Sleep? Ain't no body got time for that!

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If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning, you already know how you’ll feel the next day — tired, cranky, and out of sorts. But missing out on the recommended 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye nightly does more than make you feel groggy and grumpy.

The main symptom of ongoing sleep loss is excessive daytime sleepiness, but other symptoms include:

  • yawning

  • moodiness

  • fatigue

  • irritability

  • depressed mood

  • difficulty learning new concepts

  • forgetfulness

  • inability to concentrate or a "fuzzy" head

  • lack of motivation

  • clumsiness

  • increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings

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The long term effects of sleep deprivation are real. It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk. Science has linked poor slumber with all kinds of health problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.

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Memory Issues: During sleep, your brain forms connections that help you process and remember new information. A lack of sleep can negatively impact both short and long-term memory.

Trouble with thinking and concentration: Your concentration, creativity and problem-solving skills aren’t up to par when you don’t get enough rest.

Mood changes: Sleep deprivation can make you moody, emotional, and quick-tempered. Chronic sleep deprivation can affect your mood and lead to anxiety or depression, which may escalate. reduced tendency to think positively, bad moods, a decreased willingness to solve problems, intolerance and less empathy toward others, poor impulse control, inability to delay gratification.

Weakened immunity: Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep.

Accidents: being drowsy during the day can increase your risk for car accidents and injuries from other causes.

High Blood pressure: If you sleep less than five hours a night, your risk for high blood pressure increases.

Risk of heart disease: Sleep deprivation may lead to increased blood pressure and higher levels of chemicals linked to inflammaction, both of which play roles in heart disease.

Risk of diabetes: A lack of sleep affects your body’s release of insulin, a blood sugar-lowering hormone. People who don’t get enough sleep have higher blood sugar levels and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

Weight gain: With sleep deprivation, the chemicals that signal to your brain that you are full are off balance. As a result, you’re more likely to overindulge even when you’ve had enough to eat. It's believed to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).

Low sex drive: People who don’t get enough sleep often have a lower libido. In men, this decreased sex drive may be due to a drop in testosterone levels.

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HOW MUCH SLEEP DO WE NEED?

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) 2015 recommendations for appropriate sleep durations for specific age groups are:

  • Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours each day

  • Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours

  • Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours

  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours

  • School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours

  • Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours

  • Adults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours

  • Older adults (over 65 years): 7 to 8 hours

Most of us need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.

As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it's likely that you're not getting enough sleep.

A variety of factors can cause poor sleep, including health conditions such as sleep apnoea. But in most cases, it's due to bad sleeping habits.

HOW TO CATCH UP ON LOST SLEEP?

If you don't get enough sleep, there's only one way to compensate – getting more sleep.

It won't happen with a single early night. If you've had months of restricted sleep, you'll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.

Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or 2 of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you're tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clocks allowed!).

Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

Don't rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration temporarily, but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.

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HOME MANAGEMENT

The good news is that most of the negative effects of sleep deprivation reverse when sufficient sleep is obtained. The treatment for sleep deprivation is to satisfy the biological sleep need, prevent deprivation and "pay back" accumulated sleep debt.

Some suggestions for good sleep habits include:

  • going to bed when tired

  • following a routine for bed and wake-up times, keeping it consistent every day of the week

  • avoiding eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime

  • if unable to fall asleep after 20 minutes of trying, going to another room and trying to read until feeling sleepy, then returning to bed

  • engaging in regular exercise during the day

  • keeping the bedroom quiet, dark and a comfortably cool temperature

  • turning off electronic devices when you go to bed















EVERYONE NEEDS A BUTT MASSAGE. Part 2

Ahhhh, the gluteus medius. AKA: the glute med!

Unless you are a runner, ballet dancer or a yogi, you probably have never heard of this muscle before.

It is one of the three gluteus muscles, along with the gluteus maximus and minimus and originates on the outer surface of the ilium (pelvis) just below the iliac crest and converges as a large flattened tendon onto the lateral greater trochanter of the femur (thigh bone).

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AND WHAT IS HIS FUNCTION?

The main function of the glute med is abduction of the hip. Abduction is when you move the leg away from the center of the body. Is also responsible for external rotation of the hip when the hip is extended and internal rotation of the hip when it is flexed…more accurately; it prevents external rotation when flexed.

But, the most important job of the glute med, however, is stabilization of the pelvis. Activation of the muscle prevents dropping of the pelvis when standing on one leg. When the glute med is injured or weak, it allows the opposite hip to drop when weight bearing on one leg such as when walking or running.

