This question we get asked all the time at Centre Movement, the answer though is not as simple as it seems.
Every body is unique and has different requirements. A persons lifestyle factors are different. What works for one, does not always work for another person. In saying that, there are a few things to consider when trying to figure out what works for you.
Ask yourself what you do most of, do you spend a large amount of time sitting at a desk?
If you do you’re likely to become tight and stiff in certain areas. This can then lead to predictable imbalances in your posture which in turn can sometimes predispose you to pain and injury. You can counter this by making a habit of standing up and moving around every 20 minutes, stretching daily and doing some form of strengthening exercise. The issue, most people neglect this much needed self care time.
Spending 30+ hours per week at your desk and not doing any remedial work to improve your posture, increase your strength and flexibility you may want to consider a more regular checkup with your Osteopath. For some people that means a monthly checkup and tune up. For others it means a weekly visit. It all depends on each persons subjective feeling of wellbeing and the demands you’re putting on your body.
Now although your Osteopath can’t “undo”, “fix” or “heal” the negative effects that accumulate from long periods spent sitting, they can certainly free up tight muscles and mobilise restricted joints ease your discomfort or pain. A good Osteopath can also prescribe stretches, exercises, postural advice, ergonomic advice and lifestyle changes that can help you maintain your feeling of wellbeing for longer periods between visits.
Another cohort of people who may require more regular osteopathic treatment are those who engage in strenuous exercise multiple times per week. Picture yourself as a sports car. To get the best performance out of a sports car and to ensure it continues to run smoothly, it must be serviced quite often. Your body is the same. The more you expect out of it, the more you have to put into it. Your osteopath can also provide you with advice on recovery methods such as ice baths, saunas, self massage tools, stretches, supplements and sleep support.
An osteopathic treatment every 2-4 weeks can help you recognise asymmetries in your musculature or movement patterns, free up areas of restriction and identify potential injuries to ensure you don’t accumulate musculoskeletal issues over time.
Unfortunately, if you’re subjecting your body to high loads then you will need to do more than simply rely on your osteopath to fix you. You need to ensure that your diet and nutrition are providing you with the nutrients you need to recover and grow. You need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to allow your body to recover day-to-day and you need to perform your own self maintenance practices such as stretching or mobility exercises. Luckily your osteopath can help guide you through these practices with their personal knowledge or at least refer you to the most relevant online material.
These are just two examples of cohorts who may require more consistent osteopathic treatments. Others include people who suffer from chronic pain, people who have multiple systemic health concerns, people with very high levels of stress and people with current or previous injuries.
If you feel quite well subjectively and don’t suffer from too much pain or muscular tightness you may want to check in with your Osteopath monthly, quarterly or every 6 months just for a checkup and tune up. These consults will help identify any areas of your body that may require attention with the hope of preventing them from deteriorating and becoming symptomatic.
The most important thing is to figure out what works for you personally. Perhaps try a fortnightly, monthly or quarterly checkup depending on your perceived requirements and gauge how you feel. If you’re tight and sore, go more often, if you feel fine and think you’re managing your musculoskeletal health well enough on your own, we can extend the duration between your appointments. If you feel like you could use an Osteopathic treatment click the button below:
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