One question I get asked frequently in my practice is, “How often should I get a massage?” My answer? It depends. The frequency of appointments comes down to why you seek massage therapy in the first place. Today, we’ll explore the two main reasons you could be getting treated by an RMT. Keep reading to learn how to set your appointments at intervals that best serve your needs.
Is it a maintenance massage?
The majority of the clients I see require maintenance therapy. Maintenance treatment is suitable if you’re not addressing an active, acute problem. You may have chronic issues, such as headaches, neck pain, back tension, and the like, but in a maintenance type of situation, there is no new injury or concern that’s cropped up since your last treatment. Instead, we are working to mitigate symptoms and keep your body functioning optimally.
Frequency for a maintenance massage:
In maintenance situations, a monthly massage is ideal. That is usually enough to help keep chronic issues from worsening or flaring up, but not so frequent that it puts a strain on your wallet. That’s why we offer a monthly membership plan—so you can keep your body in excellent working order and feel your best in a lasting way.
Is it a mending-focused massage?
Technically, your RMT does not mend you, so as much as help your body repair itself. Mending-focused massage therapy is appropriate when the goal is healing an injury or treating any acute problem. With this type of treatment, it’s particularly vital to follow any home care instructions.
Frequency for a mending massage:
When addressing an injury or acute issue, I suggest seeing your RMT weekly for two to three weeks. At the end of that period, get a re-assessment. If your therapist says you’ve responded well, you may be able to reduce the frequency to every two weeks. In my experience, progress takes at least 2-3 sessions. You may reach good results with the same volume of sessions in the long term, spaced less frequently. However, our motto is “Feel Better. More Often.” We want to get you back to your best, as soon as possible. Once you reach the goal you set with your RMT, consider moving away from “mending” frequency and back into a monthly maintenance mode.
Why not wait until there’s a problem, then fix it?
Well, for one thing, waiting requires you to push yourself to a point where you are in pain. Pain is not only uncomfortable; it is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Think of it like not taking your car in for regular maintenance and oil changes—and calling your mechanic only when your car breaks down. Financially, that’s not a great strategy, and it’s undoubtedly not great for your vehicle. Massage is quite similar. Being proactive and getting that monthly “maintenance” massage helps you keep up with your body’s needs—whether that means overall functioning or keeping past issues from flaring up and causing discomfort. If you wait until you’re in acute pain, you risk needing even more treatment. Lastly, pain drains you. Rather than put yourself through all that, it’s best to set aside a bit of time for routine upkeep.
I’m still not sure about which category applies to me
When in doubt, ask your therapist when they think you should come back. We’re always happy to work with you and find a schedule that meets your needs. If you feel that you want to come in more often, bring that up with your therapist. Remember, you are the expert when it comes to how you feel. You have an active role in your wellness journey, and clear communication with your massage therapist yields the best results.