As the booming wellness industry rapidly expands, we are constantly flooded with information and a myriad of choices for living a healthy active lifestyle; it can be confusing and difficult to decide what is best for us. Hopefully, with the help of several fitness professionals, we investigate and try different types of activities, finally make a decision, and possibly make some adjustments along the way until we feel comfortable with a program that fits our needs.
The process is similar when choosing a massage therapist & bodyworker. You should try several because therapists are individuals, and our work tends to be eclectic—not cast from a single mold. Even those of us who have been trained identically, with the same amount of experience, add our own intuitive style and personality to our craft. The only sure way to determine how our work differs and which is best for you, is to experience sessions with several therapists.
When a therapist maintains presence during a session, when their mind is clear and devoid of thoughts, it makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of his or her touch—how the client perceives it, and the outcome. Because all clients are also individuals, they perceive and respond to the work differently.
Massage & bodywork is still one of the most underrated types of health care on the market today. Its proven effectiveness for a variety of maladies is still unknown to many. Evidence based research of massage therapy is still in its infancy, but more and more is being done to not only document its effectiveness, but also to explain physiologically why it works so well. Insurance companies are also gradually discovering that it is cost effective too.
Combining therapeutic bodywork with chiropractic, physical therapy, or acupuncture can be synergistic, but it can also be confusing for the client to determine which modality is the most helpful. What works well for one person and a particular problem may not be effective for the next. Even clients presenting with identical symptoms, and treated identically by two different therapists may not produce the same results.
When a prospective new client, who is currently seeing another practitioner—massage therapist, chiropractor, physical therapist, or acupuncturist, calls me for an appointment, I suggest they continue with their therapist or doctor and not schedule with me until they have completed their present treatment. This helps them clearly determine which modality is most effective. It is also possible to overload our bodies with bodywork.
Designing an effective wellness program combined with exercise, healthy eating habits, and therapeutic massage and bodywork is best done with the assistance of experienced professionals who understand that it’s a personal program, and needs to be tailored to your specific needs in order to be successful in the long run.