How Often Should You Get A Massage?
There’s no doubt that massage benefits your mental and physical health. But how often should you book a treatment?
Professor Tiffany Field, Director of the Touch Research Institute, compares massage with exercise. As a general rule, the more massages you get, the better you will feel. However, ideal massage frequency is an understudied topic. Most trials involve one session per week, rather than comparing various frequencies across experimental conditions.
Fortunately, there are a few standard recommendations in the massage industry. There are also several pieces of useful research we can look to for guidance. In short, ideal frequency depends on your treatment goals and overall health.
If you are generally healthy
Once a month is the standard recommendation. This will help you cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life. If you hit a rough patch in your personal or professional life, you can temporarily increase the frequency.
If you are an athlete
During times of intensive training, one or two massages per week will be helpful in maintaining flexibility and preventing injury. If your schedule reduces in intensity, once or twice a month will be adequate.
If you have an injury
Weekly sessions are best during the healing phase. With your therapist’s guidance, you can then extend the time in between treatments.
If you have chronic pain
Long-term pain cannot be resolved during a single session. Research with people suffering chronic neck pain has demonstrated that two or three massages per week is ideal. As the pain subsides, you will need less frequent sessions.
Daily self-massage can significantly reduce everyday pain relief in people with arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. If you can afford it, several sessions per week with a professional therapist would be perfect.
If you are pregnant or postpartum
There is some controversy surrounding massage in the first trimester. Many therapists believe that, for safety reasons, massage is best avoided until the 13th week of pregnancy. For the remainder of your pregnancy, biweekly massage offers considerable benefits, such as reducing stress on your hips and knees.
If you work an office job
Sitting at a desk all day can result in chronic tension and poor posture. Therefore, a monthly or weekly massage should form part of your self-care routine.
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If you have insomnia
A weekly massage will improve your sleep and promote relaxation. Massage triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing tension throughout the body.
Why you will benefit from a regular massage routine
The benefits of massage are cumulative. If you maintain a massage routine but then stop receiving treatment, you might have to start over. It’s better to commit to a monthly massage rather than indulging in several treatments over a couple of weeks.
Consider your unique needs
In conclusion, getting a massage once a month is beneficial for most people. Up to two sessions per week is ideal in some cases. When you begin a course of massage, your therapist should clarify your treatment goals and make recommendations accordingly. If your circumstances change over time, you can change your schedule to fit your needs.