Many people wonder how often they should use a massage. It is important to remember that the more consistent massage therapy you get, the better results you will see.
A person who is recovering from an injury or experiencing pain should probably start out with two sessions a week, and then decrease the frequency as their muscles heal.
For Pain Relief
If you are suffering from muscle pain, especially in the back and neck area, regular massages can help alleviate and prevent this discomfort. This is due to the fact that massage can release the tension and tightness in these areas and can also increase blood flow, which helps heal any injuries.
The best way to determine how often you should get a massage for pain relief is to talk with your therapist about the level of discomfort you experience and what type of massage would benefit you the most. For example, if you have a lot of tension or knots (which you can usually feel by pressing on the muscles and feeling a pop or “bubble” which is the muscle tissue responding to pressure) it is recommended that you do deep tissue massages on a regular basis to release these.
On the other hand, if you have minor aches and pains that come and go throughout your life, it is suggested to do a light relaxation or full body massage on a more regular basis. This will allow you to maintain a healthier, more flexible and stronger body and mind and also rebalance your natural flow of energy.
Athletes that are training hard may need to do more frequent massages because their bodies are under more stress and strain. They are working muscles and creating microscopic tears in their muscles that need to be healed and the best way to do this is with massages. It is typically recommended to start at a higher frequency (like 1 or 2 times per week) and then taper down as the body heals.
For Stress Relief
For people dealing with chronic stress or those who suffer from neck pain due to a car accident, medical condition or poor posture, massage therapy is a great way to relieve the build-up of tension. The touch of massage stimulates the release of feel good hormones and interferes with pain signals in the brain, therefore reducing the feelings of stress. This in turn reduces other negative emotions like anxiety and depression, which can lead to headaches, stomach problems and a host of other physical symptoms including weight gain.
Athletes can benefit from massages to prevent injuries and to improve performance. Massage increases muscular flexibility and helps prevent injury by promoting blood flow to the muscles, decreasing muscle tightness and increasing range of motion. When a sport requires repeated movements, it is recommended to get regular massages every 1-3 weeks to prepare and maintain the body before competition.
Weekend warriors can also benefit from increased massage therapy to help heal and repair the damage done during intensive workouts over a short period of time. Massage has been shown to decrease the amount of pain felt and even lower cortisol levels after an intense workout, so it is recommended to get a massage 1-2 times per week until reaching the maintenance phase.
Ultimately the frequency of massages depends on the specific needs of each person, ranging from once a week for athletes to once or twice a month for people who need relaxation and to ease stress. Talk to a professional about what your needs are and they can help you develop a massage plan that is best for you.
For Athletic Performance
Whether you are an amateur or professional athlete, or even a high school athlete, regular massage can help you perform at your best. It improves range of motion, flexibility and circulation which can help prevent injuries during practice and competition.
It also helps with preventing muscle soreness, improving recovery time and promoting a healthy skeletal system. The physiological effects of massage include increasing blood flow and removing toxins in the muscles, which can result in improved flexibility, flexibility and endurance. It also helps with reducing muscle fatigue by promoting a quick re-oxygenation of the tissues after exercise and decreasing the inflammatory response.
In addition, many sports massage techniques, such as cross-fiber friction, break down adhesions that inhibit movement and cause pain. This results in a more fluid and flexible muscle which can help you get into deeper stretches during workouts.
It is recommended to get a massage at least once a week or every other week if you are training at a high level. This is because the benefits of massage are cumulative, so the more often you come in, the better you will feel and perform. However, if your schedule is too busy to make this possible, we recommend getting at least two massages per month. This will provide you with the most benefit. If you are competing, try to schedule a short pre-event massage and one within 2 days afterwards. This will lengthen your muscle fibers and give you an easy workout before pushing the tissue to its limit in competition.
For Pain Management
For someone suffering from chronic pain and wants to manage it, massage is a very effective technique. It stimulates the nerves that interrupt or overwhelm pain signals from nociceptors, while simultaneously stimulating the nerves that act as natural analgesics. It also promotes circulation, flushing out lactic acid buildup and improving the flexibility of muscles, helping them to work better and move more freely.
For those with ongoing neck or back pain, two sessions a week might be needed to start with the frequency decreasing as muscles loosen and heal. Often the therapist can help with exercises or stretches that will improve muscle balance between appointments, helping you maintain your recovery.
It’s important to note that regular massage does have an accumulative effect, so spacing out sessions too far could mean you are starting from square one each time. Keeping up with weekly massages is the best way to keep your muscles soft, healthy and working as they should.
Weekend warriors, those with high-stress jobs who regularly put intense physical demands on their body may need to schedule massage more frequently. This can be especially true if they are recovering from repetitive-motion injuries or postural issues. A massage schedule that includes reflexology and craniosacral therapy might be beneficial to help ease these stressors from the body.
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