A Healthy Plan
Setting Massage Goals Helps Keep You on Track
By Karrie Osborn
Setting goals is an important way to get the “big things” in life accomplished. But setting goals should not be confined to just your vision board or your five-year plan. Goals are important in all aspects of our lives. Setting goals in the massage therapy room, for example, can be an important tool for progressing you along your health journey.
WHY A MASSAGE GOAL?
Setting goals helps move us forward. Setting goals for our massage or bodywork treatment plans will do the same. Whether looking for therapeutic and structural muscle recovery after a weekend 5K, greater mobility in your neck, reduction of swelling after surgery, or simply a good night’s sleep, treatment goals can range from medically necessary to Zen-like.
It’s easiest to envision goals we might set as a postsurgery massage client— crafting our recovery from beginning to end, with massage sessions peppered between physical therapy sessions, all taking us toward a “full recovery.” But goals can be profoundly simple as well. For many massage clients, relaxation is the primary reason for getting massage. That client might say, “I don’t need a goal. I just want to melt into the massage table.” Yet, this client has very explicitly identi ed his goal: to do nothing but relax. And that is a righteous goal too. There is no right or wrong here—just create a plan toward an outcome.
Your goals can be short term or long term; simple or complex. They can change from session to session, or each be a stepping stone toward the next. What’s important is that your goals be developed and discussed with your massage or bodywork therapist. This is a process of partnership, and developing a set
of treatment goals with your therapist will keep you both on the same track.
Some examples of goals include:
• Managing everyday stress • Keeping you on your feet pain-free during your 8-hour retail shift
• Warding off those cumulative pregnancy aches and pains
• Putting your body back together after childbirth • Getting more flexibility in your tight shoulders • Speeding up postsurgical recovery time
• Improving posture • Finding more ef cient body mechanics
• Tuning out for 60 blissful minutes
Setting a therapy goal adds purpose to your session—even if it is just to melt into the table! Talk with your therapist during your intake process and let them know what you’d like to accomplish during your time together.