A pretty common question is: when should I come back? Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all answer – it really depends on you, what your massage goals are and the severity of your stress or condition. While we all agree that a daily massage would be great, you need consider your time, your body and your budget!
It’s important to remember two things. Firstly, the benefits of a massage are cumulative, so your second and third massages build on the good effects of your first, and so on. If you come to us for your massages too far apart, then with each treatment you are starting back at square one. Secondly, it might have taken days, weeks or even years to develop a stiff neck or painful lower back (for example). However hard we try we are not likely to reverse the condition with a 1 hour massage!
So these are our general recommendations:
1. If you are including massage in a general plan to reduce stress and relax tight muscles, once a month is a good recommendation. We find that monthly massages work well for those dealing with the general tension and stress of daily commutes and desk-based work
2. If you’re going through an especially stressful time or have a really high-stress job, coming every 1-2 weeks can help establish a pattern of relaxation. Frequent massages are especially beneficial if you are looking to improve your sleep patterns
3. Athletes training for an event and doing intense workouts may want to come in once or twice a week to maintain flexibility and the healthy condition of their muscles. During less intense training, you might want to reduce massage frequency to every two weeks or once a month.
4. Clients working to relieve chronic muscle tension or long-term musculoskeletal problems (like headaches, shoulder and low back pain) need to come in more frequently for a short period of time. Typically weekly visits for 4-6 weeks can help overcome a chronic problem. With self-care, these clients can then work back to a maintenance schedule that’s right for them, typically about once a month.
5. If you have an acute condition such as a muscle strain or muscle spasms, frequent massages (2-3 per week) of shorter duration (30-45 min) for a few weeks often help resolve problems. You can then reduce your massage frequency until you reach a maintenance schedule that helps keep you pain-free
Remember each person is unique, and you should listen to your body. Try to consider how you felt before your massage, how you felt after, and how long your body holds onto that ‘post-massage’ feeling. The amount of self-care (for example stretching or stress reduction) you do at home will affect how quickly you recover. When working with an acute or chronic condition, it’s important to wait until you consistently feel pain-free to drop the frequency of your massages.
We hope that helps, and look forward to starting you on a course of massage treatments in London at Thai Kosai