Guest Post: Fit, Savvy & Haute [The Benefits Of Massage!]

Hey guys! Hope you’re having a good weekend. Today’s guest post comes from another one of my BLEND ladies, Vanessa! Her post is all about something that I am a firm believer of doing regularly: massage. As you may (or may not) know, I get a deep-tissue massage every other week. Some people view massage as a luxury, but it’s definitely essential in my life for muscle recovery. I’m also lucky to have found an amazing massage therapist that I’ve been seeing for years- who happens to give me a great deal on the price. :)

Take it away, Vanessa!

**

Thanks, Lauren for the opportunity to write a guest blog. I’m Vanessa Yanez, a fledgling blogger with two kids who changed the way I thought about food starting with joining Weight Watchers three years ago. Since then I’ve broadened my love for fitness, travel and adventure too.

Adventures: it started with exercise in 2009 when I started taking hip hop dance class again after a decade hiatus. I took a ton of classes growing up and loved it. I do something every day, but I found that running, biking, the gym and their classes can all get boring. I tell my girls who are four and six years old that variety is the spice of life. It’s a mantra in our house. But that’s not what I want to talk about.

So over the last year, I’ve been exploring Yelp. I make recommendations for my day job and respect those that are educated and informed. Of course I would apply that to my research for massage, right? It’s pretty cool these days, you can find Swedish, Thai, Swedish/Thai, Chinese, Hot Rocks from Indian Springs in Calistoga, CA to my city in Northern California.

I’ve found inconsistency in quality and high prices, but when you exercise a lot or worse, get injured and you find yourself taking pain killers, the research and trials are worth it. Massage is an excellent drug-free alternative.

Extreme example: My husband and I ran a race in March of this year in Long Beach, CA. About a third of the way in he got a charley horse (muscle spasm). He finished the race but immediately afterward we Yelped best massage. We found Chiro Spa, less than a mile from us with excellent reviews.

Since then I’ve learned a massage post-race is actually is NOT what you are supposed to do. Ideally, like this recommendation, it’s three to five days before and also again three to five days after a race.

Live and learn.

That said, massage, especially Thai massage, is the right thing to do if you are an exercise adventurer. Note: This is not your regular spa massage. Most reviews on Thai start like this “Ow, ow, ow, OW!”

Check out what this reviewer said after having the ‘not so hard massage’:

“My masseuse started of course by walking on my legs and back. I will forever be amazed at how strong these tiny Thai women are! Do they do hand strengthening exercises by breaking walnuts open with their bare hands? After walking on me, my masseuse brought out the oil and started breaking up all the knots on my back.  It hurt like hell, but there was no way I was going to tell her that. I am just too damn macho for that… :)”

The massage ended with the stretching. I felt all the spine cracking noises I have come to love.  Whenever a masseuse cracks my back, I love it. But if I crack one knuckle accidentally at home, I think I’m going to get arthritis. Go figure…

This is not a massage for the faint of heart, but if you want to feel better, it will work.

How do I know?

Two weeks ago when on vacation, I fell off my bike while at a stop light. (Stop laughing.) From Lauren: I’m not laughing- I’ve done that, too (if front of a bunch of people!). My shoulder was (and is) sore and I kept working out like normal, bruises and all. Last week, I went to my local Thai massage salon, went through the pain. I hated the next day, I’m not going to lie, but while I have a little soreness, it’s 1000 times better.

The lesson: Don’t think you need to wait until you ‘deserve’ a massage. If you work out, it’s a necessity, especially when you find yourself popping ibuprofen . Happy adventures!

Comments

  1. It’s like you knew “massage” was on my Summer Bucket List and I needed a little push and motivation to actually go get it… ;)

  2. That’s fascinating. I’m kind of terrified of massages, but I know they definitely have their benefits. A charley horse during a race?? Oww!! I’ve gotten them in my sleep before. It’s awful!!!

  3. I LOVE me a deep tissue massage. And definitely needing one soon. Scotty take me away!
    But I do whole heartedly believe in massage as a health treatment.
    I used to give them to my son when he was 2..3 years old. Never seen anyone in serene and pure heaven. Great stress reliever.

    Didn’t know 3-5 days after a race. SF marathon is giving them right after the race as part of a VIP package. go figure!

  4. Melanie L Bowen says:

    Hi there!

    I have a quick question about your blog! Please email me when you get a chance.

    Melanie

  5. Hey Vanessa, you are an example to follow. So much activity in your life and the beautiful thing is that you enjoy it and not simply doing because you have to be active.

    Regarding massages, I would say it is harder to book your first 1-2 massages. You get used to it and book often.

    Thanks!

  6. Just my five cents worth regarding Thai Massage. I am a professional Thai Massage therapist, and I have been living in Thailand for over a decade. I have received countless Thai Massages and I agree with you – they are great for soreness after exercise.

    However the reputation of Thai Massage as being painful is undeserved. The issue is really not the Thai Massage, but the sometimes insensitive or even brutal therapists. It is possible to do Thai Massage in a very gentle, flowing and totally painless way. I know that for sure since I have done it hundreds of times in my own career, and I have fallen asleep during many Thai Massages which I have received. And so far no therapist has ever walked on my back yet.

    I suspect that Thai massage therapists, particularly women from Thailand, try to compensate for the much bigger body sizes of westerners by using a lot of power techniques like feet and elbows. I just want to make the point that Thai Massage is not a painful modality by its very nature.

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!