This is the most common question asked by massage clients and the answer is based on several things:
- How physically active are you?
- How healthy is your body?
- What is your stress level?
- Do you suffer from disease or inflammation that causes problems?
- How well do you take care of yourself?
- How long does your body hold the affects of a massage?
- What is your budget?
These are just a few things to consider when deciding how often to schedule a massage. As you can see, there isn’t one answer that fits every body. A good rule of thumb is your level of self-care should maintain your body according to how much you demand of it.
If you are a competitive athlete, you should be getting a massage 2-3 times a week to help with recovery by removing waste products from the muscle cells, keeping muscles pliable and cells hydrated. The more you demand of your body the bigger risk of injury, however on the flip side, if you are sedentary you risk weak muscles that won’t support normal use and you also risk injury. Bodies were made to work and be used.
If you are working out on a regular basis, 20-30 minutes, 2-5 times a week and keeping your body strong by walking, strength training, Pilates, yoga, running, etc., you probably would feel better with a massage once a week or twice a month, depending on your budget and how long your body feels good between massages.
Stress levels make a big difference in your physical and mental health and can cause havoc with healthy bodies when life events, job issues, family problems or health issues crop up. Scheduling massage once a week or every other week during times of increased stress will support you mentally and physically by releasing endorphins and dopamine into your system.
Long-term stress, injury or disease increases the need for massage. Injury usually requires more massage for a short time and then the need decreases as the body heals. Frequency of massage is also dependent on how serious the injury is. Some diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer, stenosis, depression, scoliosis, etc. feel better with regular massage and many clients come in at least once a month or more to keep their discomfort to a minimum.
When deciding how often you need massage, pay attention to how long you feel good after your massage? You can increase the length of time between massages by making sure to keep your body hydrated, keep muscles pliable by stretching, using proper body mechanics when lifting and having healthy ways of dealing with stresses of living.
Budget is a major concern for most massage clients and some questions to ask yourself might be -- Is spending the money on massage now going to help decrease health costs down the road? Will massage alleviate my problem without more expensive pharmaceuticals and/or surgery? How much is your comfort a priority at this point in your life?
Taking time out and spending the money for self-care is a challenge for everyone. Discussing your individual needs with your therapist is always a good idea and pre-scheduling your massages strengthens the commit to self-care. Keeping yourself healthy and your energy charged up, you have more to give others, a happier outlook on life and better quality of life. Massage can be a big help in doing just that!
Just call me QL, for short.
When I hurt, it feels like I am a back muscle, but I am the deepest abdominal muscle and it is easier to reach me from the back of the body. I sit between your ribs and hips, just under those long ropy muscles, the Erector Spinae, that go all the way down your back.
I don’t get much time off because I always working. I help stabilize your spine when you are upright, I assist with turning and twisting and I am nicknamed “The Hip Hiker” because I can raise one side or the other of the pelvis. Belly dancing and Hula are just a couple of things I am good at. I have some other tricky things I do like extending the lumbar spine and helping your diaphragm contract when you cough. If you golf, I help you hit a long drive and in tennis I help your swing either direction.
I am connected to your last rib, down the lumbar spine and along the top of the pelvis and you have one of me on both sides. If you have ever moved heavy furniture or stacked heavy boxes, you probably felt pain in your mid-back, butt or even down your leg because when I hurt and go into spasm I cause all kinds of pain in different places, so it can be difficult to figure out who the culprit is. I am sneaky that way! I am also pretty friendly with other muscles and when I throw a pain party I like to invite my friends, Psoas, Piriformis and sometimes Iliopsoas but we aren’t that close.
Here is a picture of me and a couple of friends:
Here is a video showing how to take care of me.
QL Stretching video
If you do exercises that strengthen your abdominals/core, you are helping me be strong and healthy and I won’t cause you a lot of pain. It was nice to meet you and I will always be here doing my job as long as you take care of me.
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