This is a question that plagues many people who want to increase their mental and physical well-being through the practice of regular massage. The needs of the body and mind often have to be balanced with the time required and your budgetary restrictions.
When you receive massages regularly, there are incredible benefits, which include improved circulation, pain relief, relaxation, and relief to the nervous system. In terms of pain relief, massage doesn't handle only muscle aches and tension. It helps with issues like sciatica, arthritis, and spasms of the muscles (1). All of these can be extremely debilitating in terms of pain.
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The Problem with Infrequent Massages
Infrequent massages twice a year or less will never be able to provide the benefits of a regular massage routine. How often should you have a massage? A routine massage schedule is much like your exercise schedule.
You won't see benefits without a routine. A massage will keep the muscles in good shape as well as focus on special areas that might need treatment during that particular session.
When massages aren't scheduled within a routine, the body doesn't get to experience the benefits. You wouldn't expect to spend one day at the gym a month and stay in good physical condition as a result.
It can be tough to balance the need for a massage, and your budget, but don't leave too long between massages. You'll lose all the benefits that have been building.
The hardest part to maintaining a massage schedule are the costs. Depending on your area of the country as well as the experience and qualifications of the therapist, it could cost between $65 and $125 per hour for a massage.
While it's tempting to look for a bargain when it comes to saving money, you don't want to use a technician who isn't certified. It could result in injuries and worsening of your condition.
With the help of your physician, you might be able to get a health insurance referral for massage after an injury or accident. If your insurance doesn't cover visits to a massage therapist, it could be a reimbursement you make through the other party's insurance company after an accident.
There are wellness centers and spas that offer discounted rates to members of certain groups. AARP is an example of one association. The center might have package plans that can give you incredible discounts, too.
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Mindful Training of the Body
Frequent visits to a massage therapist will allow the technician to give you tips on how to help avoid problems in the future, too. Since many problems with the body result from bad posture and movements we make throughout the day, the therapist can give you advice on how to avoid issues.
How Often Should You Get a Massage?
With a great massage comes the knowledge of what your body responded to best, and that will keep your entire being fit, relaxed, and pain free in the future. This could involve visits twice per month or once a week.
In times of pain from stress or aches from tired, sore muscles, you'll want to increase the number of visits. Sudden spasms, neck pain, or shoulders aches mean you should schedule a visit as soon as possible to get relief.
With chronic pain, you want to develop a relationship with a therapist who will learn what your body needs as well as one you're comfortable visiting regularly. They'll work out a treatment plan based on your chronic pain requirements.
It could take time to find the right technique that works for your specific needs. There are several types of massages available, and not every therapist specializes in all of them.
- The Swedish massage is common and relaxation based. It'll be the most beneficial for immediate pain relief.
- Deep tissue massage digs into the muscles with a firm hand to release the knots of muscles that can form due to stress.
- Reflexology uses the reflex areas in the body to relieve tension and pain. It's great for stiff muscles, which is why it's used with athletes in sports massage.
- With the last massage, craniosacral, the massage is light while being focused on realigning energy along the spine.
The time that you need a massage is when you feel stressed, in pain, or want to stay loose and relaxed. Any time you feel the need for a massage, you should take that time for yourself. If you are new to massage, check out these tips for beginners.
Money can be the primary concern for those who question how often they should get a massage. It's best to stay in a regimented schedule of visits, so if you can only afford 6 massages a year, space them out appropriately. There shouldn't be a huge gap between visits.
The massage technique you choose will depend on the result you want to achieve that day. It's worth trying a few styles to see what benefits your body the most. If you can get a massage once a week in the style that provides the most health-related benefits to the body and mind, you should attempt to work that into your budget.
In this video, there's more discussion regarding how often to get a massage. It often depends on your current needs.
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