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Let me check my schedule...



When should I come back for my next massage?


Many people ask this question and the answer is sometimes tricky to articulate. 


Usually I say “it all depends on what your goals are.” In this people can kind of fall into 1 of 3 camps: injured and seeking resolution, chronic health problems and lifestyle challenges, people who just want a little bit of support or relief right now.


For people who come in with a single injury that they want to resolve, you can generally expect to visit at least once a week for 30-45 minutes (maybe an hour, depending on the complexity of your needs, your resources for generating change/healing, and your RMTs availability for your treatment plan). You may likely visit like this for 3-6 weeks, but that’s really just a guess. Some people recover and adapt remarkably fast while others can take longer. Some may be in recovery even longer than that if their problem is very complicated or severe (think recovery from a stroke). As symptoms begin to resolve the goal is to stretch out the time between visits with minimal return of symptoms.


By the time you are coming in no more than once every 3-4 weeks and you're able to self-manage the problem, your treatment plan is considered ended and you have been discharged from care. Does this mean you never get to come back? Of course not! Maybe you discovered a bunch of other positive effects from massage therapy that you want to keep in your life. That's totally ok and a new treatment plan for general care can be opened with your therapist and you move on to one of the other two groups.


The second group typically present with far more open ended goals. Perhaps they have a lot of muscle tension due to the demands of a very high stress lifestyle. People with long drive commutes in heavy traffic, high pressure jobs like sales, nursing, or teaching, people working in cramped or stationary positions (lab technicians or office workers), or people whose work is physically laborious like construction or trades, could benefit from 90 minutes of massage every week. But how realistic is that for most people? Not at all — not even me and I am a massage therapist! It’s these goals that are harder to prescribe for and it ultimately comes down to the resources available to the patient, their commitment to this type of care and the availability of the therapist. 


Most people end up settling on something that ranges between once every 3-5 weeks. Some come a little more often, some a little less. I like to provide the guidance I call “the sweet spot.”


The sweet spot is the least amount of time between sessions before symptoms related to the impacts of daily life reach an intolerable level, the patient’s budget is honoured, and the therapist’s availability accommodates. 


This answer is one I typically collaborate on with my patient. As you can see the answer isn’t always as simple as a formulaic prescription of #massages/#weeks. But I think most people expect to hear “once a month.” ;-)


Now, do you have to always come in on that schedule? No. Which brings me to the last group of people, the folks that have very short term goals (think results for just today) and no chronic concerns. They're often just looking for a single session, usually within the same week they have decided they want a massage (and honestly usually on the same day). These folks may still ask when they should come back but they usually have not expressed anything they want to resolve or continuously care for so the recommendation here is... whenever you want!


People can find themselves moving from one group to the next which is normal. I have people who I've been treating for years but may only work with a handful of times once every couple of years when a problem comes up. Other's I may see even less and still others I've been treating regularly for several years.


I hope that helps answer the question and gives you some sense of what kind of group you may fit into and what sort of treatment plan likely makes sense for you. Hopefully we will see you in the clinic soon!



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