Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Is Vanity More Important in Our Culture Than Health?

I have made some interesting observations in my years as a licensed massage therapist. What made me decide to write about this particular topic, is observing people ignoring health advice in favor of looking good, especially when it comes to wanting to lose weight, but it can also happen to those who like pretty shiny things, too. For example, I learned in some continuing education courses that Apple watches and fit bits, or any other device similar, affects pain and dysfunction in the body in a way that is NOT good when I do my clinical assessments. When I Google it on the Internet, there is a ton of evidence to support this. Yet, every single time I have educated people about this, their decision to wear it doesn't change. They still wear it if they already have one, or still make the decision to go out and buy one if they don't. As someone who has always put my own health above everything else in my life, I do not understand this. I have also observed that certain types of workouts help my clients get better, while there are other types of workouts that always seem to make a bad situation even worse. Not one person that I have educated about this has changed the way that they workout.

Another thing that I have observed, is people's values in regard to where their money goes. My husband and I do not own a home. We never have. Many of the people who have told me that I charge too much do. Our vehicles have always been used. When we go away, it's for a weekend and the farthest we go is maybe the next state over. When we do take a week off of work together, we usually stay home. We have never had an actual real "vacation". Many of the people who think I charge too much have. A big chunk of my income goes toward continuing education. Enough of it, to where I am being financially supported by my husband in regard to our personal expenses. I don't get facials, pedicures, manicures or relaxation massages. Many of the people who think I charge too much do. I go to yoga classes when I can. I trade services with a fitness coach when our schedules allow. And my workouts have changed significantly over the years since I actually listen to self care advice that is given to me. I make sure that I have all of the vitamins and supplements that I need. Our grocery bill is high since I cook real whole food from scratch. This is not by choice since my body is intolerant to foods that are in almost everything. Many of my clients that I have advised to see a functional medicine doctor about food intolerances won't go.  This advice comes from their pain and dysfunction always coming back. Wrong foods can do that. I make sure I can afford self care.

The purpose of this post is to get you thinking. Many of you are already aware of what is important to you and what isn't. Others, may not realize the impact of their decisions. I am a big picture kind of a person. I have the gift of seeing what impact my choices will make later on down the road. Others may prefer to live in the moment. In the end, we are all just trying to make a living and are doing the best that we can with what we have. Make sure your decisions are in the best interests of yourself and your family and you will never go wrong.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Is it Muscular or Neurological?

What came first?  The chicken or the egg?  Most of us don't know.  I even have many clients whose doctors aren't sure what is going on with them.  Let me give you a little story about what has me pondering this question.  The massage therapist that I see does a couple of techniques that I am also trained in.  Voila for Structural Joint Balancing and NeuroKinetic Therapy.  I had my session with her today.  She decided to do something different with me today, due to a class she recently took.  I was game for trying something different.  I am usually pleasantly surprised, since everything else she has done on me has been very good.  Today was different.  Many of my old pain and dysfunction patterns started to come back throughout the evening.  Since I am able to do Voila on myself, I was able to fix what I was aware of.  What she did was along the lines of traditional soft tissue work, without evaluating the cause of the tight tissues.  Voila and NeuroKinetic Therapy are evaluation and treatment.  Whenever I get traditional soft tissue work, old pain and dysfunction patterns usually do come back.

So this got me thinking about something.  Why is that?  Why to half of my clients also respond badly to traditional soft tissue work while others see other therapists in addition to me and are doing fine.  Is it because the ones who do well with it have their issues at the muscular and fascial level?  Do those of us who respond badly to it have neurological issues with tight and painful soft tissue as a symptom, rather than a cause.  I don't know!  I don't know if I will ever know.  I think the important lesson here is to always be open to trying something new and different.  This last technique of hers did not work out for me.  But you know what?  Everything else she has done with me has.  When I first started going to her, it was before either one of us was trained in Voila.  I was seeing her for NeuroKinetic Therapy.  I thought NeuroKinetic Therapy was the best, but I also realize that no matter how great of a tool you think you have, there is always something out there that is better.  I keep an open curiosity.  She took the Voila class first.  The fact that I was open to letting her try it on me, instead of being attached to it always being NeuroKinetic Therapy, opened me up to a different technique that often works much better than NeuroKinetic Therapy.  I often combine both Voila and NeuroKinetic Therapy in my client sessions, if that is what my clients respond well to.  If they tell me that one of the techniques works for them and the other one does not, then I adjust the treatment plan accordingly.  This is the beauty of being able to offer different options.  Kind of like a McDonald's drive thru LOL

Always be curious!  Always be open to trying something different, no matter how much you like your current approach.  Not doing so can doom you to not get well.  I was doing other stuff for years, prior to NeuroKinetic Therapy, that was only working for me short term.  And you know what?  I did not realize that it wasn't working at the time.  Because it was the best I had at that time, I also thought it was the best and raved about it.  Keep trying different therapies.  Keep trying different therapists.  And NEVER get so emotionally attached to your favorite therapist, that you would never consider dropping them.  People's needs change.  People move on in a way that can serve them better.  I have worked on clients who are too emotionally attached to their favorite therapist to consider anything different.  Even if you feel great and don't think you need a different approach, do yourself a favor and get out there.