All too often, our patients say, "I only book a massage therapy session when I'm in pain." While massage therapy does feel amazing and does help relieve temporary pain, this type of sporadic appointment booking is less than strategic and fails to get to the root of the problem. If you are experiencing regular pain, soreness, or stiffness of the body, then it's going to take more than one massage therapy treatment to get you functioning properly and feeling good again.
In a way, our bodies are like the complex machinery found in a high end sports car. In this regard, we can understand pain as our body's Check Engine light coming on. How long would you continue driving a car with the Check Engine light on before you took it to a mechanic and got some work done? Would you let it fall apart or would you care for it and keep up on regular maintenance to keep it operating at it's highest potential?
Pain can be seen as the machinery of the body telling you there is something wrong. More often than not, people ignore this pain for years at a time. Ignoring the problem and letting the pain persist can often lead you to normalize the signals of distress that your body is trying to send to you. While you may learn to live with it, the problem will only worsen with time.
Eventually you may grow numb to aches and pains, however it doesn't mean the issue has been resolved. In fact, it just means our body is blocking it out. Putting a piece of electrical tape over your car's Check Engine light may hide the current problem, but it sure doesn't solve the issues at hand. If left untreated, things are sure to degrade further. When you turn a blind eye to your health and let your pain issues become chronic, they can and will lead to further, more complicated problems in the future.
This is precisely why our professional massage therapists at Back In Balance Massage & Bodyworks typically recommend patients receive a massage therapy service prior to any scheduled chiropractic treatment. This allows our clients the opportunity to get the full and lasting benefits out of both treatments. Most people see their chiropractor one to two times per week, yet they fail to prepare their bodies with a massage therapy session that could save them time and relieve pain in the long run. Is it really that difficult or costly to get a massage at least once a month? Don't you owe it to yourself and your health?
Self care is important and your body will certainly let you know when it is in need of something usually by way of pain. Most people will go in for one massage and feel great after the fact, yet they may not go in for a follow-up treatment for some time. The problem with this, especially if the client's pain issue is chronic, is that muscles have memory. When you allow too much time to go in between sessions, those muscles go back to where they remembered being. At Back In Balance Massage & Bodyworks, we typically suggest our clients not allow more than 1 month to pass in between massage therapy sessions. When the client's pain issue is chronic, our massage therapists may recommend more frequent treatments sessions to address the problems.
When the body spends less time focusing on pain and suffering, we have more energy and vigor. When muscles are relaxed, your circulation increases, which helps with oxygen absorption and increased immunity. Getting a massage can also promote happiness and a sense of well-being. Stress is another thing people seem to have an over-abundance of; so much so that for some it can literally control their lives and start to cause headaches, tension, elevated blood pressure, and increased cortisol levels. There are many things that will help you to live longer including eating healthy, detoxing the body, engaging in more physical activity, and of course, increasing how often you schedule massage therapy sessions. While the real list of tips to help us live longer, better lives is a vast chasm of information, the overall point is that being proactive will increase your longevity and love for life.
Everyone says how much they love getting a massage, but they simply don't offer themselves the opportunity to get the most out of the service because they schedule their appointments in such an infrequent manor. In fact, this is common for about 70% of people. When these types of clients come in for their "once a year massage", it may be painful to get their bodywork done. Muscles which are regularly adjusted and are simply in need of maintenance are more pliable and don't hurt as much when massaged and manipulated. If more than 6 weeks have gone by between sessions, the muscles can develop enough tension for you to feel discomfort during treatment.
Ultimately, massage therapy helps the individual feel relaxed; connecting the mind, body, and spirit. Taking an hour for yourself once a month is not being selfish if it improves your mood, increases your productivity, and helps improve your immunity. Pain affects our muscles, mood, sleep, appetite, and so much more. Only you have the ability to make the change and get yourself feeling happier and healthier. Consider wellness and look at booking regular massage therapy sessions the same way you'd look at keeping the complex machinery of your car operating properly. The choice is yours. Don't make excuses, make appointments!
Written by Rachel Weidemann
September 15th, 2016