Recently I had an old injury flare up. It was getting progressively worse, and quickly snowballing into something that was difficult to maintain with self care. It began to interfere with daily activities, so I scheduled an appointment with a friend and fellow acupuncturist. During the appointment I got some acupuncture and bodywork that worked wonders in managing my pain, but that isn’t what had the biggest impact on my physical health during that appointment. Talking to someone about my regular self-care was a game changer. I take pride in my self care routine. I exercise regularly and use self massage techniques daily, but when life gets busy or stress gets introduced to our lives, our routines are shifted. During my treatment I was reminded of the breathing practice that had faded into the background and my yoga/recovery sessions that gradually became less frequent between strength sessions. It’s ok to evolve your practices and skills, but we shouldn’t disregard the things that are working for us.
This is why it's important to keep regular appointments. They keep you accountable for your health. I talk to patients all the time about how important the time BETWEEN appointments is to your health. As practitioners, we do the best we can to give your body the best treatment we can when you are in the clinic room, but that time is only a small fraction of your day, week, month, etc. The care you take between sessions is the real game changer. Regular appointments are important to keep you engaged with and reminded of the skills you have to manage your own physical health. They can also highlight areas that may be overlooked, or practices that may be most beneficial or the best use of your time. My advice is to pick a frequency that works best for you. It can be weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc. Use those visits to make sure you are staying on track with your physical health. Ask questions, get new ideas, remember old ideas that had an impact. Don’t let your health be something that just happens to you.