That old phrase “too much of a good thing” may not always be what people want to hear, but there is a definite wisdom to it. Take chocolate, for example. A lot of studies show that high quality chocolate is very healthy in moderation. The same goes for red wine. Sweets and rich foods aren’t necessarily the healthiest choices, but there’s an emotional component to health and wellness, and it can be very satisfying to have those things in moderation as well.
What about massage therapy? Does the same wisdom apply? No small number of people have reached the end of a massage therapy session and thought, “I wish it could go on for another hour.”
Well, could it? What if you booked a three-hour treatment where therapists worked in hour-long shifts? It may sound like an absurd question, but the truth is, many people have wondered about it.
So how much massage therapy is too much? The answer to this question will vary significantly from person to person. It’s really about finding a rhythm that works for your body, and provides optimal benefits without breaking the bank. Too much massage, especially if the correct technique is not always used, can definitely lead to soreness and even a condition called rhabdomyoysis, which is essentially when too much pressure on the muscles causes too much protein to be released into the bloodstream.
Too much of the wrong kind of massage could also worsen existing traumas or chronic pain conditions. The relaxing effect of massage has also been thought, at least in some cases, to be counterproductive before an athletic match. This is because the muscles become very relaxed and much of the tension has gone out of them. Athletic trainers often massage specific parts of the body, such as an ankle that was twisted six months previously, before a match. A full-body massage, on the other hand, is usually saved for after the match!
Finding the right balance with massage therapy
When you find a therapist you really like, and whose work is very high quality, one of the best benefits is the quality advice you receive. Many therapists have given thousands of treatments, and have seen how different grades and schedules of massage therapy have affected different people. Learning from this experience, and incorporating it into your own treatment plan, allows you to get more out of your massage therapy schedule.
Many people feel that one massage per week is a good strategy, since it continues to rid the body of tension on a continual basis, rather than waiting for too much tension to build up in the muscles again. For others, once every other week is a good way to go. It’s budget-friendly, and it still provides that regular healthy release of tension.
Of course, any high-quality massage is better than none at all. Some people can only make it in every month or two. Some receive only a handful of massage therapy treatments in a given year. But once you really see the benefits, a more frequent schedule of treatments may start to seem like a great idea.