How often should I get a massage
A common misconception about massage is that it's only part of a spa day and intended for pampering yourself. While this may be true for some people, it is most frequently a tool for stress reduction and pain relief.
A good massage can help calm your mind, reduce pain, speed up injury recovery, release tension, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and a whole list of other endless benefits. But the eternal question - how often should you get a massage? Well, here’s the short answer…
It depends on the type of massage
There are different types of massages for different needs and health conditions. A massage can help:
Relieve work and life-related stress
Ease pain and assisting with some injuries or health conditions
Recover post-workout or from sport
Help with pregnancy-related symptoms and stress.
When it comes to how often you should get each kind of massage, there’s isn’t a concrete answer. But there are considerations. Let’s explore them below.
Massage for pain and injuries
Deep tissue massage involves slow, deep strokes targeting your inner muscle and connective tissue. It also helps reduce muscle tension and inflammation, while increasing blood flow and relaxation. It can help people with various conditions. Here are just a few of them:
High blood pressure
How often you get deep tissue massages depends on your health needs. Many receive them daily, some a few times a week, others a few times a month.
Massage for stress and relaxation
Sometimes we choose to treat ourselves to massages to help us unwind. These are known as therapeutic massages, which can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
However, it’s not all about rest and relaxation. Therapeutic massages come bundled with other health benefits. These can include:
Increasing blood flow and warmth
Easing muscle pain
As they're usually gentler, how often you get therapeutic massages depends on your need to relieve stress.
Research by the Mayo Clinic suggests even a single session can lower cortisol (the stress hormone), which helps with anxiety and fighting off body pain.
Massage for athletic recovery
Unlike gentler relaxation massages, sports massages target tight muscle fibres that result from overactivity or injuries. When faced with an athletic muscle injury, consulting a healthcare provider (such as a physiotherapist) can be a smart way to determine how many sessions you need.
If you work out often, you can use sports massage as way to keep your body in prime condition – perhaps fortnightly or monthly.
Massage for pregnancy
From the moment a woman becomes pregnant, her body goes through a series of constant changes. From shifting pelvic bones, and a growing bump, to swollen ankles, and an overwhelming sense of smell. Each day her body does twice the work both inside and out. Considering all of these factors, massage can be a really important part of prenatal care.
As a general rule of thumb, prenatal massage can benefit you throughout your pregnancy with monthly appointments until around 27 weeks, then twice monthly appointments from around 27 weeks to 36 weeks, and weekly appointments from 36 weeks until you give birth.
It may seem obvious but the more frequent the massage, the better you will feel, and will hopefully have both more energy and agility to enjoy your pregnancy.
From 37 weeks, a pregnancy is considered full term. At this milestone your massage therapist can begin working labour stimulation points into your massage session to gradually prepare you and your baby for the big day.