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Thread: massage therapy

  1. #1
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    Good job! massage therapy

    I suppose its expecting too much to avoid snide comments and juvenile remarks on the subject....but I will try to wade through that.

    Does anyone else use massage therapy to make pushing the physical envelope easier?

    Maybe its being an old geezer and 45 years of biking adding up, but my priority these days is to schedule in regular massage therapy using the money saved by making my own caffeine drinks instead of springing for Starbucks a few times a day.

    I just started a couple of years ago(I turn 54 tomorrow), and wish I had started earlier, which is why I am passing along this bit of a suggestion. The massage therapist has definitely been impressed by my accumulated damage AND how much I can trash myself between sessions.

    I get an hour massage about every three weeks, sometimes a bit longer, sometimes a bit more frequent. Best move was to get my wife hooked on getting massages so it is an acceptable hit on the budget.

    I go for deep tissue massage which is intense but effective for recovery and putting stuff back into place. I wonder how I survived before I got massage....oh yah I was younger, more resilient and was slowly grinding to a halt. Biggest problem is narrowing down the deep work to fit into an allocated hour.

    I started rolling my legs over some corrugated drain pipe while watching TV, just to break down the layers to get more out of the therapy, which is a nice trick even if you don't ante up for a pro massage.

    Anyway, if you haven't tried massage therapy its a very worthwhile luxury for those of us that trash our bodies regularly....which is most mtn bikers.

    And if you already do...then you know what a luxury it is...
    Anyone else?

    I don't suppose we can avoid the obvious childish remarks on this subject....sigh....

  2. #2
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    My wife has been seeing a massage therapist for over twenty years and she swears by it. About fifteen years ago she gave me a gift certificate for my birthday. About a half an hour into the massage I had to ask the therapist to stop. I'd been cringing the entire time. I just couldn't stand being touched that way (a deeply seated psychological problem I guess). I've had several other opportunities to recieve a massage and just couldn't do it. The funny thing is, if I start to feel pain I hop on the bike or go for a run and generally feel much better. I turned 50 this past summer so we're fairly close in age. Some times I think that my work is so stressful that I need somthing highly aggressive to release the tension.
    I'm not attacking message therapy, it just isn't right for me.

  3. #3
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    I'm engaged to a massage therapist. I may be a little biased, but I think it's essential to a healthy body. My riding has improved greatly since I met her and started getting massage on a regular basis. It's nice to have all of the knots worked out so your muscles function properly. I encourage everyone to try it. I don't know how you were being touched trailgrinder but maybe you should try a massage from a man and see if it makes a difference. That should take any thought of sexuality out of it.

  4. #4
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    I disagree.

    espically with the "massage is essential for health" viewpoint. There is absolutly 0 data to support massage therapy as a recovery modality. Alot of the claims that therapists make are absolutly untrue. The Idea that you can put something back into place, or that exercise puts things out of place is just unfounded. Therapists refer to it as restructuring. A muscle is a structure and its length is unmodifyable. Your muscles cannot be lenghened at all, espically not by smashing them with your hands. Stretching affects the tendons. The length of the muscle and the tendon remains unchanged throughout a flexabiliy training program. The reason you are able to stretch further is an increase in the amount of elastic fibers in the tendons. The length of the muscle and where is originates and inserts is genitically deteremined and not modifyable by non-intrusive means.
    The support for massage generally comes from discussions like this where people say they like it. If you like it and it helps you feel better I am not trying to discourage you from using it. I just wanted to make the point that there is absolutly 0 physiologic data, and that 95% of what is said regarding restructing, Latic acid buffering, and many other claims that are made is absolutly unmitigated, unproven, quackery. If it helps you go for it, but I think it is important to understand that the fact that you enjoy it is what helps you.
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  5. #5
    over 50 years of cycling
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    Wink Clinical study of one

    maybe you are confusing Massage Therapy with Chiropratic therapy? which is a whole other debate.

