I have a new client who has been coming almost weekly to alleviate some back pain that he has been experiencing. He said, “My back doesn’t hurt anymore. Maybe I shouldn’t come in as often.” I said, “Well, you don’t want to wait until you hurt to come in!”.
So much of what I and my massage colleagues do is help PREVENT pain from being a PROBLEM. Pain is an indication that your body is unhappy and needs you to stop what you are doing and heal. Of course, there can be pain when you exercise or do some new activity that you haven’t done in awhile because you are challenging yourself and you may be sore or a little achy afterwards. But there is a lot of pain that is from a buildup of repetitive motions, old injuries, stress and other daily activities that can be greatly reduced by self-care activities that relax your body and your nervous system. Massage is one of those gifts you can give to yourself that can enhance your sense of well-being and reduce the pain you experience.
So I say, don’t wait for the pain. It’s not necessary to receive weekly massage but find a schedule that works for your body in conjunction with the other self-care activities that you do for yourself. For some people getting massage once a month is enough. For others, every 2 weeks works well. And still for others, like me once a week (and sometimes more!) is an absolute necessity.
I suggest the best way to find out how often your body needs to receive massage is to start off with every other week appointments. If that feels good, stick with that or spread it to every 3 weeks and see how you feel. As you play with the session intervals notice if the tension, pain or stress that is relieved from your massage sessions is manageable. Play with how often you get massage to see what makes your body feels good so that when you come in for your next session you are not completely depleted and in pain. Then you will know how often your body desires the work.
Pain can be your friend. It provides great feedback and information on what your body needs and wants. Your job is to listen and not wait for it scream so loud that starts interfering with you life and living the way you want to.