Self-Care Relies on YOU!
It’s wonderful to initiate a self-care plan like eating better, getting more sleep and exercise, and getting time for some relaxation to destress, like getting a massage.
What else can you do to ensure that you will reach your later years in great shape, besides having good genes? Well, that depends on you.
Having a team of health professionals in your corner is a start. Making sure that you get your annual physical, mammogram and occasional dexascan for osteoporosis and colonoscopy is important. Having alternative professionals like a personal trainer, acupuncturist, psychotherapist, massage therapist and others is a cohesive approach to your overall wellness.
All these people are like advisors or coaches on what you need to do to stay healthy.
So, what do you do when you are at home without the guidance or assistance of your trusted healthcare team? That depends on you.
In other words, unless you practice or follow through with the advice or “homework” you have been given to maintain your wellness, nothing changes.
It takes discipline, determination, and an awareness that wellness is a lifetime activity. It doesn’t rely solely on your team to do the work for you. The responsibility lies within you to be consistent in doing what needs to be done to stay healthy.
In massage therapy, for example, there is a process that takes place in the body after a massage that continues the repair and healing of the tissues. It can take up to 2-3 days to feel the results of the treatment.
For some, it isn’t immediately perceivable what change has taken place, but the body is continuing to restore the balance. To facilitate that, a massage therapist may recommend that you do things at home, like ice or heat application, stretching, foam rolling or even rest.
Your role as the recipient of a massage therapy session is to assist your body to continue the healing process by drinking plenty of fluids (water) to assist the elimination of waste and cellular debris that the massage may have released and to ensure success in reaching your health goal by listening and following the instructions of the therapist.
Using a massage tool or foam roller to roll out tight muscles can make the next treatment go smoothly and be less uncomfortable. Like exercise conditions the muscles, when massage therapy is repeated, the body gets conditioned to relax and circulation is improved.
Deep breathing exercises can help get the much-needed oxygen to the tissues to nourish and heal. Using supportive pillows to sleep or sit at your desk can help you with chronic posture or pain issues.
Better sleep, less pain, and more flexibility can be the result of follow through and staying regular with your treatments.
It may not be a fair assessment if you only go one time and feel that the massage did not help. Different therapists have different approaches to an issue. Try another therapist to see if their approach works better.
Getting the right fit for what your body needs can take trial and error until the right combination of caregivers gets you the results you are looking for.
Ultimately, if you continue the great work your healthcare team is doing through self-care at home, you will have the greatest outcomes. Budgets and time will vary, but the main constant in the health equation is YOU!