50 vs 80
I get asked the question all the time. What’s better, a 50-minute massage or an 80-minute massage? I’m sure I’m not going to blow your mind by saying that 80 minutes are better than 50 minutes, but I will tell you that each have a benefit and more isn’t always better.
80 is great!
I highly recommend an 80-minute massage when you are going to work with a massage therapist for the first time. This gives you the time to ask questions and get to know more about the style of work in which your massage therapists specializes. Remember, questions are good! Any good practitioner will truly appreciate a client who will be inquisitive and proactive in their healing process. If they don’t, run! In addition to an initial session, an 80-minute session is the one to choose when you are looking to massage as a way to alleviate symptoms of a chronic (long-time) condition, address multiple injuries, assess gait and joint range of motion, and for women during pregnancy. I’ve found that pregnant moms really enjoy the 80-minutes more than the 50-minutes, especially since proper positioning and bolstering with cushions and pillows is so important. It just gives more time for mom!
50 is pretty great too!
If you are seeking out massage for some time to relax and de-stress then you can achieve that in 50 minutes. Even just five deep breaths instantly settles down the body’s sympathetic nervous system. So imagine how great 50 minutes of calm breathing and massage will be! The simple fact here is that 80 minutes is simply more time to be in a stage of deep relaxation, thus refreshing your body, mind and spirit. Research has showed us time and time again that people who practice regular stress-reducing activities like deep breathing, meditation, yoga and massage, are better equipped and capable of handling the stressors of everyday life. 50-minute sessions also work very well while combining the sessions with other therapies like chiropractic, acupuncture or physical therapy. You simply try to schedule your sessions back-to-back or alternating weeks, depending on your treatment goals. When in need of massage for athletic performance, it’s very common to alternate between 50-minute and 80-minute sessions depending where you are in your training schedule.
Once you meet with a massage therapist for the first time, have a conversation with him or her about what session can work best for you and your goals. Be aware that the treatment plan may very well change. Sometimes, things move along quickly and sometimes it may take a few extra sessions to get you closer to your goal. It’s always important to re-evaluate the role massage is playing in your life; whether it be for relaxation, subdue the affects of migraines or to improve function after surgery. Every body is different and every massage therapist is different.
Kristen Lutz, LCMT, MS | Licensed Massage Therapist
Kristen Lutz, a Nationally Certified Licensed Massage Therapist, is a graduate of Cortiva Institute - Boston (formerly Muscular Therapy Institute) in Watertown, MA. As a member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and Massachusetts Chapter of the AMTA, her work is centered upon supporting clients in achieving optimal health and well being through listening and understanding individual needs . She integrates various massage techniques into each personalized session. These techniques include Swedish (relaxation), deep tissue, sports massage, orthopedic massage, neuromuscular (trigger point) therapy, and myofascial release along with stretching, range of motion, and breath work. She is currently training to be certified in Advanced Orthopedic Massage. Having completed the Usui Method Reiki II Certification, clients can benefit from the integration of energy work and balancing along with massage therapy.
Clients benefit from Kristen's approach that each client is unique and no one treatment is alike. This customized approach leads to a more effective treatment. Kristen, a New England native, has been living in Boston for the past seven years. She graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Sciences from Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH while playing collegiate women's volleyball. She continued with her education and graduated with a M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and has worked in the health and wellness field as an exercise physiologist.