By Chelsey Gilbert January 2024
As a Licensed Massage Therapist that has been practicing since 2017, I have learned a lot of enlightening information on my journey as a bodyworker. One thing that has always amazed me is just how much getting regular bodywork can support and even enhance other wellness treatments. A huge reason why got into massage was the realization that I can help to affect positive change in a body by just using my hands. Another discovery is that I was able to use those same principles and techniques on myself! Using blogging as a platform for sharing, I can go a little more in depth with the information that I am able to give. I hope the following will help to educate, inspire and empower you.
Self care is not just passive! Here are some steps you can actively take to help enhance your bodywork sessions.
Set your intentions
Having an intention for yourself during the session and setting an intention with your practitioner is so important. As fluid and intuitive as MFR can be, having an intention is comparable to having a light at the end of the tunnel, or a compass to help you find the direction for you to head towards. What does healthy, healing and whole feel like to you? That thing can be as abstract as “My intention is to feel better” and as structured as “My intention is to relieve myself of pain from the upper part of my left shoulder”. No matter what your intention is, it is a crucial part of any body work session.
Be open to the process
This may seem counterintuitive to the setting of intentions, but it is more about being open to the “how” of working towards your goal. You may always have the intention in mind, but don't get hung up on how your bodywork session will lead you there. Coming into a session with an open mind and fluid expectations can really help you to realize that this is truly a journey. Some sessions may be intense and powerful, some sessions may be calm and relaxing. Having trust in your therapist and in yourself, that whatever needs to happen will, is so important.
I have said it before and I will say it again…make sure you are drinking your water! (before AND after a session) We are fluid beings, and the functional properties of fascia rely on the tissue to be hydrated. When we get restrictions in the fascia, it can harden and get glued down, causing restricted movement and pain. As we are working to release the fascia, it is important that it is able to re-hydrate to restore proper function. Also, detox of the body after a bodywork session is a legit thing! Making sure you are drinking plenty of fluids after will help all the yuck move out of your system a whole lot quicker.
Do your homework
I tend to give homework suggestions to MFR clients. Most suggestions involve some sort of MFR self treatment. How to feel into the tissue, how to engage the fascia, how to take time to let your nervous system reset. Engaging with your body in this way can really help to elevate your sessions. The more familiar your body is with the the work, the quicker it tends to respond. Also, this work really enhances body awareness. If you are able to feel how things are connected, where the imbalances are and where the pain is, you can communicate with yourself in way that encourages release.
Look into supporting treatments
I always try to have a handful of other wellness professionals to be able to refer to if it seems like a client needs a little extra support in an area or two. Sometimes during an MFR session heavy emotions or memories can surface. Clients deserve to have a space to talk about these things with a professional. Sometimes, through my hands, I can feel that the body needs more movement or strengthening. Clients deserve to have a trained professional to help them tackle that aspect of their journey. Wellness and healing is not just the result of one approach, but addressing yourself as a whole from many angles over a period of time. As a result of treating all the aspects of yourself, you can form healthy habits that may help to prevent the need for drastic or emergency treatments in the future
What are some other ways you can think of to get the most out of bodywork? What are some things you are doing now?
Curious about what MFR can do for you? Come and schedule a 30 Minute consult. We go over your intake, goals, have a hands on assessment and 10 minutes of treatment. I would love to chat with you!