Massage Therapy Awareness Week

I love my career.  I sometimes get so busy being a spa owner that I forget I’m a massage therapist too.  When I get to meet with a client (this is getting rarer as I get busier) and help them feel better, it is just about the greatest feeling in the world…right up there with the feeling of visiting one of the many great therapists I see to help me when I’m in pain from training or life’s stresses seem to be a bit too much to carry.

I thought I’d list a few benefits of massage for athletes…from the serious to the weekend warrior:

1: Improved circulation: more blood flow=more oxygen getting to the muscles.  This is great pre and post event or workout and can be accomplished with many types of massage

2: Reduced pain and downtime from injuries: Many therapists (all of the therapists at our spa) are trained in techniques that can alleviate pain and reduce symptoms of overuse and injuries helping athletes to recover faster.  Look for a therapist with extensive training in sports massage, deep tissue massage, or myofascial release techniques.  Some therapists specialize in one or two types of injuries and often, you can find a therapist who has experienced a similiar injury in his or her own athletic endeavors making them more empathetic.

3: Reduced Anxiety: Whether you have performance-related anxiety or general life stress, massage has been shown to help.  Reduced anxiety, lowered cortisol levels, and better sleep can benefit everyone!

4: Faster recovery after events: Consider a short post-event relaxation massage a cool-down designed to help flush and stretch your muscles and get you feeling like yourself faster.  I couldn’t even run a single mile for two weeks after my first 5150 distance tri.  I was so frustrated but then the obvious solution presented itself:  Massage! DUH!  I’ll always book a massage 1-2 days after all of my bigger races from now on so I can get back to training sooner.

If you ever have questions about massage, I’m happy to answer them or direct you to helpful resources or other providers.  We have some incredibly skilled therapists at our spa. There are some other great therapists in Des Moines that work almost exclusively with athletes.  I certainly recommend incorporating massage into your fitness regimen as you’re able to…you’ll really notice a difference!

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I was fortunate to be trained in some amazing massage techniques for foot and ankle injuries at the World Massage Festival this year by legendary therapist, Art Riggs. He successfully relieved the pain I was experiencing around my talus bone too!

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