Many people ask this question and the real answer is that it depends on a number of factors. With Raynor massage, we have as our goal of massage the complete elimination of muscular tension in the body. Along with that we are concerned with seeing the flow of chi moving smoothly through the body.
So the first goal when evaluating a massage treatment plan is to see how long it will take to get rid of all the tension in that person’s body. These initial treatments are what I would call “excavation” treatments. We are excavating all the old deep seated tension out of the body. These first massage treatments can be more painful than later treatments as old deep seated tension tends to produce the most pain and discomfort when it is accessed. There is also a greater likelihood of an emotional release as deep seated emotions that have been stored in the body are accessed and released. Some of these emotions can be very old stemming from stresses in childhood or teenage years that have never been released.
For many people there may be 10 to 40 hours of treatment required to get them to the stage where only maintenance massage will be required. This will depend on several factors such as how much tension is there in the first place, the skill of the practitioner in releasing it and the extent to which the client works with the practitioner in order to release it. Some tension may never be released. This is usually tension associated with injuries or operations where there have been broken bones that have set in a wrong way and cause continual muscular tension. Most other forms of tension should eventually be able to be released.
The excavation treatments should be scheduled only far enough apart that any muscle soreness or bruising has gone away and any healing crisis has run is full course. A healing crisis is where toxins or old emotions are stirred up and a person feel worse before they get better.
Once a person has had enough excavation massage to bring them to the point of having all their muscular tension released then they are ready for maintenance massage. Maintenance massage, as the name implies is massage that maintains a person in a state of having loose muscles. Some people need a maintenance massage every week, other people can get away with just having a maintenance massage once a month. It depends on individual body and psychological types as well as the amount of stress that a person has suffered from in the time between treatments.
You will know whether you are scheduling your treatments correctly by whether the client has gotten back to that stage of total body relaxation by the end of the session. If they haven’t then you will need to make your maintenance sessions closer together.
Maintenance massage does not usually hurt and generally feels good as the tension has not “set in” deeply.