It also helps your bigger gluteus maximus muscle flex and extend your leg. Having strong glutes is important because we use our glutes in everyday life when you push off the ground while walking, running, or stepping.

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WHAT HAPPENS IF ITS DISFUNCTIONAL?

When the gluteus medius does not function well, there are implications down to the lower limbs.

A person with weak gluteus medius may exhibit the Trendenlenburg sign during walking:

The pelvis will drop on the opposte side. If this situation is not addressed, there will be risks of structural overload to the lumbar spine, sacroiliac joint , hip and knee – and may cause excessive wear and tear at these joints.

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A weak gluteus medius can lead to the inward collapse on the knee, placing more pressure on your knee





The figure above shows three different trigger points in the muscle and the pain referral pattern for each. All three of these referral patterns present on a regular basis. Patients come in with low back pain and are surprised to learn it’s not their low back at all, but their glutes. The glute med is constantly firing when we are upright so it makes sense that the muscle is overworked.

The figure above shows three different trigger points in the muscle and the pain referral pattern for each. All three of these referral patterns present on a regular basis. Patients come in with low back pain and are surprised to learn it’s not their low back at all, but their glutes. The glute med is constantly firing when we are upright so it makes sense that the muscle is overworked.

INJURIES INFLUENCED BY A POORLY FUNCTIONING OR OVERLOADED GLUTEUS MEDIUS

The injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Gluteal Tendinopathy

  • Gluteal Muscle Strain or Tear

  • Patellofemoral Joint Pain Syndrome / Anterior Knee Pain

  • ITB Friction Syndrome

  • Achilles Tendinopathy

  • Hamstring Injuries

  • Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis

  • Piriformis Syndrome

  • Trochanteric Bursitis

HOW DO I TRAIN MY GLUTEUS MEDIUS?

Gluteus Medius is most active when performing isolated single-limb exercises.

Research shows that integration of trunk and lumbar stability exercises can further reduce loading onto and requirements of the Gluteus Medius.

We’d recommend the following exercises.

  1. Clams

  2. Bridges with theraband

  3. Ball at the wall squat

  4. Crab walk

  5. Monster walk

SO, AFTER ALL, DO I NEED A BUTT MASSAGE?!

Fun fact, the Gluteus muscles are the largest muscle in the body. If that area gets skipped over your therapist is missing a huge portion of the body. Now you might be totally cool with that, but if you have back pain, knee pain, hip pain or even leg pain? Your glutes may be the reason for it.

Massage in this area will be important to everyone, athletes, arm chair athletes, desk workers, people that stand all day...you get the picture. Muscles all have origin and insertion point that pull and shorten when put under any stress. 

If you are a bit shy, always let the therapists know any of your reservations. Glutes can easily be worked on top of the sheet or through clothing. Or the therapist will always drop modestly with a sheet working one side at a time. 

So, at your next massage, remember to get the glutes worked on! Your back, legs, hips & knees will thanks you! 



MASSAGE + ALCOHOL = BAD IDEA

We all deserve the chance to relax after a long week, and a beer (or three) followed by a soothing massage might sound like a perfect recipe for relaxation.

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But if your daydreams involve both a few drinks and a massage therapy session, you should understand that massage therapists don’t really approve the combination of  too much booze and a massage.

While there are varying opinions on how long you should wait after drinking to get a massage, massage therapy experts agree that it’s not safe to massage a client when they are drunk, they are hangover or they are thinking of drinking a lot after the session.

Before or after massage drinking can have different effects into your body, and we will explain why is that and why you shouldn't mix this two factors.

How massage affects your body

  • Massage boosts circulation, pushing the body’s lymph fluid around and helping you to shed excess fluids more quickly. (This is why your therapist will encourage you to drink plenty of water after a massage.)

  • Massage creates a state of deep relaxation, lowers your blood pressure, reduces levels of stress hormones like cortisol and increases pleasurable hormones like dopamine and serotonin in the body.

These effects of massage alone can be a great thing, but when combined with alcohol can be dangerous. Some massage therapists even report seeing clients get "re-drunk" after a massage. Your time spent in your massage chair should leave you feeling relaxed, healthy, and rejuvenated—not sick or in more pain!

How alcohol affects your body

  • Alcohol, a diuretic, is well-known for its dehydrating effects, as anyone who’s ever had a hangover headache will tell you.

  • Alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate, moving the alcohol through your bloodstream and increasing your blood alcohol level.

