If you've ever had a massage, then you know it's pretty much the best thing ever. The relief that can come from a good massage session is beyond words! That said, this seemingly magical practice can have its downsides. It is just not practical to be massaged all day every day, as much as we sometimes wish it was! Especially if you are getting a massage for recovery purposes or another specific reason aside from leisure.
Work with a professional massage therapist to figure out the right schedule for your needs. If you're dealing with chronic pain or an injury, weekly or biweekly should be enough. If you have a desk job you might only need one monthly. It all depends! Here are some pros and cons when it comes to getting frequent massages.
10 Con: It's Not Cheap
Massage sessions can be pricey, with even some sessions costing $200 per hour! And while you may be getting a massage for specific health reasons, it's very rare that a health insurance policy will cover this type of treatment. Those on a tight budget know that paying out of pocket all of the time isn't always feasible and if anything, can make things more stressful!
Make sure to evaluate your treatment options and realistically plan for how often you can actually schedule an appointment. Massages are great, but are they a priority for you right now?
9 Pro: It Improves Circulation
Your body needs proper circulation, especially if you have an injury. The circulation of blood to a damaged muscle is needed for it to heal! By putting pressure on not just the affected areas but also the surrounding areas, it can get the blood pumping in places it might have not been getting to as smoothly.
Not to mention, the manipulation done during a massage can remove lactic acid from muscle tissues, which in turn improves lymph fluid circulation. The better the circulation, the more likely your blood pressure will lower if needed. Who knew?
8 Con: It Can Take Up Your Time
A good massage session takes anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, sometimes longer! You need to have time in your day to set aside for the appointment. Keep in mind, you can't multitask during a massage. You need to be still and focused for the whole session!
Those who work during the day can schedule an appointment for evening hours, but those tend to be pricier than appointments that are available earlier. Another thing to consider is that you'll often still be charged even if you miss your appointment. If your schedule is a bit all over the place right now, you might need to find an alternate form of stress relief!
7 Pro: It Strengthens The Immune System
Lots of things can contribute to a weaker immune system. Stress and poor nutrition can definitely play a part. Not only does massage therapy help reduce stress, but it also can benefit your immune system more directly. Studies have shown that regular massage sessions can boost an immune system's cytotoxic capacity, a.k.a the activity of "killer cells" that help destroy invasive infections or bacteria.
In addition, it also encourages the body to accept nourishment and take in all the nutrition it can. Some people swear by massages as an underrated cold remedy!
6 Con: You Might Accidentally Get Injured
If you go to a reputable massage therapist, they should be professionally trained to handle all types of body types and injuries. Still, accidents do happen, and sometimes bodies aren't used to receiving that kind of treatment! You may experience some dermal or subdermal bruising, and perhaps some pretty annoying muscle soreness that can last for days.
Worst case scenario would be nerve damage, but that's a very rare outcome! Technically, there are some cases documented out there showing that a massage triggered a nerve-related illness like shingles. Once again, not likely to happen, but something to think about!
5 Pro: It Helps You Sleep
Not getting enough sleep isn't just annoying, it's actually really bad for your health. Of course, it'd be so much simpler if we could just will our bodies to fall asleep! As many insomniacs will tell you, easier said than done.
Not only does getting massaged help you fall asleep then and there, it's all cumulative, so you should also get better sleep that night. The more massages you get, the more restful nights you'll have. If you have a new child who's a little fussy, some massage therapists are even trained to do infant massages!
4 Con: You May Experience Side Effects
When we say side effects, we don't mean anything dangerous. Still, if you're planning on meeting up with people after the massage, it'll be awkward if you smell like various massage oils or are half-asleep!
A lot of people struggle to just grab a massage during their lunch break because of how greasy and tired they feel when returning to work, so once again it just comes down to scheduling and prioritization. Ideally, you should be able to go straight home after your massage! That said, it isn't too big of a deal if you can't manage that.
3 Pro: It Improves Your Mental Health
Everyone gets stressed sometimes, but things that go unaddressed might spiral into something more debilitating. Studies show that people are suffering more than ever from depression and anxiety. While you should always consult with a doctor in situations like these, booking a massage appointment can't hurt either.
In fact, more information is coming out about the benefits massage can have on your overall mental health. Of course, it can also help with things that contribute to mental health issues like poor sleep and chronic pain. Interestingly enough, a study was recently conducted that showed massage may be beneficial for individuals with ADHD too!
2 Con: You May Have An Allergic Reaction
This may seem silly, but if you've ever had an allergic reaction you know it's no joke! Your massage session will likely include different lotions and oils, which can be heavenly - as long as you aren't allergic to any of the ingredients in them.
If you tend to have sensitive skin, make sure to talk with the massage therapist beforehand. They may have safer alternatives that they can use to ease your mind of worry. After all, it's hard to relax when you're afraid your back will break into hives at any moment!
1 Pro: It Reduces Pain
This may be an obvious one, but it cannot be stressed enough - those who suffer from an injury, arthritis, or any kind of chronic pain can improve leaps and bounds with regular massages. Massages have been proven to increase your serotonin level, which is not only the chemical that helps you sleep better but also helps reduce pain naturally.
Have you ever bumped your head and then immediately rubbed the area soothingly? It's almost like the body instinctively knows to massage itself! Those with stiffness, soreness, or any other health condition should definitely look into what type of massage therapy will work best for them.