When I first became a massage therapist in 2006 Chiropractors didn’t see the benefit of massage. There really wasn’t a scientific proof that it helped. They had their electronic stim to use after the adjustments. We were still a really young profession. People considered massage a luxury that just felt relaxing. Chiropractors very rarely had a massage therapist on staff and often would just train a receptionist to do massages.
Now the massage industry has grown up and we have our studies. Chiropractors now recommend massage and I get job offers from them often. Because the studies have now shown that massage improves the results of chiropractic. But this past year there has been an even more interesting study. When to come to myofascial release it could be the other way around. The fascia is a 3D grid that surrounds every muscle, organ, nerve, and BONE! When it gets a restriction it can put up to 2,000 pounds of pressure onto a muscle creating weakness, nerve creating pain, or a joint creating subluxation. More interesting I learned from my chiropractor that subluxation creates scar tissue in the joint. However, the chiropractors do not break up that scar tissue which over time creates more fascia restrictions which then create more subluxation.
How often should you get chiropractic? That is really up to you and your body. I find chiropractic is a great addition to my health and wellness. As long as I am receiving myofascial release regularly. My therapist releases the fascia restriction that pulled my joint out of alignment and then the chiropractor adjusts the joint back into alignment. I find that my body needs so much more massage and yoga than it needs chiropractic. The chiropractor will recommend you come 2 to 3 times a week in the beginning. But my experience is my body had more results from going to yoga 3 times a week and getting a monthly myofascial release session. Don’t want to do yoga, have you tried weekly massages? It is magical. After a few months, clients come in for a session and they don’t have any goals or pain. I personally only need chiropractic 4 times a year. Because it increases my results from massages.
Should Massage be before or after Chiropractic? In my experience, the chiropractors like a massage before because it makes the adjustment easier. But often at a chiropractic office if they have a massage therapist you will see them after your adjustment. Getting chirpractic before massage doesn’t make it easier to give you a massage. So it is irrelevant to me. One time when walking home from the chiropractor, I felt my back go back out of alignment. It didn’t even last the hour! It wasn’t until I started getting massages that the chiropractor’s adjustments started to stay. In my experience, you should get 3 to 6 massages before every chiropractic adjustment!
What about physical therapy and exercise after chiropractic. I have noticed that some chiropractic office they have you do exercises and stretches after your session. If you are the type of person who is not physically active that can be a great thing. However, if you need physical therapy because you have been in an accident this cannot take the place of what they can offer you. And if you already workout or do yoga then you might not see any additional benefits. If often wonder if this is just an up sale to charge the insurance companies more. I will let you judge what is best for your body and your healing journey. We are all different and unique and need different therapies to help us heal. Nobody knows what you need more than you do! Your body is telling you a story through your pain. Listen!
My personal story of chiropractic. I think our bodies are a form experiment. We try new things and see how it works! So for a year, I received monthly chiropractic in addition to getting a massage. One thing I noticed is I needed a massage after an adjustment. My body hurt. 10 years ago I might not have noticed the discomfort. Over times of ignoring our body’s signals, we become numb. Needing a firming touch before we feel anything. But through body awerness, I am very sensitive to my body’s messages. Then at the end of the year, they took me into the room and we checked to see how my body was doing. what were the changes within the last year? My body still hurt. I had the exact same symptoms I did a year ago. Compared to the experiment I did the year before where I did yoga 3 to 4 times a week for a year and felt amazing. I still feel like chiropractic is important. Sometimes I fall while in my many adventures and it nocks m out of alignment. But when it comes to my body’s pain, massage is my medicine.