  • Alcohol impairs cognitive reasoning. Alcohol consumption can impair reflexes, limit motor control, and reduce coordination.

  • Drinking too much weakens the body’s immune system, and a single event of binge-drinking can limit your body’s ability to prevent infections for up to 24 hours

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How massage interacts with alcohol

  • Numbed senses. Alcohol and massage are both relaxing. But Alcohol tends to desensitize the nerve endings and reduce the sensation of touch, making it difficult for you and your massage therapist to judge the best level of pressure and the person may be unable to give appropriate feedback. You want to feel the massage, don’t you?

  • Amplified drunkenness. Alcohol travels through your bloodstream. (We know, it doesn’t sound as much fun when we say it that way.) Massage increases circulation, which means that alcohol both hits your bloodstream more quickly and remains there longer.

  • Compromised Judgment & Thinking: We're taught that alcohol affects our judgment. It increasing levels of norepinephrine, the neurotransmitter responsible for arousal and heightened excitement, and an increase in impulsivity as well as a reduction in impulse control. Additionally, alcohol dulls the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the area responsible for decision making and rational thought that also has control over aggressive behavior.

  • Decreased Motor Activity & Physical Coordination: Because alcohol lowers energy consumption in the cerebellum, which controls your motor activity and overall physical coordination, you can't be certain of your behavior while under the influence. Best to avoid embarrassing—or worse—harmful behavior during an activity that is supposed to be relaxing.

  • Intensified hangovers. Both massage and alcohol can have a dehydrating effect. This doesn’t just make you thirstier – it can intensify hangover symptoms. There's a reason that drinking water after a massage is highly recommended. Massage is believed to increase movement of fluids, which could also expedite the body's process of breaking down and excreting the alcohol, which in turn could enhance the severity of a hangover and you´ll be thhhhhirsty!

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The key is moderation.  Alcohol, like massage, has a powerful effect on your body.  When you are intoxicated or under the influence, the two don’t mix together in a healthy manner.

Long story short, (too much) alcohol and massage don’t mix well.  Feel free to have a glass of wine pre/post-massage, but keep the Oktoberfest-style beer binge for another day!



Neck pain vs Cycling

We left the slopes back in the past and we give way for the mountain bike season during the warmer months in Queenstown.

But… One of the most common injuries/pain related with ciclyng is neck pain.

This is because it is an activity that requires you to stay for long periods of time in an unnatural position, stressing your back in a flexed position and we need to look where we are going, so we compensate leaving the neck in an hyperextended position.

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That creates a change on the weight distribution through our muscles and spine. The deep neck extensors are tensed for a long time, blood flow to the area is decreased, become fatigued, getting stiffer. Leading to trigger points, muscles spams and potentially a bit of pain.

So, how can we fix it?

1.- Correct fit of your bike.

2.- Professional treatment to ensure muscle and joint flexibility

3.- Regular stretching to maintain a healthy muscle length.

Regular stretching on cyclist will have

Immediate effects:

  • Accelerate recovery: Reducing muscle soreness and stiffness by increasing blood flow, delivering more nutrients to your muscles and removing lactic acid and metabolites.

  • Increased Oxygen Flow: Decreasing post-ride soreness with the added bonus of promoting cell growth and organ function.

  • Relaxation: can give both you and your muscles time to relax. With stress or exhaustion, the muscles will begin to tighten. Stretching can encourage a release of endorphins and leave you feeling encouraged.

Cumulative Effects:

  • Prevent Tissue Degradation: Over time and with age, the body starts dehydrating and stiffening. On a cellular level, muscle fibres start developing cross-links with parallel fibers making them stick together. Stretching slows this process by stimulating the production of tissue lubricants and pulling the interwoven cellular cross links back into an ordered state.

  • Flexibility

  • Injury Prevention:  Stretching keeps the connections strong, treating and preventing injury, improving functionality and longevity.

  • Better Posture & Aerodynamics: Stretching the right muscles can help correct poor posture both on and off the bike. By lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their natural position you can maintain proper posture without the desire to round the back or slouch.


After all of this, you might wonder, what exercises/stretches are good for me?

We give you a couple of them that might help you!

