One Session Will Never Be a Cure-All

First off, there are quite a bit of known misconceptions about how the treatment plan of Massage Therapy works. Today we are going to be discussing the concept of session length, and why massage is not a one-session cure all like many people think. As massage therapy continues to grow in the Healthcare industry, more and more people are beginning to learn and understand the physiological benefits, on top of the relaxation factor; which is a big deal in the US, considering we have the longest work hour week and lowest amount of paid days off than any other country. Needless to say, getting a soothing massage to relax is just as important as any other medical necessity. It’s been the main reputation maker of massage in North America for the last forty years, but slowly breaking out of the ‘luxury’ word association and giving people more of a reason to get on the table instead of seeing massage as just a luxury.

Note: MASSAGE IS NOT JUST A LUXURY

Massage should be seen as a regular upkeep on one’s health preventative maintenance. Our goal is to help you stay out of the doctor’s office for reasons other than broken bones or serious illnesses, etc. Massage and everything it comes with, is a lifestyle.

For those of you who get your one massage a year, or leap year, and always ask to get bone-deep work on your x, y, and/or z knot….. stop doing that to yourself! Please! You are only worsening the issue.

Contrary to the common uneducated and more importantly, uncorrected belief, a therapist should not sit back and start digging into your muscle compartments, just because they want you as a client and because you sound adamant about what you want. They should not let you tell them that you believe the more painful it is the better it will be, even though you don’t get regular bodywork, and they should not be determined to fix your problems.

1.WE DO NOT FIX, we facilitate the body’s innate abilities to heal itself. We provide for you, tools and resources you will need in order to maintain your good health-standing in between sessions in order to get you on comfortable and effective habitual journey to living a pain-free life. 

2.YOUR THERAPIST SHOULD BE EDUCATING YOU when you have that first session with them. When you request for them to go in so deep and to make it painful because you think that pain is the only way you have formed to believe change will be created, you are wrong on multiple levels.

 

I don’t want you to be wrong. I don’t want to be right. I want you to be educated and I want to share my knowledge with you. You deserve to know what we know. You aren’t just a client, you are a human being with an obligation to take care of your body in every way you possibly can and you have only been taught that massage makes you feel better. Nobody ever expects to leave a session with homework, but they come in expecting to be fixed. But how will you grow and become more aware and have your issues fixed if you are not doing your part? We want you to grow. We aren’t here to be a crutch, but instead, to be a helping guide. Our duty is to work with you. We help you during sessions, we enlighten you on what our observations and insights are, and we ask you intuitive questions that we believe will further help us get to the root cause and continue building a healthy and productive protocol that properly outlines a treatment program.

The key word here is program. Think of this like an exercise regimen. We do not go to the gym or buy the P90X home videos and workout one time and gain the results we are looking for. We have to make a commitment to the workout program. We have to discipline ourselves and make time in our busy lives to dedicate to our health every. single. day.

When you make massage a part of your life, you adopt a mindset of optimal healthy living throughout every day. You vow to become more aware of your lifestyle habits – like eating better and developing a more creative, colorful, and nourishable diet; taking care of your posture by allowing your body to be comfortable in ergonomic positions (like the positions it was made to be comfortable in); and lastly, your mental habits of thoughts! When you are living a healthy lifestyle and getting professional massage relief from your injuries, dysfunctions, and ailments, you are taking back command of your life!

Homework is another super important part to this whole thing: you should be having more than one session, because your therapist should be clearly outlining a perspective with you, while giving you resources and tools (like stretches and exercises to research, re-patterning techniques, postural awareness tools, and even some fun facts about the body) to use at home in between sessions. Homework is what keeps you accountable and motivated to get out of pain. Homework given and homework done is a body more able, more flexible, and more durable than it was a session before.

One massage therapy session will never be a cure-all to your injuries or dysfunctions or stress, but you can make a positive difference towards your health journey by making the most of the information your therapist gives you, and applying it to the fullest.

 

Happy Healing,

Zynnia

Regaining my life in new territory.

I was becoming exhausted just being in my own body. Another suffering cause was the fact that I hadn’t been giving attention to my hobbies due to the change in my life. Moving here had turned my world upside down. I started to feel suffocated in my own house, trapped by my chores, agonizing over the memories I missed so much from back home. It was tearing me apart. I looked at myself like a quitter. Giving up on my routine and my hobbies of gardening, belly dancing, kundalini yoga sessions, dog parks, making a big breakfast every morning, going to crystal shops, hiking, going to church, etc. I had stopped doing it because I didn’t know where any such places were. I was accepting the fact that the Towne Park a mile away was enough to suffice, because the few dog parks Danny and I did check out, the dogs were all aggressive. Giving up on hiking, realizing that this isn’t Utah, this is the woods. Giving up on gardening because I no longer had a yard to do it in and overestimated the cost for indoor plants. Giving up on yoga because the classes here were just so expensive. I had succumbed to my own mental prison and wide range of excuses. Work and dog walks is all I will be doing here,  I thought, trying to hold back my tears. I just kept breathing and praying for something to change. Please, anything to get me back to a state of well-being, I begged. When you stop doing what you love, you stop being the person you are and you allow yourself to lose your spirit, it not only affects yourself, but everyone around you. I started feeling sad, depressed, and irritable, out of the unhappiness I had felt within myself.

