I love sharing information with clients and peers, but please don't listen to a word I say. Instead, if something resonates with you? Then happily check it out, first, to see if it's right for you.
As much as we are all One and the same, we are also just as diverse, including on the inside. So, keep the following in mind as you, not me, decide what your health priorities are.
The two extremes - Once a Year vs. Once a Week
In the 1980s when I received my first massage, ever, and was in the worst state of being, ever, I responded so well from that two-hour, neuromuscular wizardry that I not only was whisked out of pain and able to move again, but also felt genuinely fantastic for a whole year before I felt the need to return. Admittedly, this response is unusual for regular massage and bodywork, but we aren’t talking regular therapy here; we are talking about (sometimes earth-shattering) connective tissue therapy, instead!
Opposite of an annual need, there are the clients whose bodies require them to take it low-and-slow due to genetics, illness, or accident. This is genuinely rare and these people are the only ones who need to come in weekly or bi-weekly - until they are well enough that they, too, can become an annual, semi-annual, or quarterly client.
Figuring it out
I do not live in your body; I likely do not have the same priorities as you; and I do not know your financials. I can, however, help you figure out your own return rate.
If you don't want to read further or figure it out on your own, then figure 1-3 visits spaced about two weeks apart, then every 8-12 weeks for optimum health.
The first visit
The first visit is not necessarily the one to judge by. Most first-timers coming in for my brand of therapeutic bodywork have years of “catch up” to do. In other words, there is generalized “congestion” buildup that can act either as a smoke screen for underlying problems or as the trigger for them. Once the congestion is cleared out, what is left can now be identified as a core issue and addressed.
The 72 hours following the first visit
How well you do over the next 72 hours is what matters most in the beginning. Connective tissue and lymph take about 72 hours to fully reset after therapeutic bodywork. Some people feel fine during those three days, some feel very tired, and some may even feel like a cold or flu has suddenly come on, yet any unwelcome symptoms usually disappear at the 72-hour mark! Therefore, it is best to wait for that magic 72-hours to pass before attempting to predict the return visit that is right for you.
The first few visits
Most people require one to three visits before determining what symptoms have permanently left versus symptoms that come creeping back. So, please keep track of how long it takes before symptoms return. If a discomfort returns within hours or within a few days, then you either have an acute issue that needs attention sooner rather than later, or your issue goes deeper and therefore requires deeper work then may have been done at the first visit out of caution. If your symptom takes longer to return, you don’t need to come back right away. However, waiting too long after a symptom has returned is like starting over! So, it is important to keep track of any returning symptoms, when they returned, and what might have triggered their return, if anything.
The things that bother “you” are the symptoms you want to watch out for. What bothers one person may have no impact on another, so first be able to identify what your symptoms are so that you can track them. Many clients are concerned about tension or range of motion or weakness or heaviness or stress or peace of mind. Just define it so that you can know it and track it.
When possible, please don't define pain as your only symptom to care about. Excluding a sudden accident, pain is your body's last resort to get your attention after imbalance has been building, often for years. You want to get to it long before pain sets in. That's real prevention.
The cumulative factor
Therapeutic bodywork is usually cumulative, so over time, even the initial maintenance schedule may change: What might begin as a weekly schedule may in a month morph into a bimonthly one and within a year settle into a six-week cycle. By this time, don’t be surprised if you belatedly realize you don’t get sick much any more and find it easier to make important life and health decisions. Seriously. That's what my clients report.
The financials and schedules
Part of the reason for setting up a maintenance schedule is because the body appears to prefer consistency and responds accordingly. After doing the work to determine your maintenance requirement, you may discover that your body needs monthly sessions, but your pocketbook says otherwise. Fine. Decide what you can afford to put into your budget for therapeutic bodywork each year and then divide it evenly. Can only afford to go twice a year? Then go every six months. Only four times a year? Then book every three months. Consistency is best versus waiting until something happens. I cannot tell you why, I can only tell you that it is an observable pattern and worth paying attention to. (For those who would like help with the financials, see The Fine Print for referral incentives.)
Regardless of the importance of consistency, there are people, and I am sometimes one of them, who are not going to make an appointment until there is something that needs fixing. That is fine, too. We all have our own priorities in life. This therapist is not going to judge you.
Once you have calculated your maintenance schedule based on your health priorities, booking is easy with my safe and secure online appointment booking.
Deciding your own bodywork maintenance schedule feels good, because it puts the control of your body and your health back where it belongs, with you.
Originally published: 8/19/2014
Solutions to everyday stress involve identifying where we are emotionally unhappy and then taking action to correct or curb the circumstances involved, and that means finding out what’s at the root of a given problem, before seeking solutions. I love this kind of problem-solving and happily share for those seeking similar unique yet ubiquitous solutions. Consequently, the topics here may vary within health, lifestyle, and work/business.
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203 W 108th St
New York, NY 10025
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Prevention, Pain Management, Pain Solutions, Rehabilitation, Special Needs, Body as Instrument (Singers, Dancers, Athletes, Brainiacs, etc.), Stress Reduction, Anti-aging, Sports, Geriatric, Prenatal, etc.
The word massage denotes Paula's Fasciae Therapy (connective tissue therapy) which integrates and innovates based on: Swedish medical massage, Neuromuscular therapy, Trigger point therapy, Acupressure, Shiatsu, various vibrational therapies: Massage cupping by machine, Tok Sen, gentle Gua sha, and BioSyntonie.
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