——————————————————————--Neck Rotation————————————————————————

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———————Upper trapezius Stretch ——————————————-Scapula Elevator Stretch————————-  ————————————————————20-25 secs each side———————————————————————-

———————Upper trapezius Stretch ——————————————-Scapula Elevator Stretch————————-

————————————————————20-25 secs each side———————————————————————-

—————————Lateral rotation ————————————-—————-Scalene Stretch———————————-  —————-———3 times per side——————————————-——20-25 secs each side———————————

—————————Lateral rotation ————————————-—————-Scalene Stretch———————————-

—————-———3 times per side——————————————-——20-25 secs each side———————————

Ankle: opposite of Aunty

If you've ever sprained your ankle, you'll know how important ankle mobility is. After a sprain, rehab to the ankle is a must. Instability and weakness aren't only detrimental to ankle function but will also cause anterior knee pain, weakness in your glutes, and heaps more of problems to boot.

But you're in luck cos I'm going to drop some knowledge bombs in the form of 8 critical stretches & moves to help get you back on track.

1 - CALF ROLL OUT 

Soft tissue mobility rollouts can be very beneficial to the dense muscle tissue that can become overactive. Try isolating one calf at a time and use a ball or foam roller to release the calves.

Place one leg on top of the other to apply pressure into the foam roller or ball. You can turn your foot in and out to find a spot that is stiffer.

Make sure you stay on the stiffer spots for one minute. You may find that you have a few spots along the muscle!

Hold for 1 minute for 2 sets.

 

2 - PLANTAR FASCIA ROLL OUT

The plantar fascia is tissue on the bottom of your foot that can affect the mobility of the ankle and foot. It can also become irritated and painful if it becomes too stiff and overstrains.

Our feet rarely have a chance to move with how often we wear shoes, heels, or sandals. To release this tissue, take a ball and roll it on the bottom of your foot.

You may notice one side is more sensitive to the pressure than the other. Roll on the plantar fascia for one minute & repeat twice.

 

3 - STRAIGHT LEG CALF STRETCH

The calf muscle consists of two muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus. Both play vital roles in calf and ankle mobility.

To target the gastrocnemius, you want to stretch your calf in a straight leg position.

Hold for 1 minute & repeat twice.

 

4 - BENT KNEE CALF STRETCH

Sometimes the gastrocnemius isn’t the muscle that is tight. To stretch the soleus, bend your knee (back leg) and keep your heel down.

Hold for 1 minute & repeat twice.

 

5 - ANKLE ROCKERS

The most common ankle joint to get stiff is the talocrural joint, which is the joint that is right where the ankle meets the foot.

When you flex your foot up or down, you are moving from the talocrural joint. The motion that typically becomes most restricted is dorsiflexion (pointing your foot up).

To target this joint, place one leg back and one leg forward with your forward leg flexed. Keeping your heel down, rock forward as far as you can on the front foot.

Rock back and forth for 10-20 reps for 1 set.

 

6 - INSIDE/OUTSIDE ANKLE ROCKERS

Rock 10-20 times in each direction. You might notice that you are a little more restricted in one corner versus another.

Rock 10-20 times for 1 set.

 

7 - ANKLE CIRCLES

Ankle circles are an overlooked exercise. They allow the ankle to get motion in the entire ankle.

Working in both the clockwise and counterclockwise directions will help ensure you cover enough area. Work each direction 10-20 times.

Clockwise: 10-20 reps for 1 set.
Counterclockwise: 10-20 reps for 1 set.

8 - PLANTAR FACSIA / TOE STRETCH

Many of the muscles that help flex and extend the toes pass the ankle joint to get to the end of the foot. Sometimes they can get locked up along that path.

Take your foot and pull your toes back. You may feel a stretch on the bottom of your foot. Hold for up to one minute.

Hold for 1 minute for 2 sets. 

With these eight exercises and a ball, you can mobilize your ankles anywhere. Next time you feel your ankles start to stiffen up, give this routine a try to get some mobility back!

 

At work? Sore neck/back? Here's some Deskercise for you.

You've probably heard how bad it is for you to be sitting at your desk, in front of a computer all day. And chances are if you have been hunched over at your desk day in, day out you are feeling those pains through your neck, upper back, shoulders, etc. 

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Eight hours of sitting (5 days a week) can really take it's toll on the body, believe it or not, so I've gathered up some easy peasy DESKercises (see what I did there) that you can do right at your desk to help get those muscles loosey goosey all through your work week. You're welcome. 

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Each stretch (both sides) should be held for no less than 30 seconds to 1 minute. This is a good rule of thumb for all stretches. If you're not holding even for 30 seconds you may as well not bother stretching at all. Muscles have memory, and you want them to remember this new resting length you're taking them to.

