a relaxing sunday massage?

9 Jan

I just got home from a massage.

Doesn’t that sound like a fabulous way to end the weekend?

I love the sound of it, but my massages are very rarely relaxing.  Don’t get my wrong, they are awesome and my massage therapist is the best there is, but the massages are more painful for me than they are soothing.

Let me back up.

I started seeing a massage therapist on a fairly regular basis a few years ago. I believe it started during my training for my first half-marathon. I’ve had massages previously, but pretty sporadically (does anyone else think of Clueless every time they use this word?). Occasionally I would receive one as a gift or treat myself after a big event. Once I started training for the half, I decided to see someone who specialized in dealing with athletes. I friend highly recommended someone who was trained in myofascial release. Mysofascial release is where they press on the problem areas and work them out with some pretty intense pressure. That’s when I found Stephanie and she’s been helping me through various races and bike tours ever since. When I get done with a massage, I feel like I’ve had a workout and often times I’m sore the next day. There have been two times that I have come very close to crying. Today was one of those days.

I have been experiencing some pain in my upper back and neck area the past few weeks. This is one of my ‘problem’ areas that Stephanie always spends a lot of time on. Today it was the only area she spent time on.  I knew it was bad when I she started saying, “Woah.”  “Good god.” and “What did you do?”. I wish I knew! This area is where I carry any ounce of stress I have, but I don’t feel like I’ve been particularly stressed lately. Maybe I slept on it wrong? Turned funny? Lifted too heavy of weights (I have been lifting more lately, but let’s be honest – nothing super heavy)?

After an hour of work on the area, I’m in some pretty decent pain. I left with homework. First, I need to ice the area as it is extremely inflamed. That’s going to be tough because the thought of icing when it’s below zero outside is not super exciting. I will do it though! The other big thing she said was that I was clearly dehydrated based on the amount of twitching going on in my muscles. I’m on strict orders to drink water like it’s my job. As you may remember, this is not my strong point. I’m determined to master this whole hydration thing.

So, I’m going back to some of your comments on that post about how to drink more water. My water bottle is coming with me everywhere and I’m vowing to not leave work until I have finished 64 ounces.  Maybe I need a reward for the days I complete this. Any thoughts?

Please don’t mis-understand me on this massage thing. I think they are extremely helpful especially if you put your body through things like running, biking or any other sport on a serious level. I think getting a massage just to relax is also wonderful. I think they should be mandatory actually. :)

Any other tips or tricks that you use to keep hydrated? Anyone else struggle with this when it’s so blasted cold outside?

Do any of you get regular massage? It is relaxing or uncomfortable?

Note: Stephanie is starting at a new massage center next Sunday. Check out Epic Bodyworks. If you are in need of some “work”, I would highly recommend Stephanie.


9 Responses to “a relaxing sunday massage?”

  1. anne January 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    I don’t get massages nearly as often as I’d like to:) As far as hydration, you could make it a goal to drink a big glass of water first thing when you wake up in the morning, then you give yourself a headstart for the day. I like to add a lemon or lime wedge to water to liven it up a bit. Or cucumbers- yum! Oh, and I once worked with a woman who drank hot water out of a coffee mug all winter long, you could give that a try!

    • jen January 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      I am currently drinking hot water out of a mug!

  2. Ann January 10, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    Sticker chart and reward system for ounces of water that you drink?? I know you are not a 5 year old, but it could work..hehe

    • jen January 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      I do love stickers and I even though of putting something up on the fridge.

  3. Fav Sista January 10, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    I love water and have never had an issue drinking plenty. I too have friends that drink hot water all day. They feel it is very soothing and it if cools down…no problem!
    I used to get regular massages and I too have issues with my upper shoulders and neck. My therapist would just say, “Ick” once she laid her hands on me and yes, they were painful yet it was a good pain. I have not had a decent massage in a long time. My husband does a mean massage – yes, mean. He knows where the knots are and gives them some pressure untl they ease out a bit. It works and his rates are much cheaper! :0)

  4. Liz January 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    You could keep a tally of how many glasses you have – and when you reach 8 for X amount of days in a row, treat yourself to a latte or something else you love.

  5. Amanda January 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Okay – My only idea on the water is just to drink some anytime you are near a faucet. This includes after going to the bathroom. Seeing the faucet could be your reminder!

    Regarding the massage – I had a pretty intese massage guy for a while, but recently went back to the woman who did my pre-natal massage and it was finally relaxing and intense at the same time. I’m not sure how she did, but I would recommend a follow up for you that let you just enjoy it a bit more! That means two massages for every one you were getting! :)

  6. Monica January 11, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Re Water. I think it’s important to start to identify when you are thirsty. Last night for instance, I was thinking about eating something more after dinner and then I realized – I’m really just thirsty! I think you’ll find that your body is telling you to drink water more than you realize and that you need to listen to it more.

    I’ve also found the following things to help: bringing 2 Nalgenes with me to work, having a water cooler at home or at work if possible (I like cold water), adding treats to water every once in a while (see lemon and the peppermint I mentioned the other day). I think if you force yourself to do it for a week, you’ll start to find more times that you really are thirsty.

  7. emily (a nutritionist eats) January 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    I just started getting myofacial release/cranio sacral for my neck and it has been AMAZING so far! (I wouldn’t call it “relaxing” like you would normally think a massage would be either)

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