This question is asked pretty often of me, and the answer is not as simple as it seems. My best answer is as often as your time and budget allow for. BUT...let's unpack that just a little bit.
Time: Believe me, I know as well as all of you time is probably the most valuable commodity out there for a lot of us. Between work and kids and a house to take care of, by the time 9:00 rolls around many times all I am able to make time or effort for is mindlessly watching T.V.
As a body worker my own self-care is vital to continuing my career for many years down the road, but even I slack off on yoga, meditation, and being social. That is often because I put myself last on my list of things to take care of. However, I still always make time for a massage every other week. Without it I would not be able to function.
Why do I make the time? I have made this, at least, a priority. I view it as a doctor appointment, and I make sure it happens. Why is this one thing I think is so important? There is a marked difference in my body and health before I received regular massage and now. I am healthier, as in I never get sick. I feel better and more functional, as in I can do a lot of physical work and not get tired. My pain is greatly reduced, and things do get pretty sore doing a physical job, but with regular massage I feel great. It also helps with my anxiety and to keep me balanced.
My 'how often' is every other week, and once that time rolls around I know I need it. Yours might be different, your body will tell you when it's time, but you should try to come at least once a month so that the benefits are noticed.
If you started to see massage as something you were prescribed might it be something you made time for (If you have a Flex Spending account and a doctor or chiropractor prescribes massage you can even use that to cover the price of your treatment!)? Whatever you have to do to put yourself first, do it. Make the time!
Budget: Of course this one is huge. I also know the struggles of a budget that seems to have no wiggle room. If you don't see massage as a health benefit and you see it as more of an indulgence or luxury this one will be even harder to wrap your head around. A lot of people see no problem spending money on gym memberships monthly because they see that as a necessity for good health, and it is! Those same people might not realize that massage has many of the same health benefits and is a great compliment to exercise and eating well. Massage might actually save you money if you're spending a lot of money on treatments or medications for pain or anxiety. I am not advocating going off any medication, but sometimes massage can lead to less expensive, long term, wellness without pharmaceuticals or more invasive procedures. In addition, with some budget cuts in our consumer driven lifestyles (like expensive coffees, fast food, nights out, or fashion you might not need) you might then add massage into your routine and have a much more valuable piece to your wellness plan.
I always think of it in terms of what I want my body to function like in 20 or 40 years. Then I know massage is worth spending the money on now. I know two women who are in their 80's who were both massage therapists and received massage for years and still receive it regularly. They both look 20 years younger then they are and walk miles for exercise, one of them rides her recumbent bike all over the place. That's good enough for me.
As regularly as you can afford in your time and budget, adding massage will produce huge benefits. Here are just some of them (there are so many!) and massage can help specific conditions as well.
Physical Massage Benefits
Helps relieve stress and aids relaxation
Helps relieve muscle tension and stiffness
Alleviates discomfort during pregnancy
Fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments; reduces pain and swelling;
reduces formation of excessive scar tissue
Reduces muscle spasms
Provides greater joint flexibility and range of motion
Enhances athletic performance
Treats injuries caused during sports or work
Promotes deeper and easier breathing
Improves circulation of blood and movement of lymph fluids
Reduces blood pressure
Helps relieve tension-related headaches and effects of eye-strain
Enhances the health and nourishment of skin
Strengthens the immune system
Treats musculoskeletal problems
Post operative rehabilitation
Rehabilitation after injury
Let me know how massage fits into your life! Comment. Share ideas on how you make yourself a priority, and book today!