David Weintraub, LMT & Owner at Bodyworks DW, writes about how to find effective pain management when you are traveling away from NYC. Read below!
What do you do when your back goes out and you are away from home?!
If you are reading this, odds are you are in New York City. And quite possibly already a happy massage therapy client at our studio. We think our blogs are relevant and important info. But we’d be fooling ourselves if we thought that Google would show them much outside of our home turf, NYC. For many of you, you already know what to do when you back (or other area) goes out of whack. Book a massage with our team of talented therapists for back pain massage in the New York area! When you are out of NYC, we recommend working with a chiropractor or acupuncturist instead. And we’ll show you how to find a good chiropractor or acupuncturist!
Travel is tough on our bodies. And holidays with family can often add even more stress into the picture. It’s not at all uncommon for injuries to crop up while away from home. There are a lot of possible causes:
- Different mattresses and pillows than you are used to
- Long plane flights crammed into uncomfortable seats
- Eating foods outside your normal diet
- Being thrown into other people’s schedule
- Your uncle/aunt/mother/grandfather asking you repeatedly why you haven’t gotten married/had kids/gotten a promotion/found a partner/insert existential dread here…..
Counterintuitively, we don’t recommend getting a massage if you are away from NYC and in real pain. Before we show you how to find a chiropractor or acupuncturist instead, we need to tell you why!
Why we recommend chiropractic care or acupuncture instead of massage while out of New York
If you are just feeling sore and tired from a long flight, by all means go ahead and book a massage at a spa nearby. Most massage therapists around the country, and frankly the world, have enough training to provide a decent relaxing full body massage. However, if you are in real pain, you need to make sure you find someone who has the training and experience to help you.
New York State massage therapists have much higher education requirements that most other states. New York requires a minimum of 1000 hours of training to complete school and get a license. Most other states only require between 500-700 hours.
That extra 300-500 hours of training makes a real difference. Between being able to provide medical massage vs a spa massage. Of course, it’s totally possible that you will end up with someone great and experienced, but it can be a gamble.
Massage Therapy does not have national standards. So don’t count on other states having therapists at the level you are used to in New York!
There is no national standard for massage therapy (yet). There are minimum national requirements for chiropractors and acupuncturists. Both disciplines routinely deal with pain management. If you find someone with a decent number of 5 star reviews on Google, you’ll likely walk away with less pain. While there is still no way to guarantee you’ll get what you need the odds are higher. And if you follow our guide on how to find a chiropractor or acupuncturist, you’ll have an even greater chance of walking out pain free.
In states with lower requirements for massage therapy, you’ll have to rely solely on recommendations and reviews. And on their having taking advanced training courses. These courses often use language that is hard to decipher. If you aren’t up on the latest terms (pediatric oncology massage, traditional kinesiology, etc….anyone?) it will be hard to tell what you are getting.
This will only take about 15 mins and is well worth the extra time to make sure you get quality care 15 minutes.
How to Find a Chiropractor or Acupuncturist When Out of Town
- Pick what you are most comfortable with
Not everyone is comfortable with getting their neck or back “cracked” by a chiropractor. Conversely, not everyone is comfortable with getting needles in acupuncture. Which one appeals to you most?
- Search online for either “chiropractor” or “acupuncturist” and read reviews
Find someone with a decent number of 5 star reviews and read through a few. Good therapists have happy gushing clients and the reviews should show this. Also, read some of the negative reviews. A few of these are normal. Some people just can’t be pleased no matter how professional and experienced a therapist is. However, if there are consistent complaints, you probably wan’t to move on to the next well reviewed practitioner.
- Factor in the distance from where you are staying
A long drive to see someone is going to exacerbate your pain condition. You may walk out of the session feeling great, and by the end of the long drive back, feel awful again. Go with someone close by who has a solid reputation. It’s better than going with the “best” if they are much further away.
- Don’t forget to read the About section of their website
This usually lists how long the person has been practicing. Look for someone who’s been seeing clients for over 10 years. That and a solid reputation in their neighborhood (ie good reviews) means they can probably help you. If they can’t they will also be very up front about whether they think you need to see a specialist. Or go to a hospital!
- Book a session for as soon as possible
You don’t need to suffer in pain any longer than you have to. Is the “best” practitioner in town is booked solid for the next several days? We recommend booking with a good quality practitioner for today or tomorrow at the latest instead. Your goal here is to lessen or eliminate the pain for the time you are away. For many issues a single session will at least get your through your trip without having to spend the whole time in bed.
- Book a medical massage session with your favorite NYC massage therapist for as soon as possible after you get back
If you did all of the above, hopefully you were able to enjoy the rest of your trip without being in agony. But the flight back home might re-trigger the issue. When you get back home, working with your favorite massage therapist is key. They know your body already, and can quickly put together a plan to lower or eliminate the pain in the long term. They may even recommend you continue to see either a chiropractor or acupuncturist as well. The synergy between these and massage therapy will often allow you to recover more quickly. And with less overall sessions needed than if you did only one type of therapy.
What to do once you get back home
Like we said above in step 6, the flight back is probably going to re-trigger the issue. Hopefully, you followed our how to find a chiropractor or acupuncturist guide. And were able to locate a great practitioner. And hopefully that meant you were able to enjoy the rest of your trip. Now that you are back home, it’s time for a good reset massage to make sure the issue goes away for the longer term.
We offer back pain massage to the New York area in Midtown and the Financial District. Would you like to schedule a professional back pain massage with one of our highly trained massage therapists? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our back pain massage Midtown or back pain massage Fidi studios!Book an Appointment