How Often Should I Get a Massage?
Whenever we have a new client visit us at Michigan Massage and Wellness, one of the repeating questions we get is, “how often do I need to come in?”
That answer is typically “it depends.”
What brought you in for a massage in the first place? An acute injury? Chronic pain? You have exhausted all your other options and don’t know where else to go or what to do?
In our practice, we see people anywhere from weekly to bi-weekly to monthly, quarterly, and as needed. In my professional opinion, my answer is still “it depends.”
Let me paint a picture for you, dear reader….
I had a client that had been with me off and on for years(at least 8-10, if I had to guess). She first came to see me as a last resort in hopes of avoiding surgery for a nasty case of elbow tendinitis. We did 30-minute weekly or biweekly sessions, and after maybe five sessions, the pain was a thing of the past. While she still had the occasional flare-up from overuse, she was able to avoid surgery (not to mention the expensive copays that went along with surgery and physical therapy after!). After that, we resumed monthly maintenance massages for quite some time.
Fast forward to 2018, this client had another problem with her neck. Her doctor had prescribed physical therapy three times a week and come on, who has time for that when you work full time?! So, we started doing weekly sessions, and after 3-4 weeks, we could get her back on to maintenance. And she quit physical therapy after we began to increase the frequency of her massage visits.
Now I’m not saying that what we do is a substitute for any other modalities, and I’m not saying that we can fix you as we did her. Still, it is my recommendation that if you are coming to see us for any long-term problem, such as frozen shoulder, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, or anything that is keeping you from moving optimally throughout your day (and life), you should strongly consider booking once or twice weekly sessions until we can work on resetting the neuro pathways in your brain to send the message that we are setting new movement patterns.
It takes time, though. Like anything else, you don’t eat one salad and lose 10 pounds or go into the gym on day one and back squat 300 pounds. It’s a process; the more compliant you can be, the better your results will be.
Shirley, for example, was being stretched at another facility every week for seven years and still having pain. SEVEN YEARS! Needless to say, when she had her first appointment with me, the standards for myself were set pretty high, and well, take a look at what she had to say after a year of weekly Fascial Stretching sessions! (And she has been with us since 2018 and just recently remarked that she had forgotten all about her shoulder and back pain because it never bothers her anymore). Because she is consistent.
You don’t have to be dealing with an injury or long-term pain to enjoy the benefits that regular massage therapy can provide, such as:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased stress levels
- Better mood
- Better sleep
- Better digestion
- Better skin
Perhaps you want to look at a standing monthly appointment. Trust me when I say that you deserve it. We only get one body—time to start treating it right. Bodywork should never be looked at as an expense but rather as an investment because, after all, you only get one.
In good hands,
Rebecca Tamm, LMT