Once you have found the one… massage therapist that is. To help with the aches, pains, and stress of your day, the question most asked, “How often should I get a massage?” Overall, you know how your body feels. Here’s something that I have told clients for a long time now; “We take better care of our cars than we do our own bodies.” We make sure that the car gets an oil change, gas, a wash and wax, and other fun stuff. Well what about your body, it is the only vehicle you have in this life, treat it well. Eat well, drinking enough water, hygiene, sleep, and of course pampering and maintenance, i.e. massage, regular check-ups, exercise, etc.
Be consciously aware of your body and listen to it. Notice how your body feels before a massage, reflect on how it feels after, and then see how long the effect of the massage last. For most people once to twice a month massage is good maintenance. For others who are needing more attention because of a chronic conditions, any sports training, and palliative care, 1-2 times per week for the first 2 weeks (or more), and then tapering off as needed to once a month. Others who have high stress levels or acute injuries may find they need a high frequency of massage possibly every couple of days.
A few ways to maintain the effects of a massage longer would be, hydration, stretching, exercise, a balanced diet for your lifestyle, and sleep:
Hydration: Drinking proper amounts of water helps the body function better, especially after a massage or a work out. The body needs to metabolize bodily waste from the muscles which is stimulated by increased blood flow and oxygen, and the stimulation of the lymphatic system.
Stretching: Stretching, Tai Chi, or even yoga are good ways to keep the muscles relaxed, and lubricating the joints.
Exercise: Move it or lose it. We all need our energy levels up and one of the best ways to help is movement. Working out can help with the stagnation in our bodies, also be a great stress reliever, and keep our bodies functioning at their best potential.
Diet: Depending on your lifestyle and activity levels your daily intake of calories may vary. Consuming the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables will help your body to digest foods and also help to detox the body.
Sleep: Restful amounts of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep to allow the mind to dream and process the day. A few things linked to sleep deprivation; lack of concentration, weight gain, lack luster appearance of skin, impaired judgement, and possibly leading to health risks like heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
As I mentioned you know how your body feels and if you are unsure communicate with your massage therapist or primary caregiver about massage and the affects and benefits to better suit your lifestyle.