When Is the Best Time of Day for a Massage? | 3 Key Factors


Getting a massage is one of the best ways to relieve stress, and for some, relieve pain. If you’re someone who wants to get regular massages for any reason, knowing the best time to get one is necessary. So, what’s the best time of day for a massage?

The best time of day for a massage is in the afternoon, around four o’clock. Not only is this time typically best for those who work full time, but it’s also best when it comes to PMSM (post-massage soreness and malaise). Experiencing this common side effect would be best in the evening before bed.

The rest of this article will discuss various factors to consider when choosing the best time to get a massage, times you shouldn’t get a massage, and what not to do before a massage. I’ll also discuss when the best time would be to shower and eat when getting a massage.

Factors To Consider Before Getting a Massage

While there isn’t a specific time you have to get a massage, as getting one at any time of day is fine, some factors make getting a massage at specific times better or worse than other times. 

Some people say morning massages are the best, while others swear by night (or evening) massages. Considering these factors before getting a massage can make the experience all the better, no matter what time you choose.

As the best time to get a massage can be different for each person, there’s a lot to consider. Below, I’ll list these factors to consider before you get a massage.

1. Work Schedule

Your work schedule is one of the more critical things to consider when scheduling a massage. Some people prefer a massage in the morning before work, after work, or even on their lunch break. When you schedule a massage, think about what time you go to work and leave.

If you don’t leave work until later in the evening, say six or seven o’clock, getting a massage in the morning might be the best option. However, getting a massage right after work might be better if you get off around four or five.

If you get a long lunch break, squeezing in a midday massage is also an option. However, it all comes down to what you’re comfortable with and how you can fit it into your schedule.

2. Massage History

Another thing to consider when figuring out when to schedule a massage is your past experiences. If this is your first time getting a massage, you might want to consider getting one in the afternoon when you don’t have much to do afterward. This is because you’re never sure how you’ll react. 

While most people often feel rejuvenated and full of energy, others feel sore and tired. Therefore, getting a feel for how you react to massages will give you a better idea of when you should schedule appointments in the future.

3. Home Life Schedule

Similar to your work schedule, considering your home life schedule is also essential. Home responsibilities vary for everyone. For example, if you have children, pets, or other duties at home, scheduling around that is crucial.

Having a busy life at home is why many people choose to get a massage in the morning or around lunchtime, as children or house chores keep them engaged in the afternoons.

When Should You Not Get a Massage?

Clock with no time

While massages help with various ailments in many ways, there are instances when a massage isn’t the best idea. While most of the time, your doctor, masseuse, or massage therapist will tell you when a massage isn’t recommended, it’s a good idea to know when you shouldn’t get a massage.

You shouldn’t get a massage if you’re sick, have a fever, blood clots, kidney or liver problems, inflammation, or cancer. While massages can help with pain with cancer and pregnancy, it’s essential to get massages from someone trained to work with these patients.

The last thing anyone wants when getting a massage is to cause more problems. Therefore, you want to make sure that you’re a good candidate for a massage. It’s always best to talk with your doctor before changing anything from your routine, especially if you have any of the following conditions or concerns.

Sick or Feverish

If you’re sick or have a fever, you should always try to stay home. If you decide to get a massage while sick, you’re risking not only passing your illness to your masseuse or massage therapist, but if you have a fever, you risk making your fever or infection worse.

Massages increase your circulation in your body, which is an excellent way to improve your immune system. However, if your body is already fighting off an infection, a massage can heighten the fever, make you feel worse, and make the infection your body is trying to fight off much worse.

Blood Clots

If you have any blood clots, it’s imperative to talk to your doctor about a massage before deciding to get one. Blood clots can be dangerous, especially if they move to the heart, brain, or lungs. Massages are great for your circulation, but increasing circulation could dislodge the clot, causing it to move to different, possibly dangerous, parts of your body.

Therefore, if you know you have blood clots, always speak to your doctor and your massage therapist before your appointment. However, with blood clots, massages might not be a good idea.

Kidney or Liver Problems

If you have kidney or liver problems where they don’t function normally, massages might not be for you. With the increased circulation and blood flow, a massage can put extra strain on your liver or kidneys by increasing the flow of waste throughout the body. It would be best to ask your doctor before considering a massage.

Inflammation

You should always avoid massages if you have any inflammation, as a massage will worsen the area. The increased circulation that a massage gives you will make more blood flow to the inflamed area, making it worse. This includes any type of bacterial infections, injuries, or other inflammatory conditions.

Cancer

While cancer can cause many aches and pains that a massage can help, it can be dangerous. Your doctor should always clear you before getting a massage, as it could possibly spread cancer. While there isn’t scientific evidence that this is true, many doctors and massage therapists believe it’s possible, so always go over that with your doctor before getting a massage.

