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Massage Frequency Tips

By Fiona Pearson

 Clients often ask how often they should get a massage.

 

How often depends on YOUR needs, YOUR budget and YOUR stress levels.

Massage has significant health benefits that are best experienced when you get regular massage.

My recommendation depends on what YOUR goals are.

I’ll carefully consider YOUR individual condition and lifestyle.

 

It’s important to remember two things about massage:

 

1)    The effects of massage are cumulative. So your second massage builds on the great effects of your first, and so on.

If you receive your massages too far apart, then with each massage you will go back to square one (pardon the pun!).

What a waste of your money!

 

2)    One massage won’t “fix” a chronic problem. It has taken days, weeks, or even years to develop a stiff neck or painful low back for example. The condition won’t be reversed in 1 hour. Typically, once every week or two is ideal for keeping your muscle tissue pliable and in good shape, if you can afford it.

 

If you are in chronic pain or have a special issue to address, you might need to come weekly (or even twice a week) until you feel better.

 

Here are some general massage frequency guidelines:

 

·         GENERAL WELLNESS - If you are including massage in a general wellness plan to reduce stress and relax tight muscles, once a month is a good recommendation. If you’re going through an especially stressful time or have a high stress life, coming every 1-2 weeks can help establish a pattern of relaxation.

 

·         ATHLETES – If you are training for an event and doing intense workouts come in twice per week to help maintain flexibility and healthy condition of your muscles. During less intense training, massage frequency may drop down to every two weeks or once a month.

 

·         CHRONIC CONDITION - Clients working to relieve chronic muscle tension or long-term musculoskeletal problems (like headaches, shoulder and low back pain) need to come in more frequently for a short period of time. Typically weekly visits for 4-6 weeks can help overcome a chronic problem. With self-care, these clients can then work back to a maintenance schedule that’s right for them, typically about once a month.

 

·         ACUTE CONDITION - When you have an acute condition such as a muscle strain or spasms, frequent visits (2-3 per week) of shorter duration (30-45 min) for 1-3 weeks often help resolve problems. You can then diminish frequency until you reach a maintenance schedule to help keep you pain-free.

 

·         MAINTAINING YOUR HEALTH - Once you're feeling good, a monthly massage is probably the minimum for maintaining the health of your tissue. If you start stretching the massages out too far, then your muscles can revert to their old patterns and you'll have to start all over again to restore their suppleness and pliancy.

       Listen to your body, but don't wait too long in an effort to save money.

YOU are unique and you should listen to YOUR body.

The amount of self-care (stretching, stress reduction, etc.) you do at home will affect how quickly you recover. When working with an acute or chronic condition, it’s important to wait until you consistently feel pain-free before dropping the frequency of your massages.

 

Remember your greatest wealth is your health!

July 16, 2014 0 Comments

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SquareOne Physiotherapists are experts in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal problems.

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