How long will the effects of massage last?

“How long will the effects of this massage last?” is one of those questions that clients ask their massage therapist on a regular basis. Sometimes a massage therapist has to answer the question before meeting a new client during a telephone conversation.

If you are planning to book a massage treatment and are wondering how long you will feel the beneficial effects of a treatment, you need to remember that we all respond differently to a treatment.

The general rule is not to rush into a stressful situation or noisy environment immediately after a massage as the over-stimulation on the senses may make you feel a bit frazzled.

Looking at the different types of massage techniques, these are a few points to remember about the effects of a massage.

Deep tissue
Your first deep tissue treatment will probably feel uncomfortable for a couple of days and you may start feeling the actual benefits from day three. Depending on your posture, your attitude to stress and your environment, you may feel exactly the same as before you got the massage after a week. A lot depends on your own frame of mind: if you take an active role in your relaxation and releasing of tension, the benefits of the treatment will be longer lasting.

From experience, I would say that with deep tissue you can be relatively pain- and tension-free for about one to two weeks. My clients who practice yoga may still enjoy a state of comfort in their bodies three weeks after their last massage. Most clients agree that one massage a month is not enough to manage their stress and tension and a three week gap between sessions is realistic and cost/effective for them.

Face rejuvenation
Talking from personal experience offering natural facelift massage treatments, when clients call me to book an appointment they all want to know how long the lifting effect will last. Usually therapists advise their clients to have one facial a month or every six weeks.

With natural facelift, the key question is how long will the skin look smoother and the face appear younger. Unfortunately I can’t promise any miracles and the effects depend on the elasticity of the skin and on the client’s lifestyle. A good rule of thumb is that the effects will last from three days to a week. I normally recommend a course of six weekly sessions followed by a maintenance programme of one treatment a month.

Lymphatic drainage and sculpting massage
You can measure the effectiveness of lymphatic drainage massage in cases of swollen legs and the inch reductions achieved after the treatment. A one-off lymphatic session is never enough to tackle water retention but you can maintain the results for up to three days from the session. Water retention requires constant monitoring and medical cases like edema need a referral from a specialist. With lymphatic drainage the general recommendation is to have one to two sessions per week for at least a month, followed by a maintenance programme of a treatment every three to four weeks.

Similarly, for sculpting massage and any other form of slimming massage or body wrap to work on targeted fat deposits, a frequency of one or two sessions per week is ideal. The eventual inch loss achieved needs to be maintained with the correct healthy eating regime and exercise. The effects are in fact temporary so you may notice that after three or four days the body has returned to what it was before the treatment.

Long term benefits of massage
It is worth remembering that massage has also longer-term effects: in fact, regular massage treatments can make you feel more focused, help you sleep better at night and deal with life’s big and small problems with a calmer attitude.

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