“How often should I get a massage?” is a common question asked from our clients. While first and foremost it will depend on your personal finances and self-care priorities, we make our recommendations based on your unique needs and goals. However, here are some general guidelines:
Maintenance Massage: 4-5 weeks
Those who receive massage to manage stress, general aches and pains, enhance their circulation, improve their immune response, and increase range of motion.
Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain & Injury Recovery: 1-2 weeks (initially)
For clients who have ongoing issues due to trauma, injury, or overuse, frequent massage will help to manage the pain and address underlying causes that can be contributing to the issue. Some may even find that twice a week works best at first, especially if you are coming in for a focused, 30 minute treatment each session rather than 60-90 minutes. After a week or two, you can start to experiment with spreading the sessions out slightly more each time, until you reach the monthly “maintenance” time frame.
Athlete: 1-4 weeks
Whether you are a professional athlete, or training for a specific event that’s coming up, you are constantly overworking certain muscle groups that are key to your performance. Massage helps to decrease recovery time between trainings, as well as to maintain proper range of motion by breaking up any adhesions and relaxing tight muscles. During intense training, we recommend every 1-2 weeks, with 1-2 sessions during the week leading up to your event. Massage is great to relax tired and overtaxed muscles after an event as well!
Prenatal: 2-4 weeks
Growing a baby can cause a lot of aches and misalignment in a woman’s body, especially from the second trimester to the 40+ week mark. Massage therapy helps to stretch muscles that pregnancy inhibits movement in, ease lower back and sciatic pain, release knots in the upper back and neck caused by the uneven distribution of weight, and give the mother a much-needed hour to just relax. While a good rule of thumb is to book a massage monthly, as the due date nears, more frequent treatments may be more helpful to effectively manage symptoms.
Remember that investing in therapeutic massage is investing in your health, and regular bodywork is more effective than coming in only when you find yourself in crisis. Whatever form your self-care takes, make sure you budget time and money towards it each month!
Haley Sullivan, NC Licensed Massage Therapist #12309