Massage and running go hand in hand, and here' why...
Susan Paul from Runners World writes, "Running requires sustained, repetitive muscle contractions. The greater these contractions are, the greater the force generated is, and the more muscle fibers are required to shorten. These sustained, repetitive muscular contractions translate into speed, power, and distance allowing us to run further and faster. However, this can also translate to shortened, tight muscles, joint range of motion losses, and decreased circulation to compressed tissues. Massage works to elongate the muscles, relieve muscle tightness, restore joint range of motion, and improve circulation."
Basically, massage helps to improve circulation bringing oxygen & nutrients to the area pushing out metabolic waste so that the cells can repair the tissue keeping the muscles functioning properly. Whew! What a mouth full! Increasing circulation indirectly helps your whole body to function more efficiently! Here are some more reasons to get massage if you are a runner.
Whether you run 1 mile or 10, stretching is important to prevent injury. Although stretching before and after a run helps, most of the time it is just not enough. Massage helps increase flexibility and restore ROM (range of motion) so that you can run more efficiently & prevent injury from shortened or tight muscles. Nobody benefits running with a torn muscle or ligament!
Reduced Muscle Pain
When starting a new training program you are putting your muscles through rigorous activity that can lead to tight sore muscles. Or maybe you are a beginner and haven't quite figured out what you need to keep your body healthy and train properly (I was guilty of this when I began running). Practicing good habits like preventative health with massage can not only reduce muscle pain and fatigue but will help your whole body to function better reducing the risk of injury!
Faster Recovery & Improved Performance
Are you training for a 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon? No matter what your goal is, massage helps restore the tissue so that your body functions at its optimal level! Faster recovery means you can train harder and reach your goals faster.
When & How often?
The needs of an individual may vary from person to person depending on their specific needs. 60 minutes at least once a month is always recommended for maintenance and prevention. Depending on your training regimen you may need more work. If you are training for a marathon I may suggest a different treatment plan than someone who is training for a 5k. Budget also factors in to your treatment plan. Always talk to your therapist about what you need and what you can afford. If you are on a tight budget there are several ways to work with that such as self care techniques ( foam roller, stretching, tennis balls, etc) that can be beneficial between visits.
It is important after a massage to drink plenty of water to help flush toxins and waste from your system so that you don't run the risk of developing headaches or nausea. Sometimes massage flushes a lot of junk and the water just helps it flush your system properly.
Also massage does NOT have to hurt to be effective. Although there may be areas that are tender and uncomfortable, using to much pressure can be counter productive and leave you bruised and sore for nothing. Sometimes you will feel a little sore or achy (similar to after a hard workout) the next day which is normal and should subside within 24 hours.
The important thing is to be aware of your body. Eat healthy for proper fuel and nutrients. Exercise regularly to keep your muscles and bones healthy. Get plenty of sleep, & GET MASSAGE!
Being a Massage Therapist, I have seen, heard, & dealt with a variety of things. One thing that has been consistent is the questions and concerns from clients. So I have put together some common "issues" that clients of mine have had in the past and offer an opinion from my (the therapists) view.
1. "Happy ending" jokes are NOT funny
First things first. I did not spend my hard earned money completeing over 750 hours of training & CE courses to be associated with prostitution. I am not a "masseuse" as the word is associated with prostitution. I do not run a "massage parlor" as it is associated with prostitution. I do no perform "happy endings" as it, well, IS prostitution! Do you see what I'm getting at? I take my work seriously and expect to be treated with the same level of respect as you expect to receive. Now that we have that out of the way lets move on to number two.
2. So you didn't shave, its ok, really.
You have hair on your legs. So what? It doesn't matter if you let it grow out, really. In fact I would prefer it be grown out a bit so that the stubble doesn't make my hands raw while performing massage.
3. Do your homework
I don't give out homework for the sake of hearing my own voice (as majestic as it may be haha). If I give you stretches or advice it is because I want you to have all the tools you need for your body to recover and return to its optimal level. Taking care of your body is important for longevity. Love it and treat it well.
