This is one of the most common questions I get asked as a massage therapist. Clients go to leave my office, feeling better than when they arrived and they are already thinking about coming back. Some book their next appointment before they leave, which I highly recommend if you are anything like me and have wonderful intentions of booking appointments, but never actually get around to booking them for weeks..... or months.
The answer to the above question really lies in why are you coming for massage? Are you coming for pain management or stress relief? Or are you coming to devote some much deserved time to you and to practice self care?
At minimum, I recommend 4 massages a year. I was taught early on that an easy way to remember that here in Northern NY, is at least one massage each time the seasons the change. This works well for those who are not looking to reduce or manage pain or reduce chronic stress and are not interested in coming once a month.
For those who have a specific issue that we are trying to address, the goal is to stay ahead of the pain or the discomfort. I understand that not everyone leaves pain free, but in cases where massage can reduce pain or stress, the goal is to come for your next massage before your pain or discomfort gets really bad or at least as bad as it was when you first starting coming. For some, that is days, others a week or two and others can get by with one massage a month. The hope is that with consistent appointments, clients will be able to go longer and longer between appointments before that pain or discomfort returns. I also understand that there are many people out there that live with chronic pain that massage cannot correct, but for some of those individuals, their time on the massage table might be the only time when their pain is reduced or possible eliminated for a short period of time.
In a perfect world, I would love to see everyone get a massage once a month, even if it's for 30 minutes. This can help bring balance back into the body, improve immunity and prevent pain and discomfort. Even 30 minutes a month over an extended period of time can improve range of motion and problem areas (my Brookside Senior Living clients have told me this many times).
All that being said, I may provide recommendations as to how often clients might want to come back, but I will never tell you how often you HAVE to come back or make you feel guilty for not coming back soon enough.