When massage therapists give self care advice, whether it is how often to come back or what to do in between sessions, I think it is important to understand where the therapist is coming from. My advice is based on what I have experienced personally as a client, as well as professionally from what I learn from clients and colleagues.
I do a combination of self care on my own at home in addition to seeing professionals. Only doing one or the other has never worked for me. This is the combination that gives me long term results and gives me the most bang for my buck. I see my chiropractor once a month as well as my massage therapist. My chiropractor does NOT do adjustments. He looks at brain patterns to make sure you are functioning properly. He sees traditional chiropractic as a scam that doesn't work. My massage therapist does NOT do massage on me. She also looks for brain patterns and structural balance for long term results. She practices some of the same methods that I offer in my practice. I have chosen these two as part of my healthcare team because I want, expect and deserve long term relief. I see each of them once a month, regardless of how I am feeling because maintenance is where it is really at in achieving and maintaining long term results. I know my body well enough to know that if I wait until something hurts to get it treated, it has been brewing for a long time and takes numerous appointments scheduled close to each other in order to get it better. This is very costly! I drive an hour and a half to Dayton to see my massage therapist. Picking the right fit is more important to me than convenient location. Besides, it is convenient when Yellow Springs is your favorite place to hike :) I make a day out of it. My priority is getting better. Many people are not there and it makes observing their choices rather interesting.
Many people want to know why I do not get traditional chiropractic adjustments, relaxation massages, deep tissue massage or myofascial release work AND also why I no longer offer traditional relaxation massage, deep tissue massage or traditional myofascial release work in my practice. I have never had a traditional chiropractic adjustment. I am hypermobile (extra loose ligaments) and I am thin boned. It is the opinion of the medical community that I am contraindicated for an adjustment. The chiropractor that I see doesn't believe in adjustments because he always sees the problem come back and the person is still seeing them 2-3 times a week for years. Whenever I have received massage or myofascial release work, the problem would immediately come back and worse. This can happen with any new therapy that you try, but should not be the case years later, as it was with me.
I have stopped offering massage and myofascial release work done the traditional way because my clients were not responding to the treatments with long term results. After taking my first neurokinetic therapy class and learning that working directly on muscle and fascia just because it is tight or causing a postural distortion can be a problem, as experiencing that in myself and clients, I felt like myself and my clients had been scammed by the mainstream approach. My intentions were good and I honestly believed I could get my clients better, but they were not getting any better. I would see the people I was seeing as often as time and budget allowed in hopes of getting better, but I wasn't getting better. If you really want my personal and professional opinion about massage, deep tissue massage and myofascial release, I felt like an unintentional fraud and scammer once I took my first neurokinetic therapy class and found out that you have know what is functioning properly and what isn't, in order to achieve long term success.
Why isn't this knowledge more mainstream? There can be any number of reasons why. Neurokinetic therapy and Voila for Structural joint balancing haven't been being taught for very long. Also, there can be emotional blockages for what people are willing to accept as truth. Most of the other therapists I have shared this information with stare at me blankly and continue to go about their ways. When I work on clients of other therapist's who have been seeing these other therapist's every single week for years, they are not going to change their chosen integrative health team. They look forward to it too much like a social gab fest. If you have been seeing the therapist every single week for years, their therapy is NOT working. The point of this entire blog post is to get you to understand what is and is NOT normal! Visual assessment tells us nothing! Many people believe that it does. Also, not every therapy or therapist is right for 100% of the population. Is 100% of the population going to respond to Voila and neurokinetic therapy? Heck no! That is why it is good to have choices of therapies and integrative health team.
What self care do I do on my own from home? Ohhhhh, let me see if I can remember it all LOL Meditation, yoga, step aerobics, strength training, brisk walks, hiking, belly dancing. I love the combination of intense sweating buckets and more gentle approaches and stuff that is just plain fun. I am a cross trainer who doesn't believe that picking only one thing and only doing that one thing is healthy. Plus, I get easily bored :) I am not a fitness professional and am not passing this info off as advice. Everyone's bodies and interests are different. I refer out to fitness professionals for clients who want the referrals.
What types of other things do I do diet and nutrition wise? I am not a dietician or nutritionist, so this is NOT meant as medical advice. This is why I am not going to say which foods I had to give up or where I have bought supplements in the past or where I buy them now. Everyone's body is different! I refer out to nutrition experts for clients who want the referrals. I found out that many of the issues that I thought were muscular, because my muscles hurt all the time, was leaky gut syndrome. Cutting out the foods that I am intolerant of has made the biggest difference for me. It can be a slow process. As of this writing, I have been doing this for over a year and a half and my body is still changing. I used to purchase my vitamins and supplements as a very well known vitamin chain. That is, until I read their "other ingredients" after changing my diet. I now mail order them through a multi level marketing company whose ingredients that I trust. I am spending less in supplements in the long run, since my body keeps requiring less and less as it keeps changing from the diet change.
I will use myself as an example of a recent pain that I had. My right hip has been bothersome off and on for years. I took a continuing education course a couple of weekends ago. I was excited that the course was at a pilates studio that I had taken another class at before. The reason why, is because the bosu balls normally put me in a perfect posture and alignment that keeps me out of pain while I am sitting on it. The first day of class, this was not the case. My right hip hurt me all day to the point that I was miserable. I kept trying to balance out the structure with Voila, but had not found what was going on right away. I had woke up that morning to making sure that I got in some quick, gentle yoga. The style of yoga is good for alignment and I did deep hips stretches, so I was baffled as to why my hip hurt. When I got back to my hotel room after class the first day, my whole body felt like a hot mess. I was tight all over with my alignment completely out of whack. I felt terrible! When my husband and I went out to dinner that night, I kept assessing myself with Voila while sitting in the booth. The structures were fine. I decided to test the 6 deep hip rotator muscles under the glute max in my right hip. They tested as dysfunctional. I made the appropriate correction, then made sure my structures were still balanced. Voila! My hip not only stopped hurting immediately, but the next day in class was the exact opposite experience. No pain and my entire body felt completely aligned and invincibly strong as if I had a personal training session. All just from that one correction. I was in the car for 3 hours going home and still no issues when I got home. That area of my hip also tends to be tight when it is dysfunctional. If someone had done direct deep tissue work or myofascial release on it, the pain consequences for me would have been devastating. This stuff is for real!