Assembling your care team: do you need bodywork specialists to supplement your personal trainer?
When you are assembling a care team, your personal trainer is at the center. They can assess your overall wellness holistically and your one-on-one work together can be complemented by other individuals with different skills and experience.
I find myself guiding my clients routinely to two specialists: a chiropractor and a massage therapist. Most personal trainers will have relationships with other bodywork specialists and can recommend them, if asked.
Chiropractors manipulate the spine. They believe that proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure will enable the body to heal itself. Manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury or repetitive stress.
Following an initial assessment, a chiropractor will work with you over a period of time to address immediate issues. They recommend monthly assessments to proactively prevent issues from returning.
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain, and muscle tension.
There are many different kinds of massage from deep tissue to hot stone to reflexology. It may take time to find the right type of massage and the right therapist. Every therapist has their own specialty so see what feels best for you and your body. Some practitioners have a variety of massages they offer so learn what is in your therapists’ skill set.
Both massage and chiropractic work can be covered by workplace benefit plans. Like visits to most specialists, your initial appointment will be longer and potentially more expensive. In this assessment, be clear about why you were referred and even demonstrate some of the exercises your trainer has shown you. Like any relationship, working with a chiropractor or massage therapist relies on honesty. Your therapist will look for cues of discomfort during your treatment but nothing replaces clear feedback.
From craniosacral therapy to osteopathy, I feel it’s essential to explore bodywork specialties and try them out myself. This way, I can provide you with an unbiased recommendation and we can discuss whether or not this would be a beneficial addition to your regular care routine. It can be easy to start making appointments with multiple therapists but research and recommendations can help you avoid adding too many people to your wellness payroll.
Video: Joseph Cipriano, DC