When I began focusing on fitness, I had a lot of aches and pains, but also knew nothing about how my body actually worked. I quickly learned how to address any discomfort I was having from my coaches and the value of massage therapy. Like most, I considered massages a luxury and something completely irresponsible given my financial state. Then, I got my first massage.
Understanding My Body
I began a competitive athlete in my mid 20’s, which meant I had a lot to catch up on. I had basic knowledge of muscles, but didn’t understand how they are connected and pain was really coming from.
For example, I, like most people always thought that the lower back pain I had previously been experiencing was because there was something wrong with my back. I had always been pretty naive when it came to body mechanics because it was never anything I thought I needed to know. However, once I started to depend on my body for athletics, I soon took notice and found that the aching in my back wasn’t because of my back at all.
Enter: massage therapy. Due to the heavy use of muscles, and obvious strengthening and growth, I found myself sore at times. It was suggested to my by my coach to get a massage, but I wasn’t sold. My perception was telling me it was something I didn’t need, but after a while I finally gave in and realized how important it was for me to care for my body, specifically for my athletic endeavors.
Not only did I connect the dots to where my soreness and discomfort were coming from (I have a lot of tightness through my hips and glutes which was leading to my lower back pain), I also learned more about body mechanics in one session than I may have learned my whole life. From this moment, massage therapy became an imperative part of my training.
Beyond The Massage Table
Working with a massage therapist, I was able to address the few aches and pains that did have, but more importantly, I was able to find a permanent solution through stretching at home and self-massage techniques. This isn’t to say that I never have the need to get a full body massage, because while I can support my body on a daily basis, I also need to follow up with a deeper solution every now and again.
Due to massage, I have never been more in sync with my body and it’s awesome! Not only does it affect how I am feeling physically, but it trickles down to how I am feeling mentally. It’s so motivating because it makes me want to remain active. We’ll dive into this in part two of this series.