Why should you get a monthly massage? Why is it the right frequency?
A monthly massage is the right frequency because you can tend to lose touch with how parts of your body are feeling over several weeks. Think about it. You are head down, working hard earning a living. Plus you are juggling the kids, either literally, or driving them from here to there, or trying to get them to do their homework. And throw in a quick walk, treadmill workout and some push-ups here and there. And that doesn’t count household chores like laundry, cooking, yardwork or even bigger projects you might be doing around the house.
Start to get the idea? The only time you catch your breath is to zone out over an hour of TV, or disappear into a book at the end of the day.
Think you have a good sense of what’s going on with your body? Other than that workout, you are not really paying attention (and even then, you may not be paying attention). If anything, you are fighting through discomfort to get all your life tasks done.
Face it. Our society rewards being busy. And so many amazing things come from that. But at what cost?
I would argue that if you check in with yourself on a regular basis, take a mental break like meditation. Or spend some time stretching, finding and working out tightness, or get a massage! I’ll bet you are just as productive because you are sharper and more efficient. That’s the huge mental benefit of regular self-care. Check out my stretching guide here.
Massage has been shown to reduce headaches, anxiety and depression as well as improve sleep. Massage also gives your nervous system a break. It stimulates the parasympathetic “rest and relax” part of your nervous system: reducing blood pressure and heart rate.
The physical benefit is recalibrating your physical awareness – the “oh! I didn’t know that was tight!” Ever experience that? Ever hear the phrase: you don’t know what you don’t know? That’s what happens to all of us. Massage resets your baseline mental awareness of your body and HOW your body should feel. Relaxed, balanced, mobile. I personally always say to myself, “So that’s how my body is supposed to feel!”
In particular this is one of the huge benefits of sports massage, which is designed to relax and balance hard working muscles: side to side, front to back and top to bottom. Think about it, your body is very complex and always working in three dimensions. Your nervous system is amazing at finding work arounds to tight or injured muscles. It is the constant unconscious job of the nervous system to accommodate what you want to do.
So assuming you do not have an acute mobility issue, a monthly massage is about right to reset mentally and physically.
Be well. Move with Ease. Sam