This is a question many people ask me and the answer sometimes isn’t so simple. There could be physical issues that have been ongoing for a while that need to be addressed more often. There could also be limits on time for the client that would be a concern for moving forward.
Recently I told a client that I would rather work 20 min on a client on a weekly basis than 1 hour every 6 months. The reason? well, first off, 20 min of work isn’t much and is usually done fully clothed so the time constraint is easier for the client. This allotted time however is just enough to work out some of the localized kinks in the body. It’s also great to rejuvenate and refresh the body for another week. A 20 min massage is not, however, going to address ongoing problems, or extra tightness that comes up. This is when you really need to look at what is going to be reasonable for you to do. A 90 min massage followed by weekly 20 min massages could be a solution cycling with a once a month 90 min massage.
Ideally, when a client begins to come in I would like to see them once a week for 3 weeks. Unless it’s a recent injury situation like a car accident, then I would like to see them twice a week for 3 weeks, then backing off to once a week depending on how well they are recovering and the muscles are holding.
For others it’s best to start out once a week for 3 weeks. Then the therapist has an opportunity to make headway on the points of concern. By letting it go and coming back in even after a month has gone by the muscles have already begun to go back to their normal routine of tightness and pain.
After the initial 3 weeks, make a plan that fits your budget and your schedule. Ideally every 2 to 3 weeks is perfect to maintain muscle balance and also get and stay on top of any problems that arise during that time. Once the problems start to surface and too much time has gone by, realize that the therapist is now starting over. I always recommend that clients don’t go more than a month without a massage for this very reason.
Once a month may be great if you have a pretty low key lifestyle, but if you are out there being very active and pushing those muscles, you may want to consider visiting your massage therapist a bit more often. For those clients who are older we often see issues creep up more often as well.
One thing to note: Massage therapy is not going to undo your workout, but save your workout for after your massage. A pre-workout massage can be a very wise thing to do as it can relieve pressure in the muscles and even act as a preventative for injury.
Another question I get is how long of a session do I need? While this also varies from person to person, I find that more often than not a 90 min massage is ideal. I have been told that at about 60 min it’s as if the muscles just get warmed up only to have the session over with. 90 min gives a little more time for focus on those tough areas as well as making sure to allow the client a more relaxing session.
Whatever you choose, check in with 3 things to make sure it is in harmony with your lifestyle and your higher self:
1. Time: Making the appointment while you are at the office is the best way to ensure not only that the time slot you want will be available, but you can put it in your calendar ahead of time so you don’t run into scheduling conflicts or emergency situations.
2. What does your body need? Are you in need of an hour of relaxation on a regular basis? Or do you have issues that need several sessions to address? Or is there an injury, new or old that needs specific work. Take these things into consideration when formulating a plan with your therapist for regular sessions.
3. Money. Definitely check in and decide your budget. What are your priorities? If Massage Therapy is a priority I can assure you that it will fit. Many times Massage Therapists offer discounts if massages are purchased in advance or you make a commitment to come in on a regular basis. Check with your therapist to see what types of plans they offer.
Making the time, setting aside the money and checking in with your body will lead you to discover how great you can feel once you decide to have regular Massage Therapy in your life.