Why? Because for 99.9% of us, it is virtually impossible not to cause some amount of damage to ourselves during the course of our everyday activities. Worse: many of our daily tasks are extremely detrimental to our bodies and cannot (or only very marginally) be addressed or helped by simply having a healthy diet and sufficient physical activity.
- Spending several hours a day sitting (at a desk, driving, commuting…) is EXTREMELY detrimental to one’s posture, even if one is careful to keep a flat back. Our hips, legs and backs are simply not designed to spend any prolonged time in a sitting position.
- Wearing high heels or rigid/thick/uncomfortable shoes: here again, we are not designed to use our bodies this way. High heels force the whole body into a very unnatural position, causing undue tension on the calves, hamstrings, hips, lower back and iliopsoas muscles, usually leading to further problems in the legs and upper back and neck. We are simply not designed to wear shoes. Rigid or thick soles, tight or uncomfortable shoes force the structures of the foot into rigid patterns and prevent them from properly functioning, thereby affecting balance, the absorption of impact by the arches of the foot, and forcing the structures higher above the foot to take over this work. They are NOT designed for this, inevitably leading to problems.
- Taking care of small children and lifting objects/weights. While these are certainly activities every human being has been fitted by nature to perform, they lead to a host of painful conditions because we forget how to use our bodies properly. The end result is that most of us have weak cores and little hip mobility.
The point is, no matter what you do or how careful you are to lead a healthy life, it is almost IMPOSSIBLE not to do some damage to your body. Virtually all of us are affected because the causes of the problems start from childhood. As we consciously or unconsciously imitate our parents’ body language when we are little, when we start school, when we get our first pair of formal shoes, etc.
It is important to realise that most of the time, we are not aware that these problems are present. Only when pain appears do we take action, and too often, we do not keep getting treatments once the pain is gone. But pain is a message of extreme distress from your body. Before the straw that broke the camel’s back came a lot more load that kept piling up over a long period of time. You are feeling the pain because you let the stress/tension/bad habits accumulate and you reached a point at which your body went ‘enough’ and only then did you start feeling pain. But the problem was there all this time. And getting enough treatment to stop feeling it is vastly different from getting enough treatment to address the underlying causes.
No matter how talented and well-intentioned any therapist in the world is, there is a lot of work to be done just to address the existing problems. And even if our lives suddenly became ideally suited to our physical needs, it is utterly unrealistic to expect all of our problems to go away magically after a 1-hour treatment. Even less so if one considers that our lives are still happening out there: we will still wear shoes, sit at the computer at the office, send our children to school to sit at their desks all day etc.
So the only way to reverse the trend of increasing loads on our bodies is to get into a good new habit that is going to gradually allow our bodies to recover and heal, and maintain the results. And this is why maintenance treatments are necessary.