To properly assess what issues need to be addressed in a massage session I have my clients fill out an intake form. I ask questions about conditions that may be bothering them and we begin. I like to give my clients a full hour to an hour and a half of treatment. For the sake of time, I perform a gait (walking assessment) and PA (postural analysis) as the client is walking into the treatment room. Many people who come for a massage are not aware of the effects their posture has on their muscles. Tension headaches, mysterious shoulder problems, numbness and tingling down the limbs and even TMJD are among the most common conditions that can derive from poor posture.
How we humans hold ourselves is key to our tissue health. Holding patterns slowly develop throughout our lives making it difficult to determine the source of unwanted pain (as I myself just had to straighten my spin). Overcoming or correcting our holding patterns so our body is in alignment will help to decrease and in time alleviate the symptoms that are a result of improper body alignment.
I have only come across one client so far who didn’t want to take responsibility for their alignment. He simply said, “Isn’t this why I come to YOU?” Most people are starved for any information on how to improve; it’s just a matter of becoming aware. The normal mentality is to forget about discomfort, especially if its while you are hard at work, mentally saying I will deal with this issue later. Later never comes, the issue persists and we start to wonder why we need to be taking so many pain relievers.
Recognizing our discomfort is the first step and most of the time it takes someone pointing it out to us in order to be aware of the condition of our posture. I tell my clients to just take a few moments during the day especially if you just said, “Man this hurts” and tried to push the pain away by ignoring it. Instead take a second to look at your posture, align your body, take a deep breath and return to your activity. It will take repetitiveness, but if you keep at it, adjusting your body will become automatic, issues will be dissolved and you will be much happier because of your efforts.