Defining your Therapy goals pt.1
One of the most important requirements for successful therapy is having a good relationship with your therapist. That applies for any kind of therapy or healthcare relationship. There needs to be good open communication and overall a strong trust from client/patient and therapist. Both parties need to be open to feedback and willing to commit to a process. A process that isn't always linear.
One thing I have been working on myself is trying to communicate what my clients goals are and what outcomes they are seeking. In my case, I am unique in that I am both a certified massage therapist and a certified mobility specialist. Therefore I am a hybrid therapist performing manual therapy and being a mobility coach. That is why with some of my clients, my approach is a fusion of both with a goal to provide the best outcomes.
So I wanted to help you (my clients and potential clients) define what would be the best course of treatment for you. To make it easier, I am going to divide it into four sections: 1) Therapeutic Bodywork 2) Sports Bodywork 3) Medical or Clinical Bodywork. 4) Mobility Training.
1) Therapeutic Bodywork / Massage
Therapeutic Bodywork is meant for overall wellness and health. Whether it's a swedish massage or deep-tissue, the purpose is simply to help reduce stress and muscular tension. This is where we take a full body approach (or sometimes just focus on the neck and back), and use this session to press that reset button to reboot out system and recharge. For some, this is part of their care and maintenance.
These sessions are meant to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to induce relaxation. Whether it's for mental stress or physical fatigue, these session can help you feel better and also help maintain your sanity. Let's face it, sometimes we just need an hour or two to shut down.
Who can benefit from this type of work? Anyone really, but especially those that struggle with anxiety, chronic conditions, auto-immune disorders like lupus or fibromyalgia. Also just to help reduce stress in general. The power of touch has been proven to help improve the mood of those that struggle with depression and PTSD.
Aside from stress reduction, these sessions also help the flow and circulation of your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system plays a significant role in our immune system and the constant and smooth flow of lymphatic fluid is crucial. By manually manipulating ones muscles, skin, and other tissues you can get a lot of fluid moving, therefore improving the circulation of your lymphatic system.
So this type of session is what you want if you just need to take some time out, relax, and workout some muscular kinks. When you go in for your next massage, make sure to specific that is what you're looking for. Then get on the table, take some slow and steady breathes, listen to the music, and focus on your session!
2) Sports Bodywork / Massage
In my previouis post I wrote about some of the benefits of sports massage and what is the most effective way to appraoch it. So I not going to go into too much detail here, but I did want to define the two types of Sports Massage.
a) Pre-Event Sports Massage
This type of massage is meant for athletes that are about to play, perform, or compete.
These sessions are usually performed on-site of the event and usually within an hour
or two of the event. The purpose really is to calm the athlete down, but not so much
that they want want to go take a nap. Athletes tend to experience a certain degree of
stress and nervousness before any competition. Especially if it's a championship type
of event. This will help the athlete calm down and focus on their event.
b) Post-Event Sports Massage
I won't go into much detail about post-event sports massage and it's benefits
because I recently wrote about. What I will say is that it reducing stress and
improving the flow of lymphatic system, is the best approach to help recover from
athletic activity. This is best performed post or after any physical activity. To get the
best effects from it, I recommend to come in withing 2 to 3 hours after training. That
will help with your recovery and decrease muscle soreness. But having it done any
time will also have huge benefits.
If you would like to read more on bodywork and sports recovery here is the link:
So always make sure to communicate your goals to your therapist. It will only make your experience much better. Be specific is you'd like to have more time spent on a certain area or to avoid certain areas. Don't be afraid to ask for more or less pressure. It is your session and you should be able to have a say in what you feel is going to best benefit you.
This concludes part 1 of this post. I will follow up with part 2, where I will discuss medical massage and moblity training.