Desk Stretch 1

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Gently pull each elbow to the opposite side overhead. Hold each position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If anyone looks at you funny just keep making intense eye contact with them until they look away first. In any office setting it's better to assert your dominance than shy away. 

Desk Stretch 2

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Remaining seated, extend your legs and reach toward your toes. Stare at the office floor and search for lost pens, paper clips or bits of food for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 

Desk Stretch 3

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Hug one knee at a time, pulling it toward your chest. If you're not able to get your knee up to your chest, go to the position that feels comfortable to you. Hold underneath your thigh to help the stretch along. 

Desk Stretch 4

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Clasp your hands in front of you and lower your head in line with your arms. Pretend you know how to dive correctly, by showing this proper technique you will no doubt thoroughly impress your office mates. 

Desk Stretch 5

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Extend each arm overhead and to the opposite side as you imagine you're an overly eager aerobics instructor during each move. This won't add anything to the stretch but will help run the clock down on that 30 seconds - 1 minute countdown.

Desk Stretch 6

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At this point your boss or office supervisor will no doubt approach you and ask you how long you've been stretching. Take this opportunity to answer with a stretch cleverly disguised as a shrug. Raise both shoulders at once up toward the ears. Drop them and repeat.

Desk Stretch 7

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Clasp hands behind your back, push your chest outward, and raise your chin. If you have fluorescent bulbs staring back at you close your eyes and pretend you have non fluorescent bulbs. 

Desk Stretch 8

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Cross your legs and twist toward the back of the chair. Hold for 30 seconds - 1 minute then switch sides. Use the rear-facing position to have a rant with your co-worker about how messy the microwave is and how it wouldn't be like that it people cleaned up after themselves or covered their containers.  

*Pro tip: exhale as you go into the turn for a greater range of motion for this stretch.

Desk Stretch 9

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Gently pull your head toward each shoulder. Keep your head and neck straight, just dip your ear towards the top of your shoulder, like how a dog tilts his head while he try to figure out what the heck you're talking about. 

*Pro tip: Don't take this stretch further than comfortable. every stretch should feel good, if it feels sore or like you're ready to pull something DON'T STRETCH SO FAR. Back off, and only stretch to where it feels good.

Desk Stretch 10

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Clasp hands together above the head, stretching upward. Follow up with a big clap like you're singing along to Queen's Radio Gaga, or something to that effect...

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Only a Runner Doesn’t Laugh at the Word “Fartlek”

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Signed up for the Marathon? Been training hard. My hat goes off to you, starting and keeping up with a regime like that is no easy feat, so good on you. 

Now that you're deep in training mode all those wonderful sore spots and niggles will be rearing their ugly head(s). 

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Keeping on top of those painful spots is not only smart but will literally get you where you need to be faster. Muscles move better and faster when they are healthy - fact. 

To get your body race ready you need to commit to a training schedule, treat injuries and begin strength training. 

WHEN SHOULD A RUNNER GET A MASSAGE?

That answer is anything but straightforward and is dependant on the the objective of the client aka marathon runner extraordinaire.

There are 4 different types of massage that are specific to the above needs; Pre event, post event, general massage (for runners) & injury specific (remedial massage). Each type of massage has a different goal. As a result, there are a number of right times for a runner to receive a sports massage, as long as the type of massage is administered correctly and is in line with your goals. 

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PRE EVENT MASSAGE

Goal: to get the body race ready.

It is important to keep in mind that every one responds differently to massage. This is particularly relevant when it comes to pre-event work. Some love to get really deep work the day before or even the day of an event; some prefer a light flush; others respond best to over-the-clothes compression and quick invigorating work, and some don’t want to be touched at all for the three or four days leading up to a race.

If you'd like to know how you'd respond it is important to experiment with pre-event work prior to a workout or less important race before implementing it as preparation for a more important competition. 

POST EVENT MASSAGE

Goal: to speed recovery from a race and decrease post exercise soreness.

Generally within 36 hours of a race or competition is when you should receive a post event massage — keep in mind that you've  just put your body under a tremendous amount of stress. Muscles have undergone micro-trauma and tearing and need a bit of TLC. 

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The massage should be on the lighter side but slightly deeper than pre-event work, with slow, controlled, flushing strokes. If the work is too deep it can damage muscles further and prolong how long it takes to recover from the event.

Incorporating a moderate amount of static stretching into the massage is also beneficial. If at all possible, hop into an ice bath or cold whirlpool after the massage and stretching. This combination of a flushing massage, assisted static stretching and cold therapy is a awesome formula for decreasing post-exercise soreness and substantially speeding up recovery from a race or event. I know a cold bath falls more into the cold pricklies rather than the warm fuzzies category, but it's beneficial none the less. 

