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How often should I get a massage?

How often should I get a massage?  

This is a question I often get. It’s not a cookie cutter answer. There isn’t a magic number that’s going to solve your problems. Really the frequency depends on the individual person. I know that’s not what you want to hear. Right? But in this article I’m going to give you a general idea of how often you should get a massage.

There are many many styles of massage. They all do different things. Some massages are for relaxation. Others for recovery. There’s massage for balancing the body. Digestion. Pain relief. You name it, there’s a massage for it. Cool huh?

I mention these things because the reason/purpose of the session will determine the style of massage you need to receive. And, how long of a massage is required. But, the severity and/or priority of your concern will determine how often you need to come.

Example 1: Post surgery or acute injury

For example someone fresh out of surgery should get a massage 1-3 times a week to break up the swelling and reduce the amount of scar tissue that’s going to form at the incision site. Massage helps speed up the healing process. This routine should be carried out for several weeks. After which you and your therapist can have a discussion to reduce the frequency to one a week for several weeks. Then once a week every two weeks. Followed by once a week every three weeks. You get the idea. You do this until you find a maintenance period which I’ll describe as a length of time in between sessions where your body feels 90-100%.  Anything less means it’s time to get a massage.

Example 2: Chronic pain or injury

In this example, the client has been dealing with symptoms and or an injury for a long time. Anything older than three months. In this case it’s really about how much of a priority is it for you to fix it. If it’s a big priority, I recommend following the protocol in example one. I would recommend longer sessions like 90 minutes. If the priority is meh and all you want to do is maintain the level of comfort your experiencing now then I recommend a longer session once every three to six weeks. You may want to play around with the frequency of sessions to find your maintenace threshold .

Example 3: The desk jockey and the athlete

If you’re a person who spends hours in the same position, doing repetitive actions then you need REGULAR massage. As in the two prior examples find your threshold. That is how long can you go between sessions before your body is feeling less than 90%. An ideal time frame for anyone in these two groups is get a massage every 4-8 weeks. Layer high stress on top of everything else, then the number of weeks reduces to something like 3-6 weeks.

Example 4: The average person (unflattering I know)

These clients usually benefit from quarterly massage. I even have regular clients who come less frequently than this. Once a year! But these are people who are casually coming in for relaxation or for nothing particular. But don’t get me wrong many in this group also come more often. It just depends on how much love they want to give to their body, mind and spirit.

How often should I get a massage?

Ultimately it’s up to you. I recommend talking to your massage therapist about your massage goals and making a plan. That way you have an idea about what to expect on your wellness journey. Keep in mind, these examples are averages I’ve seen based on 20+ years in the field. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below.  

Felicia Hayes

Hi. I'm Felicia. I'm a licensed massage therapist in Ashburn, VA. I've been practicing massage since 2002. I am focused on helping people feel better and relieving aches & pains. I love what I do.

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