3 Keys to creating a Remedial Massage habit that gets results.
So far we have covered some big topics, discussed a few different aspects of treatment, and dropped some good advice that can help you get more value for your money when you invest in Remedial Massage to support your personal health and well-being. This week I want to review 3 Key Points for consideration as you begin to integrate regular treatment into your habit cycle – namely Frequency, Pressure & Priorities.
We touched on both Frequency and Pressure back in our 3rd Blog Post – How to get the best from your Treatment? In this post I want to explore those aspects further and paint a more relatable picture for everyone to consider individually … and then of course I want to discuss Prioritising your needs & wants so that we can agree on the best Treatment Plan to suit your immediate needs at each session. Understanding each of these topics, and how they relate to you personally, will make it easier for you to make regular Remedial Massage a habitual part of your Health & Fitness regime … and help you stay on top of life 😊
How frequently should you get a Remedial Massage?
This is particularly personal and can vary from person to person depending on many different aspects of your life. Things that you should consider include:
How do you use your body every day?
Is your job physical and labour intensive, or is it more administrative and office-based … Do you play sport or exercise frequently … Do you generally feel ‘fresh & active’ or more ‘dull and lethargic’ … the comparisons could go on forever, but I think you understand what I am getting at.
If you use your body more actively in general life, then it could be expected to be more resilient when you over-work it or sustain injury … If you tend to live a more sedentary lifestyle, it may take more effort to achieve & maintain good mobility & condition. If you compete in physical pursuits (like Triathlon, Cross Fit, Weight/Power Lifting, etc) you might recognise the benefit of incorporating Remedial Massage as part of your training.
Are you fit & healthy, or are you carrying injury or condition?
A very basic & general way to find the frequency that works best for you is to start from this line in the sand:
- If you are generally healthy – not in pain – not restricted with your mobility, then frequency can be more relaxed. You could start with considering frequency of getting a massage every 4 weeks or so and then be guided by how you feel;
- If you are recovering from or managing an injury – or living with challenging mobility – then you will likely want to come more frequently to maximise your recovery process so be thinking more like every 1-2 weeks or so.
- But in either scenario – don’t wait until you feel broken before you come back!
We like to encourage all our clients to ‘listen’ to their bodies – no one will know your body as much as you because you live with it and you live in it. It might sound a little ‘hippyesque’ to tell you to listen to your body, so whatever phase works for you – the message is the same … identify the frequency that works for you, so that you never feel broken.
How firm/deep/hard should a Remedial Massage be?
This is something that a good therapist will be able to gauge and administer for the best results. Some people think that for massage to be Remedial it needs to be painful and ‘to-the-bone’, but this is NOT the case. Pain is a warning system for the body, so if you feel pain during a treatment your body will automatically want to brace against it … and that is more detrimental than advantageous when it comes to Remedial Massage.
It is fair to say that some techniques will be less comfortable than others … releasing a Trigger Point will produce achy pain in a recognised referral pattern, but that pain should only be short lived – as soon as the point releases the pain should dissolve … Myofascial Release and/or Fascial Stretching can feel like a burn through the target muscles, but again that pain should disappear as soon as the technique is finished … but it should be remembered that the focus of the technique is to release dysfunctional tissue, and any unavoidable pain should release together with the tissue.
It is true that a deeper treatment will have longer lasting benefit and results should be more identifiable at the end of the session, but a skilled therapist will know how to reach the deeper layers of muscle without causing pain. If you subscribe to the ideology of ‘No Pain = No Gain’, then I strongly urge you to reconsider and try a better therapist.
Prioritise … Please know what you want from your session, and don’t be vague.
Every time you come in for a treatment we are on a time-line … there is only so long we can spend with you, and we will frequently have someone booked for the spot immediately after you so we can’t always just extend your time to get to everything. If you maintain a frequency of Remedial Massage that is suitable and appropriate for your body – then this should not be an issue for you … so give yourself a pat on the back 😊
But getting back to the timeline thing … if you come in with too much to focus on in the time you have booked, then we may not be able to get to everything you ask for in that 1 session – and if we do manage it, the benefit will likely not last as long as we all would like. By the same token, if you are feeling reasonably well within yourself and have no specific areas of concern, that too can lead to a lesser quality treatment because there is nothing particular to focus on … Please prioritise your wants regarding your massage.
Prioritising your preferences can be joint/limb specific or body region general – either way it at least gives us an order of priority to build a Treatment Plan on for the session, and that helps us deliver a treatment that is more likely to be both effective and satisfying for you. If you give us direction for the treatment – we will deliver a massage that has greater potential to provide the results you want.