just worked out at the gym for an hour or two. Therefore, it is important to give the muscles a day in between to relax. It also give you a chance to assess your body and feel out what worked and what you may need more of in your next massage session.
Whether it is daily, weekly, or monthly massages, you will be the best judge of what you need or what you can afford. Many times, your finances will dictate what is doable for you. So talk to your therapist and get his or her suggestion according to your individual case, lifestyle, and finances.
How often do you get massages? How do you benefit from your sessions? Share with us in the comments below.