4. You are beautiful
Time & time again clients have made comments about their cellulite, freckles, scars, & other insecurities as they get ready for their massage. I'm here for you & want you to have the best possible experience possible. I think I can speak for all Massage Therapists when I say YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Everyone is different and unique. Celebrate the qualities that set you apart from others & do not let the pressures of society bring you down.
5. Draping IS required
With the lingering stigma of prostitution that has kept itself attached to the Massage world for so long, it is important that there be clear boundaries by keeping a professional atmosphere. Draping is there to protect you & the therapist. If you are hot let the therapist know so that he/she can adjust accordingly to make you comfortable. Otherwise the only thing that should be uncovered is the limb that is being worked on.
6. Universal "hands on" time
If you have an appointment for a 60 minute massage be prepared to get 50 minutes of actual hands on time. This is standard in the massage world. We often have clients coming in after you and need at least 5 minutes to talk to you about what your needs are for the day and 5 minutes in the end for you to get dressed. This applies to any service so make sure you are on time (or early if you need to fill out paperwork) so that you get the most out of your time.
7. Talk or not?
If you feel the need to talk during your session then that is fine. If you would rather have a quiet atmosphere that's fine too! This is your time and you should spend it however you want.
8. Is the pressure ok?
That leads me to number 8. Clients often feel bad for asking for more or less pressure. ITS OK, REALLY! It does not offend me or hurt my feelings. On the contrary it helps me to better guage your needs. Each time you book a session I learn more about your tissues and can better contour the session to meet your needs.
9. Loyalty goes a long way
A note from your massage therapist. Loyalty goes a long way. The more you see one therapist, the more he/she can get to know what it is you need, how your tissues respond and give you a better treatment plan. And if you are lucky you may find a therapist who gives discounts to loyal clients (that would be me).
10. Do you really massage peoples butt?
Massage Therapists have had extensive training in Anatomy & Physiology and muscles are our specialty. As one of the largest muscles in the body the gluteal muscles are usually connected to lower back pain so if that means I can give you some relief then my advice is to let me do my job. The glutes can be massaged through the sheets if you are modest and would like to keep covered.
I care about you and your health. Whether big or small your issues matter. Massage Therapists work really hard to provide a relaxing and non-judgmental environment for their clients so let them know how much you appreciate them by referring people. If you are not happy with your therapist I also encourage you to let your therapist know. It is hard to fix a problem that you don't know exists right? Right.
That's it ladies and gents. If you have any questions please feel free to comment and I will do my best to answer any questions you have.
Massage benefits are numerous but one of the most common issues I come in contact with are headaches. There are several types of headaches with the most common being the infamous Tension Headache. Tension can most often be relieved through massage therapy as well as prevent future headaches.
With the fast paced world we live in day to day today stress is very common. When we experience stress or anxiety we often begin to tense up our body. After a while you start to get sore and here comes Mr. Headache. What happens physiologically is the blood supply is being restricted to the muscles depleting your tissue of oxygen & vital nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. Toxins and lactic acid can start to build as well leaving you tense and sore. As it progresses so does your headache and relaxing those muscles can help give you relief.
If you are not sure what to do about your headache call your therapist and describe your symptoms so that she (me!) can get an idea of what to work on and how to maximize your visit. If you are not able to get in for an appointment here are some things you can try to help relieve symptoms:
But what about Migraines?
These types of headaches are still somewhat mysterious. They are believed to be caused by neck alignment, chemical/hormonal changes, neurological problems, vascular problems, environmental irritants, food sensitivities, and/or blood sugar regulation. Migraines can be very severe and can last up to several days. These headaches do usually come with some sensitivities, such as sensitivity to light, sound, and nausea or vomiting.
There is hope! Massage therapy has shown to decrease levels of the stress hormone Cortisol. Massage therapy also increases endorphins and stimulates the Para-Sympathetic Nervous system, therefore promoting relaxation.
Studies have shown that regular massage decrease the frequency and the duration of migraines leaving you happier and healthier!
If you suffer from headaches and migraines regularly I urge you to check with your doctor to eliminate any serious issues that may be causing them. Once you have the clear from your doctor talk with your therapist about developing a treatment plan to get you on a path of relief.