Massage homework. What?!? I prefer to call it after-care but let’s not worry about semantics.
You’ve had an amazing massage. You feel on top of the world. And at the end of it, your therapist gives you self-care activities to do before you come back.
“What’s with that? Didn’t we leave homework behind when we finished school? What’s even the point? Don’t I see you to feel better? So why then do I have to do anything? Isn’t that your job to make me feel better?”
OK, so here is my low-down on the deal with massage after-care “work”.
Why do I give homework?
Because I actually really do care and want you to feel better for longer!
It may not be as profitable a business model, but I truly do want you to feel so good that you don’t need to come in for a massage quite as often. Doing some stretches will help your muscles remember the lengthened state we’ve just worked so well together to create throughout your appointment. Seeing another professional like a chiropractor, osteopath, podiatrist etc will help solve some of the causes that keep making your muscles and soft tissue feel like they desperately need a massage. Doing some strengthening exercises may assist your body to remain in balance and not to strain that area you keep feel symptoms.
By all means, don’t continue with your self-care, and come and have a massage more often. It is your body and your choice and it’s always a pleasure to see you in the clinic.
How often do I have to do my homework?
I’ll provide a recommendation for your self-care and show you what to do and how often. I will encourage you to follow the recommendation and I am a big believer in working out a plan that is realistic for you. Sometimes I will suggest you do a stretch daily or an exercise a few times a week, but it will depend on what is happening with you and your body at that time.
But I keep forgetting!
Yep, we are human and forget stuff sometimes. Don’t stress, I’m not grading you! If you have missed a day, it is not the end of the world, you will not get in trouble and you are not a failure. SOME times is better than NO times. Perhaps we can come up with a prompt or time of day to help you remember next time around? Let’s have a real chat about what could or what is never going to work for your busy week.
I really don’t want to do the work today!
OK then. All good. Thank you for your honesty. As I said before, it is your body and it is your choice what you choose to do and don’t do with it. I might continue to gently educate you on the benefits of self-care but I’m not here to force you to do anything you don’t want to do. My recommendations are there to help you feel better for longer and if you don’t do them it has no impact to me (except you might need to book in for a massage again sooner). I have found many of my clients need reminding and being told about the benefits over a few treatments before they have the “A-ha!” moment and give it a go. And then they nearly always tell me how much of a miraculous difference it makes to how they feel.