Massage Therapy offers a host of benefits for the recipients, from pain reduction and stress relief to improving muscle recovery and flexibility. However, like any therapy, massage must be administered in the right dose and frequency to gain the highest rewards.
To begin, it is important to understand that there are a wide variety of factors that determine the right Massage Therapy treatment. Similar to physical therapy and other medical treatments, Massage Therapy can have a measurable impact on healing and recovery, if implemented in the right amounts. Too much, too soon or too little, with too little frequency, can all impact one’s results.
Study on Neck Pain and Massage Therapy Timing
Annuals of Family Medicine published a study documenting the effects of Massage Therapy in different lengths and frequencies on 228 patients with chronic neck pain. The trial separated the group into different treatment doses of Massage Therapy, in 30 or 60-minute sessions either one, two or three times weekly for four weeks, with one group receiving no massage. For this study, the group that received 60-minute massages at least twice a week had significant decreases in pain, while the 30-minute massage groups had little improvement, regardless of frequency. Both the length of the massage and the frequency were essential for the desired result of reduced pain.
Massage Timing After Injury
When you receive a massage after you sustain an injury is another important factor in its effects on your healing and recovery. Although the extent and type of injury will be a factor, knowing when to book that first massage appointment can be crucial. First and foremost, after an injury consult with your physician to see if massage is an option. Studies indicate that when massage is performed quickly after an injury, and with doctor’s approval, the more quickly your muscles recover.
For muscle strain during exercise, research shows immediate massage after an exercise session can promote healing and reduce inflammation. However, if there is a muscle tear or more serious injury, you will need to consult your physician as they may recommend waiting until it begins to heal before having the area massaged.