There comes a time in every human’s anatomical experience where they have a tension they can’t relieve, a motion they have issues moving through, or the like. Time goes by; you hope it solves itself. Eventually, it comes down to, “I cannot get this out,” whatever it is. To find relief, we take an aspirin, or apply cold or heat to the area, and these remedies can and will work in a lot of cases. But what do you do when this discomfort becomes recurring, chronic, and these tools don’t get the job done? You seek professional opinion. When you can’t fully figure out why you have dysfunction in your tissue, it is the time to ask for help.
The human body is resilient, and it can do a ton, but not without a conduit of some sort. Massage therapy, when it comes to soft tissue dysfunction, is that catalyst, stepping stone to more functional muscle. Conditions such as carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, a frozen shoulder, shin splints, and tight neck are obvious reasons to get bodywork done. This list of injuries continues. It is also beneficial to get work done if you are doing consistent motions, be you a warehouse worker, a bodybuilding athlete, or desk worker; bodywork maintenance will help you avoid injury and extend the life of your physical prowess. Healing and recovery are crucial parts of any person’s lifestyle. With my time in the fitness/wellness field, I profess massage therapy as an essential tool for every person, not because I want to have work (duh), but that I have produced and seen its benefits.
These benefits, though often can be seen soon after the session concludes, really only flourish and stick when sessions have regularity. Determining with what regularity is always a conversation between client and practitioner, based on therapist and client availability and severity of dysfunction. To give a standard, most healthy athletes I work with get seen once a month, mostly as a check. If the two of us have a project or a goal in mind, the frequency may increase to twice or three times a month. I am spoiled and think everyone deserves one every week. The more often you see a licensed massage therapist, the more your soft tissue will thank you in power and mobility.
The more honest and informative you can be with your massage therapist, or other adjacent practitioners, the better they can assume the skills that will most benefit you. The massage practitioner has a duty to create a beneficial, yet ultimately safe and welcome space for their clients. Tell the therapist about your past injuries and surgeries. Tell them about skin conditions you may have or relevant medications you’re taking, like NSAIDs or muscle relaxants. No judgment is ever passed in my massage room. Everybody’s journey is different and I just want to make sure people get helped along the way.
Humans must do. We must play, we must work, we must do. In this ‘life of do’, we may not always know what we did to create tension in the body, or why it hurts here, or how things got this way, but there are ways to be better, to find yourself in a better position. There is no shame in asking for help to get there.