When should you get massage therapy or bodywork? The question comes up a lot more than you might think. People ask whether they should get massage therapy in the morning, afternoon, or the evening. They want to know if they should come in for massage therapy before they start hurting, or wait until their muscular pain is unbearable. Some ask if it's better before, during, or after a workout or sporting event.
In my San Antonio Massage Therapy and Bodywork practice, Massage By Ben, I answer each and every one of these questions by saying "You should come in every day". My answer is, of course, tongue-in-cheek. I then explain that getting massage therapy everyday would be nice but unnecessary and maybe cost prohibitive. Further, when and how often you get massage therapy is based on the goals you would like to achieve with massage therapy. How we achieve your goals with massage therapy is a little more involved than just a simple Q&A in this article. That should be a live discussion between you and your Massage Therapist or Bodyworker, but what about the basic questions? Let's answer those:
Q1. Should I get my massage therapy in the morning, afternoon, or evening? I don't want to fall asleep at work, but I'd like to feel better during the day.
A1. A lot of people are concerned about this one, but you shouldn't worry. Massage Therapy is relaxing and some people do fall asleep during the session, but that doesn't mean you're going to be sleepy afterward. In fact many people feel more energized as well as relaxed after their massage therapy session. Still, no matter what time of day you get your massage you'll probably sleep better when you do finally go to bed. So, get your massage therapy when it's convenient for you.
Q2. Should I get my massage therapy before my muscular pain starts, or should I wait until it really hurts before I get massage therapy?
A2. In my experience it's much better to get massage therapy to prevent muscular pain or prevent a recurrence of muscular pain. Some Massage Therapists and clients believe that waiting until you're experiencing moderate pain allows them to find the source more easily; however, this is seldom true. Get help early.
Q3. Should I get massage therapy before, during, or after a workout or sporting event?
A3. Yes. There are specialized massage therapy techniques that are designed to assist you in your fitness and athletic endeavors. Sports Massage is often broken down into pre-event, inter-event, and post-event techniques to improve performance and aid in recovery. If you don't have access to massage therapy during each phase of your activity just pick what's most important to you - performance or recovery.
I still believe you should come in everyday if you can because if an "apple a day" is good then a "massage a day" is really, really good. Of course the benefits of massage therapy and bodywork are available to you even if you receive it only once.