I’m often asked by clients, family, and friends how I manage to keep up with the physical demand of being a massage therapist. I’ve always felt that if the techniques we were taught in school delivered effective results on the promises they made regarding the benefits people may experience then I should be able to keep up. After all, I now know how the soft tissue works and can surely correct it if I ever have a problem. Right?
Over the last 10 years of doing 20 hours a week of bodywork or more, I’ve learned that I am able to deliver quality work to my clients only when I am doing my part to stay strong.
Well the truth is that softening rigid muscles and fascia is only half of the self-care equation. While we don’t want tissue to be overly tight, it needs adequate tone to hold our joints stable. So while massage is a great tool to help create length in tight shortened tissue, we also have to stabilize our bodies by working on generating strength and balance throughout our structure.
And there are many ways to fit strength training into your day.
There are a lot of local gyms and trainers in the area that we trust and recommend. If you’re brand new to exercise, you may want to start with one-on-one training to ensure that you’re learning good form and won’t have to correct it later. This also gives you the opportunity to ask questions if something doesn’t feel right.
If you’re more of the seasoned marathon runner, then we have just the guy for you to help you correct your form so can improve your time and maintain strength through tough training schedules. There are many options available for everyone – and we love helping our clients find the right fit.
We use our bodies daily in many different ways that can that create strain. You don’t have to do physical labor to be at risk for injury – from parenting to commuting or even standing on our feet at work or being creative – our habits are what are most likely to create repetitive stress on our structure. It’s not likely that we will give up our favorite sport, our job, or our kids to avoid soft tissue pain so self care becomes of great importance if we want to keep up with these activities without burning ourselves out.
As much as I love bodywork, I tell clients all the time that there is no avoiding the need for good sleep, good nutrition, and good exercise. Bodywork is just the tool to help us balance ourselves out when life gets in the way of us getting to those three.
There are also a few circumstances where regular massage treatment and a customized exercise plan are appropriate, so talk to your therapist about your abilities and restrictions so you can start feeling and doing your best.