It’s a common question without a simple answer. Some long-time massage regulars (or people who have received massage for long periods in their life) know how long the effects of the massage stay with them. For some, it’s a week, for others it’s one or two months. Most people are between these two.
I don’t try to run my practice like a chiropractor’s office where you need multiple visits a week for several weeks. I like to go through the decision process with clients to come up with an answer to the question of frequency.
To answer this you need to do some research. After that first massage, how long does it take before you start feeling the same stress, pain or injury symptoms that brought you to the massage therapist in the first place? That gives us a place to start. It might be a few days, or it might be a few weeks. Listening to the body speak to you is the best indicator of how often you should truly be on the table. As a baseline, if I’m working on injury issues or chronic pain problems, I invite the client in to see me in two or three weeks just to check in with the body and make further progress. And when clients come in, we review the body, see how things went after the massage and use that feedback to guide us on scheduling in the future.
But there are other factors involved besides what the body needs. Budget and schedule are the top two constraints on how frequently a client receives massage. Some of the people who need massage the most frequently are also the ones whose schedules or budgets don’t mesh with what the body needs or wants. In those cases, I suggest stretches, breaks or other techniques that may help the body retain the positive benefits of massage longer between sessions.
I, for one, would like to get a massage about twice a week, but both budget and schedule constrain me on this point. Bob Hope received a massage every day. In his case, I think massage may have had something to do with his longevity.
Ultimately, the frequency of massage depends on a number of factors, what your body needs, what your wallet can afford, and what your schedule will allow. Many people who understand the value of massage beyond a “feel good” relaxation session make sacrifices of time and money so that they can keep their bodies in shape with massage because it helps them live the life they want to live. I do. I get massage once a week – and not via barter – and I dig deep into my schedule to make sure that I regularly receive massage. To, me it’s a necessity that keeps me doing what I love – massage.
Regular massage keeps me able to work on my clients, keeps me moving, keeps my body in shape. Massage helps me give massage to others. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.