You've Hit a Plateau- What Should You Do Now?
You might be surprised to hear this, but massage is not the end all be all. What?! Shocking right? Well it isn’t. It is true that it can help with lots of pain and tension, and it can release pain you’ve been experiencing for years. But, we may get to a point that we have released lots of the pain, but not all of it. The tension still comes back after two weeks, or maybe a month. It always comes back. So then what? I have a few suggestions that may help you get further relief. I recommend these to clients often, and wanted to share what is on the top of the list.
See a chiropractor. This is a biggy. Chiropractors can put your spinal column back into alignment. When vertebrae are out of alignment, it pulls on muscles, creating tension. And when muscles are tight, it can pull on vertebrae, making them misalign easier. Check out my blog post, Chiropractic + Massage to learn more about why massage and chiropractic work so well hand in hand and who I recommend!
Up your water game. Water makes all of the difference in muscle health. When someone is dehydrated, I can feel the difference, and it creates a broad tension across the entire body. Muscles in this condition are very hard to work on and don’t release well. When properly hydrated, you will notice more energy, feeling better, digestion being easier, and on and on. Hydration is so important! (The need to pee a lot is worth it!)
Exercise. Exercise is proven to be super important as well. We know that right? Many times, it will help with the area that has tension by warming it up, getting movement there and increasing range of motion. Exercise also strengthens muscles which can be why muscles are sore too. Win-win!
Cut out the junk food and sugar. This one is HUGE. You may not like me for saying this, because diet changes can be hard. I get it. But these foods cause so much inflammation, and when you’re battling inflammation, it can come with soreness, pain and being achy. Two books that really helped me understand why I should actually change my diet are “It Starts with Food” By Mellissa and Dallas Hartwig, and “Headstrong” By Dave Asprey. My biggest piece of advice here is to start slow! You don’t have to do everything all at once. I don’t eat clean 100% of the time, but I do know which foods wreak the most havoc on my body and avoid those. For me, I don’t eat anything with corn or dairy. I do eat cheese and butter, but not any other dairy. It’s not worth it! If I do, I have a bloated belly, and feeling foggy. Sugar also makes me feel super slow, foggy and tired. Knowing this, I can choose if it’s worth it to feel it once in a while, but for the most part, I just avoid it. I challenge you, what is one thing you can change today? Can you cut out pop? Maybe not eat popcorn, knowing what it does to you? Also, keep in mind, everyone is different. Just because corn is bad on me, doesn’t mean your body can’t handle it. If there is something that you know triggers you, ditch it!
5. Supplements! I talk about this one a lot, I know. But supplements have really helped me a lot. The two I recommend the most are magnesium and Vitamin D. Magnesium can be great for muscle cramps, and a lot of us are deficient. Vitamin D is super important for many things, and also we can be deficient, living in the UP. I’ve even read that we should take it year around, especially if we work indoors, because each summer we are replenishing our supplies and right when they start to get full, winter hits and we begin to deplete again. A great multi-vitamin is always a good idea too!
So, if you have hit a plateau in your care, now you know where to start. Make these a habit, and I can almost guarantee that you will start to feel better. Does it feel like a lot of work? I’m not gonna lie, it can be! But what do you have to gain? What if you felt much better, had more energy, less pain, slept better; would it be worth it? I can tell you that for me, it was 100% worth it! And when I get off track, getting back on always helps my mental state, and my energy.
Here’s to better health, and feeling great!