In a perfect and pain-free world, I would always suggest getting a massage every 4-6 weeks. Why?
- It helps decrease your stress, we are living in a stressful world right now
- it maintains good muscle health
- it helps increase your own body awareness
- it’s nice having something to look forward to every month
Of course, everyone is different and the reasoning why you are coming in for a massage matters. So, how often should you be getting a massage?
*It’s important to remember, these are only guidelines and everyone’s situation is different *
If you’ve booked your appointment for massage because you tweaked your back or neck recently(within the last week) and you’re in pain, I would recommend booking your next massage in the following week or two.
If the pain is rated 7/10 on your first visit, the main goal of the massage treatment would be to begin to decrease the pain and get some range of motion back into the joints that are affected. If the injury seems like more of an acute muscle strain and no major muscle imbalances were discovered, then coming back the following week allows the therapist to target the affected area a little more, which decreases the pain a little more AND increase the range of motion a little more. This could take up to three treatments until you start to feel back to normal. Remember, healing takes time.
Now, if it’s an injury has occurred due to muscle weakness, which should be assessed by your therapist, I would recommend coming back in two weeks after trying strengthening and mobility exercises given to you by the therapist. If those exercises worked, and the pain is gone, you might not even need that second or third appointment! However, you can always keep it if you want.
Similar to an injury due to muscle weakness, if you’re coming in for a massage treatment because you’ve had pain or an injury that hasn’t gone away in the last 2-3 weeks like you thought it would, the key is exercise and massage. Do the exercises your therapist prescribed after your first treatment and visit again every two weeks for a follow-up two to three more times. Again, the pain and the injury isn’t going to be fixed after one treatment. Since the injury is in the “sub-acute” phase, it may take more time to heal, which means a few more massage treatments may be required to get you back to your pain-free self.
Next, if you’re experiencing chronic pain, chances are, massage therapy is just one way you’re managing it. At this point, it is your body and you know what works best for it. Whether it be a massage once a week or once a month. The difference between chronic pain and acute pain mentioned above would be that there is no “end” date for the massage therapy sessions. Whereas an acute injury patient can be discharged from massage after three sessions typically ( if they do they’re exercises), chronic pain patient’s may unfortunately always have the pain and should continually seek massage therapy.
Finally, if you aren’t experiencing any unusual pain, whether it be acute or chronic, I suggest a massage once every 4 – 6 weeks. It makes your muscles happy, it makes your body happy and most importantly, it makes you happy.
So if you don’t already have your massages booked for the rest of the year, I suggest you get to it!
We all deserve one (or a few) at this point!
Stay healthy and keep safe,