Clients often ask after their massage treatment what they can do themselves to help them get better faster. I find over and over again that although people want to get better, they are sometimes only willing to take minimal steps towards doing so, despite feeling a deep desire to rid themselves of the pain they’re experiencing.
Of course there are a lot of people that do push themselves to take the action needed to heal, and they reap the benefits of healing much faster than those that do not. For example, seeking massage therapy to help heal a strained muscle will result in eliminating as much as 2-3 weeks of healing time. Not only that, but receiving massage therapy immediately after an injury will ensure that scar tissue does not form at the injury site, or at least what little does will remain as mobile as possible. Scar tissue is a major contributing factor to long-term chronic pain after healing from an injury.
After each massage, your therapist will give you some tools to take home with you to use as part of your self-care regimen. This may include specific use of hydrotherapy, specific stretches to do, strengthening exercises and/or self-massage techniques. Always remember that these suggestions are for your benefit only, and that by committing to them you’re helping yourself heal as fast as possible.
Your massage therapist will also give you a treatment plan to follow. This usually consists of receiving massage 1-2 times per week for 2-3 weeks, depending on the nature of the injury or condition that you are working with. At the end of that initial treatment plan, your therapist will reassess, and recommend an appropriate treatment plan to follow thereafter to avoid re-injury or to rebalance muscles that have been compensating during the injury.
Always remember that it is ultimately up to you how quickly you recuperate from a physical setback, and that your therapists too want to see you heal and get back to the activities of daily living that you enjoy as soon as possible.