Look far and wide for inspiration, motivation, wisdom and guidance;
but the answer is within.
The question of dosage is different for everyone. Like all things in life, more is not better, but not having enough may keep a person from progress. As with the position of the earth in relation to the sun, there is a goldilocks range that is perfect for optimal vitality for each person. While there is a range suitable for most, the recipe for individual perfection is not right for everyone. It is the therapist’s role to help each person discover their perfect recipe for themselves. As with the evolution of life, it takes time to assimilate knowledge and to develop and put the skills into practice; much more for some than others. Each persons’ baseline and growth or drawback in cognitive and physical ability are not equal – nor is our end goal. These are confounded by our unique emotional states. As for our end goal, Buddhists believe it may take many lifetimes to get there.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had documented that the major cause of death and disability worldwide is associated with chronic diseases caused by lifestyle: physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, harmful use of alcohol and tobacco use. While Covid-19 is a new challenge today, WHO facts sheet dated 13 April 2021 states “Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally“.
To reduce the impact of chronic diseases, our lifestyle needs to be adjusted and new habits need to be adopted. Developing new habits is hard work. One author indicated habits require 2-10 months to develop. Over this period, frequent rehearsal is required throughout each day.
The therapist’s role is to educate, support, encourage and guide. The extent of relief depends on the severity of injury of strain, how long the complaints have been present, the persistence of aggravating factors and how well the client self manages.
In the 1990’s, with general support for massage therapy by the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), the common recommendations for therapy sessions were two to three 20-30 minutes sessions weekly for those with problematic symptoms. In 2010’s, the reduction in MSP coverage and the increase cost of treatment changed the common recommendations to one 60 minute session a week or month. Therapists should be offering instructions for daily self-care.
When finance and time are less of an issue as with professional athletes, therapists may offer daily sessions in excess of 1 hour.
Corrective care for myself has been daily for up to 4-5+ hours. During my pilgrimage to Thailand and India, stretching, mobilization techniques and meditation occupied my daily routine.
How much therapy?
How uncomfortable are you?
How much resources and time are available to you?
What is your baseline?
What is your end goal?
How much support do you need to learn and become successful in self management?
What is your end goal?
How do you wish to pursue it?
How would you like me to help?
Boy in prayer, Nasik Maharashtra Photo: John Tai
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices in pursuit of harmony, balance and comfort in life. It is not merely an hourly activity; it is a lifestyle to be mindful of throughout each day. It is an approach suited to all therapeutic pursuits.