I just read an article about neck pain, lack of range of motion and massage. It was very interesting and you can read the entire article here.
The study was based on clients with chronic neck pain. They were trying to determine how many/often massages it would take to relieve the pain. The studies that were conducted included shorter massages (30 min) and a typical 60 min massage.
The conclusion was, that longer massages, more frequently, were more beneficial to long term relief, than shorter, more frequent massage.
Of course, time and money are typically an issue for a lot of people. So, sometimes having 60 min massages 3x's / week is not feasible.
What I advise my clients is this: The massages I give are cumulative. And you can heal. If my clients come in more often at the beginning of their treatment, soon they won't have to come in as often, because the muscles will stay relaxed for longer periods of time after each massage. Thus, fixing the problem of time and money, because as you continue your treatment, your sessions will become further apart.
The method of massage I use is to release muscle fibers layer by layer, rather than going in deep all at once. What this does, is to allow the muscle to relax slowly and completely, without pain. Unlike deep tissue, which typically results in bruised muscle and an unpleasant, painful experience on the table.
As the deeper layers of muscle release, it will take longer for that muscle to tighten to that point again. Thus, the longer periods of time between massages.
I've seen it work time after time. It's amazing, really, how effective it is.
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