Once people discover the many joys and benefits of massage, I am often asked, “how often should I have a massage?” Of course, there is no set answer, but studies indicate that massage at regular intervals is most beneficial to your overall health.
Scientists are now finding that massage can reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, dampen harmful stress hormones and raise mood-elevating brain chemicals such as serotonin and you can’t beat massage for relaxation. All these factors, says Tiffany Field, founder of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine, ‘put massage in the same category with proper diet and exercise as something that helps maintain overall health.’
Having a massage treatment as part of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you are now and will remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. Remember that just because massage may feel like a pampering treat, doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with me to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.
I have seen over the years, and people often tell me, that yes they feel amazing, relaxed, less tense and have less pain after a massage, but actually they hadn’t really realised the full impact of the benefits of massage until they’ve not had a treatment for a while.
Something else interesting happens too. If they have been having a regular massage, then stop for whatever reason and come back for a treatment, they notice that even booking the appointment, arriving at the clinic, or getting on the couch, they’ve begun to relax and that’s even before I have started the treatment. It would seem that the body ‘remembers’ the massage, recognises the benefits and tension reduces dramatically within that first treatment. I suspect this is linked with muscle memory and/or neurological proprioception.
Chronic conditions develop over a period of time, effects of stress are accumulated, back pain is often as a result of poor posture over a few years, tight shoulders as a result of too many hours sat at the computer. A one off massage treatment is of course helpful, but as these issues have taken time to build up, so a regular course of massage treatment is needed to address them.
Whether we are looking at empirical evidence, observation or subjective feedback, there is no getting away from the fact that with the busy lifestyles of today and thinking ahead to how we wish to age, a massage therapy of some form, should be in your diary at least once a month, along with good food, daily activity and a healthy dose of fun!