GENERAL MASSAGE FOR RUNNERS

Goal: To loosen tight muscles, release trigger points, increase range of motion and reduce the risk of injury.

Runners tend to require and respond best to deeper work when receiving a general massage. A very specific massage is required, going deep enough to be effective but not so deep that it causes you to tense up and fight the work (if you find yourself clenching your muscles, its too deep). Some soreness for 24 to 36 hours after the massage is generally fine, but anything longer and the massage may have been too deep for you. 

INJURY SPECIFIC MASSAGE

Goal: To facilitate healing of an injured muscle, tendon or ligament.

Massage on an injured muscle, tendon or ligament can be extremely effective if applied appropriately. It is always important to work in conjunction with a doctor or physiotherapist so you've had a proper diagnosis and the massage is part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Every injury is different, and the massage protocol will vary depending on the type and extent of the injury, but here are a few useful guidelines. For now I'm going to focus on muscle strains, but remember, there are loads of other injuries you can get after running your buns off.

When working on a strained muscle, sessions should be no more than twice a week. The muscle needs time to recover between sessions. In the beginning stages of the injury, work will be be deep and  focused around the injured area but work on the injury itself will be limited to light flushing strokes. Light and very gentle static stretching will be incorporated as well. As the injury starts to heal, applying deeper and deeper pressure with cross fiber friction to the actual site of the injury will help the muscle realign. Gradually the intensity will increase to the static stretch and eventually incorporate resistive stretching (structural integration) towards the end of the rehabilitation process.

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COMMON INJURIES FOR RUNNERS

Loads of injures can and will pop up, but here's a few of the most common and ways you can help sort them out. 

ILIOTIBIAL BAND (ITB SYNDROMME)

It's generally characterized by pain at the outside of the knee. A tight ITB can irritate the bursa at the lateral femoral condyle as well as the bone itself.

Treatment should include working all three of the gluteal muscles, the ITB itself but most importantly the tensor fasciae lata (TFL) this muscle LITERALLY means "tight lateral fascia" and your ITB is LITERALLY tight lateral fascia.  

The ITB usually requires very deep work because of how dense it is. Positioning can play a crucial role in effective ITB. Tightness in the iliopsoas and the vastus lateralis should be checked as well. When a client has an ITB injury or chronic ITB tightness, there is almost always an associated tightness and/or weakness in the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

So...rather that rolling out your ITB over and over and over and over again, roll the above muscles first, once they loosen, the ITB will usually follow.

Also get those adductors strengthened! I wont get into it in this blog (it's already pretty long winded, soz). Try doing 3 sets of 15 really concentrating on slow movements. 

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ACHILLES TENDONOPATHY 

When treating an achilles tendon problem, a massage therapist will start with deep massage techniques of the Gastrocnemius and Soleus (some of the calf muscles). Since these muscles connect to the Achilles and can tug on the tendon when tight, it only makes sense to go to town on these poor overworked muscles. After a good ol' throttling checking through the entire posterior chain of the legs for tightness, including the hamstrings, glutes and the intrinsic foot muscles on the plantar fascia aspect of the foot is a must.

To help facilitate this, grab a golf ball and roll it along the bottom of your feet(s) while you're sitting down. When you release these muscles a lot of the tension from the calf muscles will melt away as well.

RUNNER'S KNEE

This is characterised by pain behind or around the kneecap. As the name implies, it is very common to runners, but not exclusive to runners. The underlying causes are often muscular imbalances the four quad muscles; the vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, rectus femoris are tight while the vastus medialis obliques (VMO) are weak. The tight muscles should be loosened with massage and stretching, while the VMO needs to be strengthened. 

VMO strengthening start position. 

VMO strengthening start position. 

VMO strengthening – finish position: Focus on locking out the knee.

VMO strengthening – finish position: Focus on locking out the knee.

WHEN SHOULD YOU BE GETTING A MASSAGE?

While training, listen to your body. If you feel like you need one? Get one. When it starts getting close to race time try and stick to 3-6 days pre event. As I said above, people respond differently to massage and you don't want to find out a few days out that you still haven't fully recovered from that deep tissue massage you had with Hardcore Helga a day before the big event. 

remedial-massage-queenstown-marathon-2016

Need a massage or have a question, don't worry, I got this.

Have an injury and unsure if you should ice or apply heat to that bad boy?