Believe it or not, you could actually get a massage everyday. It is said that Bob Hope received a massage every day for 63 years and he lived to be 100 years old. This isn't practical for most of us but wouldn't that be grand? Deciding how often to receive a massage is a common question asked about massage therapy. The answer really depends on WHY you choose to get massages. Do you get massages for health benefits like managing chronic pain? Is it to help you relax and handle the stress of everyday life? For many it is a combination of both therapeutic and relaxation benefits. Let's look at some of the most common reasons to get regular massages:
Relaxation & Stress Relief
Relaxation is one of the most common reasons to get a massage. Relaxation massage helps to support your body, including blood circulation and flexibility of joints. Receiving massage regularly can help prevent pain, muscle tension, and stress from building up and causing problems. Plus, why wait until you have a problem to get a massage? Getting a massage before there is a problem will help prevent issues with your muscles. Typically, I recommend getting a massage at least once per month. However, you can get massage as often as you want!
There will be times when you experience higher levels of stress and more muscle tension than normal. It is especially important to practice good self-care during these times to experience the healing benefits of massage. During these times we need massage more than ever. Remember to make yourself a priority even during stressful times, your health is worth it.
Working in a high-stress environment or sitting/standing (at a computer) in the same position for a long period of time may cause you to develop knotted muscles. Increased muscle tension will make movement harder and can lead to chronic pain. Regular massage will help your muscles relax, relieve stiffness and reduce pain. Just knowing your massage is coming up in a few days can help to relieve stress. I hear it all the time from clients. They are always happy to have had their massage already scheduled because it was so needed.
Many athletes and physically active people receive massage because they believe it enhances their performance, prevents injury, and speeds up their muscle recovery. Well, the physical effect of massage on muscle recovery and repeated sports performance is controversial. There actually isn't any scientific evidence that it improves muscle recovery after intense exercise. However, there may be psychological benefits for the athlete. This is a good reason in my opinion to continue getting massage for sports recovery. It simply makes the body feel good.
Chronic Health Conditions
People with ongoing, chronic health issues often find massage helpful in managing symptoms. Many benefit from the combination of both therapeutic and relaxation techniques. Remember, therapeutic doesn't equal painful. Usually these individuals receive massage weekly or bi-weekly. I also find this to be true for people who deal with repetitive use injury.
Expectant moms often experience a lot of aches and pains as their pregnancy progresses. They may experience increased back pain, hip & sciatic pain, headaches, or tired legs & feet. Receiving a massage once or twice a month can help with these symptoms and it can even help you sleep better. You will want to check with your doctor prior to receiving a prenatal massage to ensure that you don’t have any pregnancy related conditions that would contraindicate massage therapy. Most women experiencing a healthy pregnancy can and should enjoy regular massage sessions.