How often should I schedule a massage?

The question my clients most frequently as is “how often should I receive a massage?” There is not a one-size fits all answer, but here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding how often to schedule.

1. What are you coming in for?

Do you have an injury, frequent migraines, recovering from surgery, chronic muscle pain or tension, stress from work or are you pregnant or nursing? Or do you generally feel good and you just want to relax and restore?

2. What makes sense for your schedule?

3. What do you want to budget for massage therapy?

Do you consider massage therapy to be part of your health and wellness program or is it purely for relaxation? There is no wrong answer, but understanding the value of massage to you will help you feel clear about how often to receive the work.

Here’s a rule of thumb I suggest:

Once/month or every two months

Come once a month or every two months if you’re generally content with how you manage your mental and physical stress level, if you feel you’ve got physical muscle tension and/or pain under control, and you are coming for massage purely for relaxation.

Once/month

If you are generally managing well, but find yourself stressed with muscular tension a few weeks after your last massage, then schedule a monthly session. Are you a runner, cyclist, or have a regular work out or yoga practice? Do you use your body regularly and feel fairly “well-oiled,” but need a “reset” every once in awhile, then once/month is for you.

If you’re pregnant, then I recommend scheduling one 60-minute massage/month until around the 30th week, and then once every two weeks until you deliver. And remember to schedule your partner, who may be beginning to feel the pressure about this huge life transition as well!

More frequent and then taper off to once/month

More frequent sessions may be better for you at first if you have a demanding or stressful job or life, and this stress is manifesting as jaw, neck, shoulder, or back tension or pain; if you have migraines; if you’re recovering from an injury; if you’ve had chronic muscle pain for more than 3-6 months; if you have sciatica; and so on. If you are living with any kind of pain or discomfort, I suggest scheduling more frequent sessions for the first couple of months, and then taper them off to once/month. The length of time it takes to train your tissue into a new pattern depends, of course, on several variables, including how long you’ve been suffering with the tension or pain, how frequently you are able to receive massage at first, whether you’re able to practice certain techniques at home, and whether adjustments can be made to influences that caused the patterns to begin with (for example, not slouching at your desk or finding the right size pillow for your neck at night). 

If this resonates with you, and you are interested in making significant changes in your body, then let’s have a discussion about partnering together and coming up with a plan that works for your schedule and budget to gently train your tissue into a new pattern and release existing tension so that your daily experience in your body is one of ease and mobility. Contact susan@massageonthehill.com or call 303-570-9293 if you’d like to discuss your situation.