Did you wake up this morning and find yourself unable to turn your head? Or have you been for a few runs and tweaked your hamstring, and now you’re off your training schedule? Or is your lower back preventing you from standing upright? Sounds like you need a massage for a specific problem.
In an ideal world, we’d all keep on top of things – but often getting help for a niggle is a last priority until it becomes a life-interrupting issue. Because of this, we see just as many specific problems for massage as we do maintenance/general appointments.
What do you do in a 'specific problem massage'?
If you’ve seen our ‘What is Creighton Structural Massage’ page, you already know how we structure a session.
For a specific problem, we do the usual history and posture/movement assessments, really zeroing in on what imbalances are likely related to the problem you’ve come to see us for.
We may re-test multiple times during a specific problem session to help us identify exactly which muscles are playing what part in your issue.
This helps both you and your therapist have a deeper understanding of what’s happening in your body more quickly.
How many sessions will I need?
The longer a problem has been building up*, the more sessions you’ll need to resolve it.
We usually say 3-6 weekly or fortnightly sessions, but this will vary greatly by how much you’re able to do your home care and the history of your issue.
Having a few sessions close together allows us to work through the tension and bad habits that’s build up over time. We often refer to it as ’emptying the bucket’ from our water bucket analogy (click to see the post and video).
It will also depend on how much you follow our advice during the sessions.
For example, if your problem is related to your posture, and you don’t do any of the posture adjustments or home care then it will take much longer or we may always be playing catch up.
We monitor progress after each session to ensure clients are making the progress we’d expect. In cases where they aren’t, we adjust and/or refer on accordingly.
*You may have only been feeling the pain for a few days or weeks, but often something has been building up for longer than you can feel it, or it may come and go. For more details on this, see our ‘Water Bucket Analogy’.
Will I have to do a lot of home exercises?
The short answer is – no!
We aim for only 1 or 2 exercises/stretches/posture adjustments each session.
Our long-term aim is that any self-care you have takes no more than 5-10 minutes/day, spread throughout your day.
We’re also happy to help strategise how to fit your home care in so it doesn’t require a lot of time or effort.
For more on our self-care or exercise approach, you can check out this videos:
Should I see my GP first?
If you feel you should check with your GP, we definitely support that.
One benefit of seeing your GP first is they can rule out other more serious, non-muscular causes.
You don’t have to see your GP before you see us, though.
The only possible exception is certain medical conditions will require GP clearance before seeing us – this is why we ask you to disclose any medical conditions we you book.
I have a chronic specific problem – can you help?
We see a lot of clients with chronic illness (like lupus, fibromyalgia, Ehlers Danlos, etc) who use massage to help manage or decrease their symptoms.
We’ve also had our fair share of clients who’ve had long-term problems (think 5, 10, or even 20 years) that we were able to make significant progress with.
Of course, every situation is different so we’d never say ‘we can definitely help sort out x’ – but most of the time clients will feel at least some benefit in addressing any long-held muscle tension.
We have a page about how we support chronic problems – see below for more details.