Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My First Registered Massage Therapy Experience

Good morning, friends!

In Monday's post I alluded to going to my first ever registered massage therapy appointment. Today I wanted to chat about why I decided to go the RMT route as opposed to a spa massage, what my experience was like, and whether or not it will be something I add into my athletic recovery routine.

First off, as we all know I am not the best when it comes to stretching my muscles after a work out. Yep, I am guilty of being the first one to be like, OKAY BYEEE after a workout, or totally ignore stretching once I have crossed the finish line. During the Seawheeze half I felt some tightness in my right hamstring after the run was over, and this came back during the Kelowna Wine Country half as well (the hills didn't help either), to the point where I had to take multiple walking breaks in the last 3km. After this, I decided to take that as my body's way of telling me to get in gear and take that recovery more seriously.

You may recall my post about rewarding your accomplishments where I talked about getting a massage during a sister spa date after the Seawheeze. This massage was great - I mean, who says no to a massage, and how can it really be bad? However, this is when the whole RMT idea got swirling in my head. I remember having my little debrief with the masseuse who said I held a lot of tension in my muscles, and perhaps it would be a good idea to look at massage therapy due to the tightness.

Well, then. This definitely planted the seed even further, and so I began to ask people if they had any RMT recommendations. A few years ago I did a running clinic with our local run club in town, and I remember having a session with a guest speaker who happened to own a physiotherapy and health facility called Start Line in town. This stuck with me, and I found myself booking the RMT appointment on their online portal right away. It was perfect timing, too. I had just completed the Kelowna half, and my hamstring was still sore. My shoulders were so sore, too! I tell ya. A desk job can be great, but on the other hand, the bad posture certainly does not help your body.

When I say shoulders, I really mean my trapezius muscles, rhomboids & latissimus dorsi.

So, how was it?

It was amazing. I am so happy I went! During the appointment we talked about which areas were tight and when I started to experience the tightness. I told my massage therapist that I am in the gym 4-5 times per week strength training, and that I run longer distances as well which contribute to my sore muscles. 

My appointment was 45 minutes, and in that span she covered my whole back, hamstrings, some calves, and my glutes. I also discovered during this appointment that my glutes are super tight, and didn't realize that until suddenly it felt better. It's funny how that works, hey?

Post-massage we talked about some things I can do for recovery, such as being more consistent with my foam roller (gulp, yep, I need to do this!) and even using a tennis ball and the wall to roll out my back if I ever get super tight in my shoulder blade area. This is something I have seen people do at the gym, but I never made the connection to do it for myself. I left the appointment with a few more tips and some relaxed muscles. Just what I was after!

What's the next step?

I am going to be booking my next appointment in a couple weeks to follow up before my next half marathon. Then, you can bet that I will be back again after! I figure spending the money on injury prevention will be worth it in the long run, literally. Fortunately I have coverage through my work, so I might as well take advantage while I can!


Have you been to a RMT before? If so, how was your experience?

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