Acute/Chronic Pain Resolution & Body Management
"What's your health worth to you?"
11 Tips to Get the Most from Your Bodywork Sessions Anywhere, Anytime
Published August 10, 2020 by Jc Drobac
1. Arrive early, use your entire intake time
Show up 10 to 30 minutes ahead of your session for your mandatory intake time.
Massage therapists are required to hold intakes (check in) before your sessions. Let your therapist know if you've had any doctor's appointments, accidents, new bruises, scrapes, cold sores, skin outbreaks, or any other relevant new happenings since your last session. Certain symptoms can actually make bodywork contraindicated (a "no-no") or will require that we modify or adapt your session. Arriving before your bodywork session means we'll always have enough time to learn about important updates AND you get your full treatment time!
2. Know what you want... or don't want
Do one or more areas feel tight, restricted or downright painful? A focus session zooms in on certain issues, or on areas to release restrictions or pain. An especially rough week, and tuning out the world sound good? Maybe some unwinding-energywork or a full-body massage will do the trick. Hot packs on sore muscles? Aromatherapy oils to ease tension? Cupping to increase circulation? Reflexology to flush the organs? Create your own session by letting me know if you'd like certain treatments in your session, or let me create the session for you.
3. Be realistic
Chronic (long-lasting) aches and pains will naturally take longer to heal than acute (newer) ones. Listen to what your body is telling you know and be cognizant of the likely reality that it may take more than one session to resolve pain, especially if in multiple areas. Remember, staying flexible with more frequent bodywork sessions can save getting sidelined by an injury (caused by chronic tightness) later.
4. Relax... REALLY relax!
We know this is (probably) your ONLY real time in your day to fully relax and let go, and we want you to enjoy that. Deep relaxation starts with letting go of the tendency to chat during your session.
Massage therapists may be brilliant (😂), but when we're focusing on conversing with you, we can't focus on giving you our best work: determining and resolving painful trigger points, spinal imbalance, releasing stuck fascia, and so on. (And if we had human-sized spatulas, we'd never even need to wake you up to flip over—sounds good, doesn't it?) Successful deep relaxation is a learned skill and requires regular practice. And what better time to hone this skill than on your massage table?
5. Find your appointment frequency "sweet spot"
After your next appointment, notice how you feel the next day. Did you sleep deeper or feel more rested? Are you calmer? Less achy/tight? Now check in with yourself again in a few more days, or a week or two. Do you still feel as good as you did right after your last session? (Being mindful of our physical, emotional and even spiritual states can help us know when things feel askew, too.) The ideal bodywork sweet spot is BEFORE we start to lose the fluid/balanced feeling from our last session. Maybe that's every two or three weeks -- or maybe your bodywork results last a good month before you'd benefit from another session. Determining how frequently you benefit from bodywork --- and scheduling your sessions within this time frame -- can create a perpetual higher quality of daily life that can mean fewer aches and pains, better sleep, a strong immune system, and even feeling more positive and less irritated, depressed or angry. And what's THAT worth to you? :)
6. Shower and shampoo AFTER your session
7. "No pain, no gain" ... is insane
8. Always request glute work!
9. And ask for belly work, too!
10. Skip the post-massage workout
11. ENJOY your session!
Full-body massage includes the back, glutes, legs and feet, arms and hands, face, neck and scalp. It not only boosts the lymphatic system, but the brain as well. "Feel-good" chemicals like endorphins and serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin ("happiness quartet":) are released from the brain, boosting our mood and create a healthy and natural high. When this happens, cortisol (a stress chemical) and adrenaline start to decrease, as does the overall perceived stress levels and "fight, freeze or flight" responses in our bodies—a VERY good thing!
Always water, water, water!
Make sure to drink lots of water after bodywork treatments to avoid soreness and promote flushing of toxins. This is key. Humidity, air conditioning, furnaces, fans, workouts... so many things contribute to dehydration, leading to symptoms like constipation, headaches, fatigue, and even depression. A good rule of thumb for daily water consumption is to drink half our weight in ounces (i.e., a 100-pound person would consume at least 50 ounces of water per day) or sometimes even more with extreme conditions. So drink up! :D