This article was brought to my attention today. It’s in Massage Magazine and talks about a study that was done by the Touch Research Institute in conjunction with the University of Miami medical school. The Touch Research Institute is an organization that specializes in studying the exact benefits of massage.
This particular study focused on the effect massage had on the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). The subjects received 30 minutes of treatment, with a specific number of areas worked in a specific order (in order to ensure consistency) twice a week for five weeks. Women were selected from specific medical practices, sharing the symptoms of a more severe form of PMS. They were randomly divided into two groups. One group received massage and the other group was taught relaxation techniques (breathing, muscle contraction, etc.). At the end of the study, the symptoms of PMS were significantly reduced in the massage group.
Now, while I recognized that not very many people get a massage twice a week, these results are still valid for the person who gets a massage on a regular basis, whether it be once a week, or once a month. It’s the regularity more than the frequency that determines the effectiveness of the treatment.
People ask me how often I recommend they come in. It varies from client to client. Generally speaking, once a month is the minimum I recommend. People who go longer than that usually experience a return to their “pre-relief condition,” and we have to start over from square one. People who come in at least that often start to accumulate the benefits of regular massage so that each treatment makes them feel better and better. For more severe symptoms, I might recommend once a week until we get on top of the problem.