The best way to get the most out of your treatment session is to do your homework on therapists to make sure you are matched up with the therapist that best matches your goals. Some therapists who specialize in pain and injury conditions may want to do an evaluation on you and others may do a general deep tissue treatment. An evaluation tells the therapist where the cause of the problem may really be coming from, instead of just treating symptoms. Those of us who do evaluations may work much differently than what you would expect out of a general massage. This is often where the general public can get confused. I will just use myself as an example about the types of treatments that I seek and why. Both the massage therapist and the chiropractor that I see use muscle testing. The muscle testing tells them whether or not the muscle is functioning. If it's not, they look for what is compensating for it to get it functioning again. Even though general massage has its place, I personally haven't spent my good hard earned money on a general massage in years. The reason why, is because when someone does not do an evaluation first works on me, it brings pain and dysfunction back that I had forgotten that I used to have. My hips once became misaligned while receiving a student massage. The student did not do anything wrong. She did an excellent job and gave a wonderful massage. The reason that happened, is because the people I was seeing for the hip alignment issues were treating the symptoms, rather than the cause, all excellent therapists. I also had a general upper body deep tissue treatment from an excellent therapist who has been a therapist for a very long time when I could not get in to see my regular therapist. Old dysfunction patterns came back from that, that I had forgotten that I used to have. I personally don't let anyone touch me who doesn't evaluate first. When seeing a therapist, make sure what you are receiving matches your goals. If a therapist recommends something different, based on what you are telling them, than what you were originally wanting or expecting, I highly recommend that you listen to them. When you see your chiropractor or physical therapist, you would normally just tell then where you hurt and let them come up with the treatment plan. That really is for the best in order to get the most out of your treatments. Those who ask for something else other than the recommended treatment keep seeing me for the same problems session after session.
I never like to end a blog post without recommending some self care tips. There are many good things out there to explore and it's a matter of finding what works for you. Out of everything I have tried for my own posture and alignment issues, yoga has done far more for me than anything else that I have ever tried. My clients who do yoga are getting better in between treatments.
My daily yoga practice honestly gives my muscles and mind the same relaxing qualities that a general relaxation massage does. I keep it short and gentle on most days and I don't over do it. I go to a yoga class once a week and the rest of my week on my own at home. I have yoga DVD's. When I am on the road, I have a travel yoga mat that folds up like a towel and a free yoga app on my iphone called, "Simply Yoga".
I also do the muscle testing that I mentioned up above. That's how I found my wonderful massage therapist and chiropractor :)