The purpose of home care

Every day we put our bodies through routines that require specific positions and physical stresses. Over time, this repetition can lead to injury, re-injury and – everybody’s favourite – chronic pain.

As a registered massage therapist, I generally have only 30 to 60 minutes of a person’s time in their busy week to help them recover. The tricky thing is that, once they leave my office, they return to their job, sport, hobbies and whatever else they do that feeds their injury. In the days between treatments, they undo my work and reinforce the pain, restrictions and bad habits.

This is where home care comes in and why it is so important. I can stretch out restricted soft tissues during a treatment, but the patient also needs to stretch daily to reinforce the new healthy movement. I can release painful tissues and realign a joint to an extent, but the patient needs to do strengthening work at home to stabilize that weak area.

It may sound like a cliché, but the reason massage therapists give “homework” is because we care. I want you to feel better and enjoy your life, your work and your interests to the best of your ability. However, I have only a small window of time to help directly; you have 24/7.

Home care isn’t always easy and it can be tedious, but the trade-off is well worth it.

Of the people I’ve worked with, the ones who achieved the best results did their home care regularly.


Heather Saunders, RMT, is an associate at the Comox Valley Therapeutic Massage Centre.Visit or call the office at 250-339-9912.

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