First, let me say that I’m a definite fan of both massage and chiropractic work. In fact we always start every session with some sort of breathing and self-massage with a foam roller, lacrosse ball or any numbers of other tools. These can be a huge help with all sorts of aches and pains. What I want to talk about today is how you can get an even bigger benefit from a massage or chiropractic work.
Let’s break it down a little and talk about what massage and chiropractic work do for you.
Life can be tough! As we go through life we’re constantly doing things that break our bodies down. We’re under stress, we’re moving in ways that aren’t optimal, we’re not eating right, etc. This creates issue within our body. We go to our massage therapists and chiropractors to help correct these things. They loosen us up and kind of put us back together. That’s great and beyond helpful.
Here is when problems occur. If we go right back to doing exactly what broke us down to begin with, our issues will never get fixed.
Here’s a classic example that I see on a pretty regular basis. So many of us are under all sorts of stress. Work, home, kids, etc. It goes on and on. One thing that happens when we feel stressed is that our shoulders shrug. Over time this creates tension in our shoulders, neck and upper back. It’s very common. In fact, one of the most common cues we use in our gym is “Shoulders down.”
When you get a massage and your therapist works on your shoulders and loosens them up, they’re putting you back together and trying to undo the damage you’ve done to yourself by constantly shrugging your shoulders. What happens if you go right back to shrugging your shoulders all the time? You go right back to feeling all that tension and you need another massage! This is only one of many possible examples but I think you get the point.
What I’d suggest you do is ask your chiropractor or massage therapist what they’re finding when they work on you. Is it always one area that they find problematic? If so, what would they suggest? Should you strengthen that area? Mobilize that area? Stabilize that area? If you don’t think you’ll remember what it is, write it down and talk to your trainer about what they’re telling you. (By the way, if your masseuse or chiropractor can’t or doesn’t want to tell you what they’re finding you may need to find another one.)
If you’re not doing this, than what you’re essentially doing is putting a Band-Aid on a flat tire. It might help for a little bit but it’s not a good long-term solution. I know some of this is unavoidable but so much of it is very fixable and manageable. The added benefit of this is that when you do go for your next adjustment or massage your therapist can actually work on something different that may have needed a look for a while! Doesn’t this make more sense than just going over the same problems again and again?
To make this simple just remember this:
Clean up your movement patterns and posture and you’ll find that many issues magically vanish.
Let me know if you have any questions about how to clean up your movement and get yourself feeling better.
One way to do this would be to come to a free seminar Dr. Rob Katona and I are giving at his chiropractic office at 21715 Redwood Road in Castro Valley on Saturday January 9th at noon. We’ll be talking about some easy and manageable ways to make sure you head into 2016 with a plan to feel and be better.
If you want to RSVP just send me an email to MitchRFitness@gmail.com and let me know.
Have a great Christmas!
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach, FMS
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley
I Help People Discover Their Strength!