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“I loved this newsletter. It's great how you break down us readers' resistances to taking care of ourselves, and do it with such a sweet and gentle voice with that touch of humor. Questions like those are excellent tools for re-focusing; getting back on track with what's important and letting go of what's not.”

- Ella Jolly, Social Worker
New York City

How often is often enough?

Today, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on one of the most frequent questions I get asked, and it’s a good one.

“How often should I receive massage and bodywork?”

The answer: It depends!

It depends on the situation and it depends on YOU.

Let’s start with the situation:

1-2x/week if:
:: you’re dealing with a fresh and highly acute injury or pain issue (i.e. neck spasm, back sprain). I recommend bodywork and focused care until the issue subsides and feels manageable.
:: you want to generate some healing momentum around a chronic or recurring issue. Could be physical, but I’d also say this for issues like insomnia, anxiety, depression, etc.
:: you’ve recently had surgery and want to manage any pain without having to rely solely on pain meds, as well as do what you can to ensure a full and smooth recovery and receive support during the process.

1x/week if:
:: you’re going through a period of particularly intense stress (physical, mental or emotional). Perhaps this means a job change, tight deadline, lots of travel, a move, family crisis, relationship crisis, etc.
:: you have a job that demands a lot from your body and/or psyche and want to avoid burn-out.

1x every other week if:
:: you have a stressful job or home life accompanied by ongoing aches and tension.
:: you’ve emerged from a challenging period of time and are starting to feel much healthier and in balance, and want to build on the positive changes and ensure they stick.

1x/month if:
:: you want to slough off the stress, press the “reset button,” and tune up your body for the month ahead as part of your ongoing wellness regimen.
:: you’re in the maintenance phase for a more acute or chronic issue and want to keep it in check and keep tabs on it with the help of a trained outside eye and someone who knows your body and is tracking the issue over time with you (a.k.a. me, or another practitioner).

The amount of time you stick with a certain frequency depends on how you’re feeling and what’s going on in your life, and is something we can talk about together so you can find a rhythm that works best for you.

The YOU part goes something like this:
:: If your body’s first line of processing any kind of stress is a physical manifestation (colds, infections, mystery pain and ailments), then I believe regular hands-on bodywork (e.g. at least 1x/mo) is particularly vital.
:: If you know receiving therapeutic touch to be a powerful healing tool for yourself, then by all means, get as much bodywork as you can! In other words: Do what works, then do it again.

Oooh, I think that deserves repeating.

Do what works, then do it again.

(And if you’re not yet sure if something works, but it’s calling out to you, give it a shot and adjust accordingly. Nothing is set in stone : )

Based on the guideposts I’ve shared, where do you think you fall on the spectrum? Putting aside practical matters for now, simply close your eyes and imagine yourself receiving bodywork once a week, twice a week, twice a month, and once a month, and listen to how your body responds.

Which frequency feels “right” right now?
Which puts a little smile on your face?
Which allows you to breathe more fully?
Or, which makes you feel a little nervous, perhaps because it’s what would really be beneficial?

I’m passionate about helping you weave your way towards your best health in ways that feel good and right to you, and I would love to talk or correspond about any questions this guide might drum up for you. So don’t hesitate to email me or ask me your questions at your next session. And if you know someone who might need to see this guide, share, tweet, or forward this directly to them.

With love + much care,

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