How often should you get a massage?

by Tom Law on Sunday 09 July 2023

4 min read

A good massage can help calm your mind, reduce pain, release tension, lower blood pressure… the list goes on. To consistently reap the rewards of a massage, you might be curious about how often you should get a massage.

Well, here’s the short answer…

It depends on the type of massage

There are different types of massages for different needs and health conditions. A massage can help:

  • Relieve work and life-related stress
  • Promote relaxation
  • Ease pain and assisting with some injuries or health conditions
  • Recover post-workout or from sport
  • Help with pregnancy-related symptoms and stress. 

When it comes to how often you should get each kind of massage, there’s isn’t a concrete answer. But there are considerations. Let’s explore them below.

Massage for pain and injuries

Deep tissue massage involves slow, deep strokes targeting your inner muscle and connective tissue. It also helps reduce muscle tension and inflammation, while increasing blood flow and relaxation. It can help people with various conditions. Here are just a few of them:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sports injuries
  • High blood pressure

How often you get deep tissue massages depends on your health needs. Many receive them daily, some a few times a week, others a few times a month.

For health-related concerns, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before scheduling a session.

Massage for stress and relaxation

Sometimes we choose to treat ourselves to massages to help us unwind. These are known as therapeutic massages, which can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

However, it’s not all about rest and relaxation. Therapeutic massages come bundled with other health benefits. These can include:

  • Increasing blood flow and warmth
  • Reducing fatigue
  • Easing muscle pain
  • Improving sleep.

As they're usually gentler, how often you get therapeutic massages depends on your need to relieve stress.

Research by the Mayo Clinic suggests even a single session can lower cortisol (the stress hormone), which helps with anxiety and fighting off body pain.

Massage for athletic recovery

Unlike gentler relaxation massages, sports massages target tight muscle fibres that result from overactivity or injuries.

When faced with an athletic muscle injury, consulting a healthcare provider (such as a physiotherapist) can be a smart way to determine how many sessions you need.  

If you work out often, you can use sports massage as way to keep your body in prime condition – perhaps fortnightly or monthly.

Massage for pregnancy

Massage can be particularly useful for pregnancy. Research shows that over five weeks, a weekly 20-minutes massage can improve symptoms associated with pregnancy. These include:

  • Leg pain
  • Back pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

If you’re pregnant and interested in massages, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider.

Massage alternatives 

For those needing a budget-friendly method of massage, there are a few ways you can get the perks at home.

To loosen up at home, you could invest in a foam roller or a massage gun. These are handy because they allow you get some relief instantly, without needing to contact (and pay) a massage therapist. 

If you need to shake off some muscle tension, dip into one of Virgin Active’s luxe heated pools, spas and saunas.

Related articles


4 min read

How to encourage our loved ones to move more


5 min read

Flex appeal: top stretches for better mobility


4 min read

From gym to zen: why add a post-workout spa session

Enjoying our blog?

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates on training, healthy living, news and events.