Disclaimer: I was gifted a free massage in exchange for a review of Massage Envy. All thoughts, as always, are my own.
The lights are dimmed. There’s soft music playing. Aromatherapy candles are lit.
Sounds absolutely wonderful, right?
It’s the perfect setting to relax and rejuvenate. Or it’s the perfect setting to get every single kink worked out of your hard working runner muscles.
Runner’s beat up their bodies. We run fast. We run slow. We run long. We hit the trails. We’re on the track running in an oval repeatedly. We want to run all the races. We want to run all the miles. All the time.
That’s great but our bodies need some assistance in recovering from all that hard work.
Running at any speed or distance, requires repetitive muscular contractions that allows us to run further and faster. That’s what we want, right?!? The flip side is that those beautiful muscles that now have you running faster and further, become shortened and tight, the range of motion in the joints becomes less, and there is decreased circulation to tissues. Hello injury waiting to happen!
Runners need massages.
The most beneficial massage for runners is not the light touch “relaxing” massage. Therapeutic massage – which includes Deep Tissue, Active Release Therapy (ART), and Trigger Point – is going to hurt a little (or a lot depending on how tight you are). I always have to remind myself to BREATHE during those moments. Therapeutic massage involves a deep pressure that’s corrective to soft tissue. The pressure applied from a therapeutic massage helps to soften fascia and makes clenched muscles relax. It also removes adhesion between fascia and muscles which is especially important for runners since we require limber joints and pain free muscles. No runner wants to be sore for their next workout.
Benefits of Massage for Runners
1. Recover faster from delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS).
2. Improves immune function and reduces inflammation.
3. Increases/restores joint range of motion.
4. Dilates blood vessels which promotes circulation, decreases blood pressure and can increase your performance.
6. Improves connective tissue healing.
7. Decreases cortisol levels to help mentally and physically relax.
When I’m in half marathon or marathon training, I try to schedule a deep tissue massage at least once a month. I’d love to do more but the cost can add up quickly. They aren’t cheap but totally worth the expense if it means running injury free. Of course, the “cheap” version of a massage – foam rolling, The Stick, etc. – are perfect for daily muscle and fascia maintenance at home.
Massage has been a big part of my foot injury recovery. My PT has been doing therapeutic massage on me from day one as well as encouraging me to practice it on myself. My calves are an endless source of knots and are something I need to work on daily. My nightly routine either involves rolling or having Ron torture my calves with The Stick.
Of course, I’ve been getting deep tissue massages too. I recently had the opportunity to try a new to me place – Massage Envy Spa. The spa is great! From the wonderful warm neck pillow I received immediately when I walked in the door to the calming decor, lighting and music, it really was a relaxing experience despite all my knots. I asked my therapist, Blake, to work specifically on my neck, shoulders, calves and feet since that’s where all my tension is usually stored. I’m not a fan of light massages and he applied just the right about of pressure. After an hour long massage, I walked out of the spa taller and feeling relaxed despite not having a relaxing type of massage.
If you live in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Maine, this giveaway is for you! Sorry to everyone else. 🙁
Massage Envy Spa wants you to relax and rejuvenate with your own massage.
They kindly offered a FREE one hour massage of your choice at any of their locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Maine – You can search HERE for one near you.
To enter, simply answer this question in the comments below for your chance to win:
How do you relax?
Giveaway is open to residents of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Please only enter if you have a convenient Massage Envy Spa location near your. Giveaway ends Sunday, November 1st.