Pregnancy

Massages can help the pains that come along with pregnancy. However, it’s essential to go to a massage therapist qualified to give massages during pregnancy. There are many types of massages that you should avoid during pregnancy, such as abdominal massages.

According to the Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, positioning is vital during the second and third trimesters. If you have a history of miscarriages, you should avoid massages altogether.

Is It Good To Get a Massage in the Morning?

If the morning is the best and most convenient time for you to get a massage, that’s perfectly fine! Some people feel energized after a massage, so getting massaged in the morning is excellent. However, it all depends on how you react to them.

It’s good to get a massage in the morning. Massages work to decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress. Therefore, starting your day de-stressed is an excellent way to be happier and more productive. 

While morning massages are common and many people love them, they can make you feel tired. So, depending on how you react after a massage (energized or sleepy) will determine if morning massages are a good idea for you.

Should I Get a Massage Right After a Workout?

Your body often feels fatigued and sore after working out, depending on your workout. Many people might think rest is the best thing for your muscles after a hard workout but is massaging your muscles better?

It would be best if you got a massage right after a workout. Massages can help your muscles repair themselves faster, which means you’ll have less time feeling sore. Adding a deep tissue massage to your workout routine will offer pain relief, stress relief, and faster recovery.

While you can massage your affected muscles yourself, going to a massage therapist after tough workouts will do wonders for your overall health and allow you to continue your workout routine without interruptions.

What Should You Not Do Before a Massage?

Before getting a massage, it’s best to be prepared, so you get the maximum benefits during and afterward. Making preparation mistakes can ruin future massages for you, so you want to do everything right.

You shouldn’t eat a heavy meal, drink alcohol, sunbathe, or take a hot shower before a massage. Hot water can increase circulation and cause sweating. However, a warm shower is perfectly fine. A massage increases circulation and helps digestion, so a heavy meal or alcohol can make you feel ill.

It’s best to drink plenty of water after a massage, as your body needs to stay hydrated post-massage for the best benefits.

How Long Should You Not Eat Before a Massage?

Eating before a massage should be avoided to have the best benefits from the massage. Therefore, you may want to schedule your massage around your eating schedule. But how long should you not eat before a massage?

You shouldn’t eat in the two hours before a massage. It’s best to have your food completely digested before getting a massage, so you should avoid solid foods as they take longer to digest. During a massage, the increased blood circulation can cause a delay in digestion, causing discomfort.

Should I Shower Before or After a Massage?

Woman-Showering-Headshot

While you shouldn’t show up to your massage appointment with lousy hygiene, showering immediately before, as many people might think is appropriate, isn’t always the best option.

It would be best if you didn’t shower before or after a massage. You should leave some buffer room before and after a massage because you don’t want to mess with your blood circulation. Therefore, showering a few hours before and after your appointment is better than immediately before or after.

Different Types of Massage

With all of this compelling information to get a massage, it’s essential to know that there are many different types of massages to consider. Some massages are better for specific ailments. For example, a deep tissue massage is best for sore muscles, while a trigger point massage is excellent for chronic pain. 

Healthline lists many different kinds of massages. Below, I’ll go through some of these types of massages and why they’re beneficial.

Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage is similar to a full-body or Swedish massage, but it uses more pressure. This massage lasts an hour to an hour and a half and is an excellent option for those with muscle tension or muscle soreness. This is ideal for sports players or those who work out often.

Trigger Point Massage

Trigger point massages help those with chronic pain problems. This massage also lasts an hour to an hour and a half, and it’ll mainly focus on the specific areas where the person has the most pain. The massage therapist will locate the trigger points and massage them to relieve the pressure and offer relief.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is popularly known for relieving pain, stress, and heightening energy. Not only this, but Thai massages also help with flexibility, as the massage therapist will move the body in various stretching positions. Like most massages, Thai massages last an hour to an hour and a half.

Prenatal Massage

As I’ve already mentioned, pregnant women who want a massage have to go to someone specializing in prenatal massage. A prenatal massage lasts 45-60 minutes and works to help body aches, relieve tension, and reduce stress, all of which are very helpful while pregnant. However, you should still consult your doctor before getting one.

Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage might not be for everyone, but it can be very beneficial. This 90-minute long massage is an excellent way to relieve muscle pain and tension throughout the body by improving blood flow and reducing stress. The difference between this massage and others is the massage therapist uses hot stones instead of (or including) their hands.

Final Thoughts

While the time of day you get a massage depends on your schedule and what works best for you, getting a massage in the evening is typically suggested and preferred by many. Evening massages can help you get a better night’s sleep.

However, there are many instances when a massage isn’t the best option. For example, being feverish, having inflammation, blood clots, or cancer are just a few instances when massages are not recommended.

With the proper preparation and knowing which type of massage is best for you, massages can be very beneficial, no matter the time of day.

Thanks for reading!

Jim James

Hey, I'm Jim and the author of this website. I have always been interested in just about any fact that I can learn. I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!

Recent Posts