On a day like many others, I was cleaning our house and sleeping the floors and organizing the DVDs on the shelf and that’s when I saw it: The yoga DVD I had bought at a pawn shop last Autumn! I stared in disbelief as tears of relief swelled up in my eyes. It was when I stopped looking so hard and so desperately, that it came to me at the right time. The next day, I met a neighbor who lives 1,000 feet away from me. Cristyn’s dog is the same breed as Zai and six months older. They run, they play, and I had found comfort in someone with a very similar lifestyle to my own. A holistic yoga instructor with a Masters in Sports Psyche raised by a homeopathic, animal loving massage therapist. My soul was fed. The bond was cemented and a friendship was born.

One week after that, I go across the street to get Danny some slices of pizza to have ready for his return after a 12 hour day of work. The same manager who was working is the same fellow with whom Danny and I are acquainted with there. Making small talk with Kade, I tell him about the beach in Stamford and he recommends a secluded and quiet beach in Norwalk for me to try. I say, it’s expensive, but I’m sure one day on a special occasion, it will be perfect. He knows Zai, and throws in a few other recommendations. Stone Hill Road, off route 137 and 124 has a dog park that is a wooded trail. It’s quiet and in nature. There are creeks and it’s off leash, he says. And as an added bonus, tells me about Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, not even 10 minutes from my house! It’s a 5,000 acre piece of land where people take their dogs, horses, and go just to enjoy nature. Sometimes there are workout classes there or meditation classes. You can even go camping! Lakes and ponds everywhere. Lots and lots of hiking too. Maybe not like in Utah, but you can certainly venture there, he adds.

My salvation was returning and my depression was diminishing. 

I have accepted the fact, that I may not find a belly dancing class here for a while, but why should that stop me from belly dancing in the comfort of my own home? The same day I went to the Stone Hill Road dog park is the same day I stopped at the library and got a library card. One week ago, Danny bought me house plant. I am not just gardening again, but building upon my happiness that is growing and connecting to Earthly life inside the comfort of a home that has no outside options.

I have met four neighborhood dogs, with amazing owners who I now walk with everyday and our dogs play together. Amazing women of all ages.

My spirits are up and my mood swings are down. My happiness is much and my depression, very little. I have a hunger to do things now. I clung to Danny when I had nothing of my own and it had put a strain and pressure on our relationship that neither of us could escape. I was dependent on him to give me what my hobbies had given me. I didn’t know who was happier when these past few weeks have filled my life with my answered prayers! The strain has been lifted. Being with each other is a choice everyday that we make and it’s enjoyable to make it now. I no longer feel guilty for clinging to him for comfort and a way to be alive. He’s happy for me that I have regained my own life I once had. The life that he loved seeing me have, a free woman who flies by what drives her and interests that she puts her heart into, he says. That’s what made his eyes unable to be taken off of me.

My days are much different now. Filled with moments of care-taking and soul work. Ego releases and breath of fires consume me as I sway around my house cooking and cleaning and running with Zai, falling onto my yoga mat and exercising until I am swimming in sweat to then relax and read whether in my home or at the beach, taking the time to paint my nails and sugar scrub my body and research and write and smile and kiss the Sun every morning that I wake, with a profound sense of fulfillment that must be worked for in life.

I am happy and I am free from my mind’s solitary imprisonment.


 

It’s hard to move to a new place and feel like you’re losing your sense of routine and then feel helpless and succumb to the overwhelming sadness that fills the void. What makes us happy is just too damn important to disregard or make ourselves believe we can live without it. No matter what it is we love, we do it for a reason. It will take a moment to make a new life in a new place and to figure out where your hobbies and craft fit into the schedule of the new environment. It will take a moment to hunt down the places you love going to and finding replacements for the ones you miss.

Moving and rearranging your schedule, routine, and timing for things when you uproot and move to a new place are inevitable. But if it’s an event you think you might ever do, it’s best to prepare for it. Unlike myself, I figured I wouldn’t have a hard time with coping. And assuming that, was my biggest error.

So, first step: Prepare (even if you end up being fine)
Consider what will be different for a bit and what will be the same. Research ahead of time, nearby places that you like to go to and map out areas you will be in a lot. Develop a sense of time that you will spend driving or doing things in your new area.

Second step: Confide in somebody you can trust and be comfortable with. Let them know if you feel like there is something missing and it’s hard for you to sort out your emotions on your own, because, sometimes it is. It’s a time where we can become confused and disoriented.

Third step: Make a plan for the future on what your days will look like at best. Fill in the blank areas with that of which you love doing. Make it realistic and make it count. Don’t wait like I did and struggle with heavy emotions and irrational thoughts. The more you prepare for, the less will surprise you if it happens and the calmer you will be in dealing with it.

You will remain happy, because you did.