Massage therapy is a powerful tool that can ease stress, reduce chronic pain, loosen tight muscles, improve energy levels, and much more. One of the challenges with massage therapy is maximizing the benefit from each session. As great as you may feel in the days immediately following a massage, that feeling will gradually fade over the coming days and weeks. Ideally, you could get a massage every time you have a stiff joint, achy muscle, or stressful day. However, due to practical considerations like time, cost, and physical need, you probably want to schedule sessions in a way that provides the most “bang for your buck”.
The optimal time period between sessions will be different for each individual, depending on your specific goals and current health status. For those of you dealing with the regular stressors and tensions, one or two massages per one to two months may provide all the relaxation you need to keep motivated, energetic, and healthy.
People dealing with chronic pain, however, may require more frequent massage to keep the pain at bay. Depending on the severity and underlying cause of the pain, massages can be received as often as 1 to 2 times per week for maximum benefit. Many times, starting a treatment program with this frequency of massage therapy will produce substantial results in a very short time, gradually allowing more time between massage sessions.
Recovering from injuries can sometimes be a long, strenuous process. Massage therapy can not only relieve the pain associated with an injury or surgery, but actually speed the healing process. Patients recovering from an injury or surgery should receive massage at least 2 to 3 times per month. Similar to chronic pain, massage can be received less frequently after even a very short period.
Athletes can benefit from massage therapy on an almost daily basis. In fact, many Olympic athletes receive 2 massages each day during training season. Depending on training intensity and health status, most athletes find that 2 to 4 massages per month is best for boosting performance and preventing injury.
These are only meant to be simple guidelines to help you decide how often you should get massaged. Keep in mind that shorter, more frequent sessions can sometimes provide greater benefit compared to longer, more spread out sessions. You can also improve your lifestyle habits (such as correcting posture, self-massage, heat/ice, and proper hydration) which will increase and extend the benefits of your massage. Because each individual is unique and there is no “one-size-fits-all” for health, it’s best to talk to your therapist or other medical professional about your goals and current health to determine the best course of action.