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How Often Should You Get a Massage?

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A young woman enjoys the soothing back and shoulder massage.

Massage therapy can be a wonderful addition to your overall healthcare routine. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for how often you should get a massage because it can depend on factors like the type of massage and why you’re getting it.

You should ask your massage therapist for their advice on the frequency of your treatment sessions. In addition to frequency, your massage therapist may recommend combining massage therapy with another form of therapy. For example, if you’re an athlete looking to improve your performance and training recovery, they may recommend a massage once or twice a week, combined with physiotherapy

What Is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is a form of alternative medicine that incorporates the use of manual manipulation techniques on the body’s soft tissues – muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. The primary goal of massage therapy is to enhance an individual’s overall well-being by relieving pain, reducing muscle tension, and improving circulation. These movements are often applied using the hands, forearms, or elbows.

Types of Massage Therapy

There are many types of massage therapy, each with unique techniques or movements.

Swedish Massage Therapy

Swedish massage therapy is the most common type of massage therapy. It involves long strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the topmost layer of muscles to help you relax and de-stress. The massage therapist may also use light-to-medium pressure and adjust their techniques to your preferences.

Deep Tissue Massage Therapy

Deep tissue massage therapy targets deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues that are causing tension and pain. It uses slow, deep strokes and compression techniques to work on the knots in your muscles, break up scar tissue, and release chronic muscle tension. This type of massage therapy can be an excellent option for people with chronic pain or injuries.

Hot Stone Massage Therapy

Hot stone massage therapy uses heated, smooth stones to warm up your muscles and aid in relaxation. The massage therapist may place the stones on specific points along your spine, legs, and other parts of your body or use them as tools during the massage. It can help you relax tense muscles, promote blood flow, and relieve pain.

Pregnancy Massage Therapy

Pregnancy massage therapy is a safe and effective way to relieve stress, reduce muscle tension, and alleviate discomfort during pregnancy. It uses techniques and positions that cater to pregnant women by addressing their specific needs. The massage therapist may also adjust the position and equipment to accommodate the changing needs of a pregnant woman’s body.

The masseuse pours essential oils into her palm, preparing to give an aromatic massage.

Aromatherapy Massage Therapy

Aromatherapy massage therapy combines the benefits of massage therapy and the positive properties of essential oils. The massage therapist may add essential oils to their massage oil or lotion to create a relaxing and therapeutic experience. The essential oils’ scent and benefits can help you relax, relieve stress and anxiety, and improve your overall well-being.

Benefits of Massage Therapy

There are many reasons a person might go for a massage. The benefits of massage therapy aren’t necessarily the same for every individual, but they may include the following:

Reduces Stress & Promotes Relaxation

One of the most well-known benefits of massage therapy is its ability to alleviate stress and promote relaxation. Massage therapy helps to reduce the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body. You may experience symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, and digestive issues when cortisol levels are high. By decreasing cortisol levels, massage therapy can alleviate these symptoms and promote a sense of calm and relaxation.

Aids in Pain Management

Whether you’re dealing with chronic pain or experiencing soreness from exercise, massage therapy can be a powerful tool for pain management. Massage therapy helps to increase blood flow to the affected area, which can help to reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, massage therapy can help to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which can help to alleviate pain and improve mood.

Improves Circulation

Massage therapy can help to improve circulation by increasing blood flow throughout the body. Improved circulation can lead to a variety of benefits, including improved immune function, better digestion, and improved skin health. In addition, improved circulation can help to reduce stiffness and soreness in the muscles, which can be especially helpful for athletes and active individuals.

Boosts Immune Function

Massage therapy has been shown to boost immune function by increasing the activity of white blood cells, which play a critical role in the body’s immune response. So, massage therapy can help to ward off illness and promote overall health and well-being because of a boosted immune system.

Promotes Emotional Well-Being

In addition to its physical benefits, massage therapy can also promote emotional well-being. Massage therapy has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, massage therapy can help individuals feel more at peace and better equipped to handle life’s challenges.

Improves Sleep Quality

Massage therapy may help improve sleep quality for several reasons. For one, it helps to promote relaxation, which is essential for falling asleep and staying asleep. Additionally, massage can help reduce pain and discomfort in the body, which can also contribute to better sleep. If you struggle with insomnia or other sleep-related issues, massage therapy may be worth exploring.

How Often Should You Get a Massage?

Now that we can see there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to massage frequency, when are you going to book your next massage? Remember to consider the type of massage you’re getting and why you’re getting it. Call our expert team at Running Shoe Restorative Healthcare. We’re happy to sit down with you and discuss your needs and recommend a form of massage therapy to get you back to feeling amazing.

Written by Shaheeza Haji

Shaheeza Haji graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta in 2009, followed by a Master of Physiotherapy from the University of Western Ontario in 2011. Being a staunch believer in “exercise is medicine” she attained her Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist status though the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2013. At the end of that same year, Shaheeza was involved in a major life-altering electrocution incident whereby she sustained a number of injuries which required surgery and years of rehabilitation. One of these injuries was a traumatic brain injury; it is thought that the electrical current exploded within the confined space of her skull, which for lack of better terminology was coined by her medical team as an “electrical concussion.” This lead to her becoming certified in the treatment and management of Concussions in 2018. Also in 2018, Shaheeza began instructing at CDI college, heading up the Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant Diploma Program. Today, Shaheeza combines her love of teaching, her passion of concussion research, and the empathy & experience from her own injury to help those with acute and chronic concussions. Shaheeza also has a drive for entrepreneurship, being the CEO of Running Shoe Inc., directing both Running Shoe Restorative Healthcare and the Calgary Concussion Centre.
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