In a world in which everyone is on deadline and two-day delivery from Amazon is the norm, clients often expect to be pain-free after a single massage therapy session. It’s just a crick in my neck, patients say. A quick massage is all that’s needed to erase that ache, right?
While I would love to be able to provide an immediate cure in under an hour, body work takes time.
Remember my post about the fascia? In it, I explained how every bit of your body is intricately connected, both inside and out. And the pain that you are experiencing in your lower back wasn’t caused by a single awkward movement when you reached for your glasses on the coffee table but is rather the result of years of small twists and slips. Those minor injuries, which you might not have even noticed at the time, continued to add up until your back could take no more and froze while you bent over.
Just like it took time for your body to reach the state that it is in now, it takes time to undo the many wrinkles in your fascia that have accumulated over the years.
Body work is like unraveling a garbled ball of yarn. You can’t pull one end of the string and expect the entire knotted mess to unwind. A massage therapist has to work at one snarl at a time until the entire ball of yarn is sorted out.
When I am working with a client, I can feel where those knots are. And as the knots on the top layer are eased, I can feel the location of the knots on the next layer down. This process continues until your entire fascia is smoothed out.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t feel any relief after or even during your first massage therapy appointment. Most of my clients say they feel some immediate pain relief. However, that back pain will likely require a few appointments before you can declare yourself pain-free.
And I, like most massage therapists and others in the field of wellness and body work, recommend period massage therapy appointments as part of your regular health maintenance ritual. Even though I may have unraveled the kinks in your fascia accumulated throughout your life up to this point, your body is absorbing little injuries each day – the stumble on a crack in the sidewalk, the unbalanced weight of a heavy purse on one shoulder, bending to lift groceries from the shopping cart to your trunk, neglecting to stretch every day.
Massage therapy, like other aspects of body work, doesn’t provide instant results. Some of the best things in life take time and effort – your health and wellness is one.