Every job has its own unique set of physical demands. If you’re changing offices, your commute might be longer or shorter. Your chair and desk type/set up may change. If you are changing careers entirely, you might be tasked with more or less physical labor during your day. What supported your body best for the activity you previously spent 40+ hours a week doing may not support it the best for this new job. No matter what the change is, it’s time to re-evaluate as your body may need more, less, or different care than before.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve begun a walking routine around the neighborhood twice a week, if you decided to take up disc golf on Wednesdays with your buddies, or even if you are an elite/weekender athlete who is taking a 4-6 week off season. Whether you are starting something new or cutting the intensity/time spent in a hobby/activity, any prolonged change in activity level can change the frequency of care needed to maintain your ideal state of wellness and injury prevention. Again, with new activities, you also may find that you need additional support to care for new muscles and new movements.
Many of us have a regular season or two each year that becomes really intense such as the winter holidays, back to school time, a busy travel season, or predictable work sprints like a major project or accountants’ tax season. There are also major one-time changes that happen such as moving, having a parent move in with us, planning a wedding, etc.
When life becomes more intense, stress becomes more intense. We can develop maintenance plans for more intense seasons of life, cycling them in when your regular maintenance plan won’t cut it. When appropriate, we can also offer additional resources outside of our office to support your life changes.
In a perfect world, we will start training our bodies for the feat of carrying and delivering a baby at least 6-12 months prior to becoming pregnant. Whether or not planning ahead is an option, pregnancy and/or postpartum care look very different from regular maintenance care.
In addition to some changes in techniques (using Webster technique in chiropractic or getting acquainted with our 3rd-trimester-favorite pregnancy pillow), the optimal frequency of care tends to increase – especially just before and after the delivery date. For women in their 3rd trimester, weekly chiropractic adjustments can be a game changer for decreasing pain, improving movement, and preparing the body to deliver. In the year following delivery, corrective exercise is heavily utilized to reestablish healthy movement patterns. Care needs change regularly as the phase of pregnancy changes.
It is important to communicate with your body care team about any type of upcoming surgery – elective or required – so that we can help your body prepare for the procedure and recover faster. For TMJD clients receiving tongue tie release surgeries, we often will bulk up appointments before and after surgery to make sure your jaw is supported. For cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery, joint surgery, organ surgery, and other larger-scale surgeries, we will often schedule MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage) sessions before and after to help your body prepare and move lymph (swelling & healing) around effectively.
Ideally, life changes are planned or at least come with a little warning. Whenever possible, it is ideal to let your body care team know about life changes as soon as you do. When a life change requires increased frequency of care and you communicate these changes early, we can start shifting your care to prepare your body for the change, meaning you, the client, feel less impact from the change.
Sometimes we don’t realize we are experiencing a life change until we’re in the middle of it. While this may mean playing a little bit of care catch-up, there is still a lot that can be done to support the body through the remaining changes. Conversely, communicating deceleration of life changes helps to avoid care that suddenly feels too frequent or unnecessary.
For most clients, there is a learning curve to developing the awareness and communication of life changes that involves a mindset shift. It is all a part of developing a preventative mindset. In our opinion, a practice truly committed to preventative care must intentionally cultivate and support this mindset shift.
Early in care, the check-in form may be the only time a client is checking in with themselves. Throughout care, we verbally acknowledge changes as they happen and coach clients to eventually recognize them before they happen. As this awareness develops, you may think about life changes in between sessions. We make it easy to notify us as soon as you’re thinking about it, through our patient portal, which is accessible from your phone.
We are honored to be the team supporting our clients’ needs week after week and year after year, and to be alongside your journey to support you.