    I personally find combining a regular habit of stretching and getting massages not only feels good....which is a major point in itself, but keeps me more flexible. It tends to break loose parts of me that are freezing up as I relentlessly become and Old Geezer. Also my non-clinical, sampling of just a few people (wife and myself) have found it helps our overall posture, flexibility and accumulated aches and pains better than doing just stretching alone.

    We also do some yoga and Taiji in addition to normal stretches.

    I woudn't say massages are a pancea/ cure-all but as part of an overall program they certainly help ME keep up with people a lot younger than my 54 years.

    Plus a good massage just is a great way to pamper yourself and feel good. My personal choice is to choose massages over Starbucks.

    It works for me.

    But of course...

    Your Mileage May Vary
    and of course people that have issues with being touched....all I can do is feel sorry for them, since thats not in my list of hangups.....thank gawd.

  6. #6
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    Where is the study?

    I was not trying to say your choice of this service over starbucks was a bad exchange. I just wanted to point out the fact that most of what I hear regarding massage has absolutly no basis in human physiology. I would like to examine this "clinical study".
    Chiropractic has a similar grandious claims scheme as massage, and also uses the placebo "I feel so much better" approach to sales, but there is a large body of reasearch at least partially supporting some of what chrio's do. They have a scholarly, peer reviewed journal that publishes some data suppoprting the claims that they make. I think its called the ICA International Chiropractic association. I have never seen any peer reviewed well controled studies on massage. Certainly no epidemology regarding athritis dieases treatment claims that are made frequently.
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  7. #7
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    massage for me tends to make me vulnerable to pulling muscles for the next two to three days after getting it. i dont know why. i love getting them from an attractive female, i dont mean the happy ending kind of massage either. id say get a massage and see how it does for you i love em i just gotta be careful for a few days after ward

  8. #8
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    Do you mean like this?

    http://www.monumentalmassage.com/art...ctiveness.html

    or this

    http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/abstract/162/13/1815

    You must be an M.D. with an opinion like that. I think you'd be surprised at the amount of anatomy required to become a massage therapist. Nobody said anything about lengthening muscles. Working knots out of them (soft tissue manipulation) cannot be disputed. We're talking about legitimate medical massage like trigger point and deep tissue, not swedish.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntnbiker72
    Do you mean like this?

    http://www.monumentalmassage.com/art...ctiveness.html

    or this

    http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/abstract/162/13/1815

    You must be an M.D. with an opinion like that. I think you'd be surprised at the amount of anatomy required to become a massage therapist. Nobody said anything about lengthening muscles. Working knots out of them (soft tissue manipulation) cannot be disputed. We're talking about legitimate medical massage like trigger point and deep tissue, not swedish.
    WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN NOT SWEDISH!?! just think, the st pauli girl dressed up like little swiss miss rubbing french vanilla oil all over your body. DUDE! now thats a theraputic experience !!

  10. #10
    over 50 years of cycling
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    Cool-blue Rhythm be mellow dude

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway
    I was not trying to say your choice of this service over starbucks was a bad exchange. I just wanted to point out the fact that most of what I hear regarding massage has absolutly no basis in human physiology. I would like to examine this "clinical study".
    Chiropractic has a similar grandious claims scheme as massage, and also uses the placebo "I feel so much better" approach to sales, but there is a large body of reasearch at least partially supporting some of what chrio's do. They have a scholarly, peer reviewed journal that publishes some data suppoprting the claims that they make. I think its called the ICA International Chiropractic association. I have never seen any peer reviewed well controled studies on massage. Certainly no epidemology regarding athritis dieases treatment claims that are made frequently.
    Pedalfaraway, you need to mellow out. Maybe de-stress a bit with good massage.
    I think you are a case in point of what happens when all that stress and tension builds up to much.


    "Case Study of One" is a joke, a bit of sarcasm. I you would stop and think about it for a moment, you might chucle instead of going into an anxiety attack and jumping all over the recommendation by someone who has had good experiences from getting the knots worked out of my muscles.

    This is a mtn bike forum. I expect your reaction on a MEDICAL forum like the sleep apnea forums I used to frequent....which is why I left them.

    Just take a deep breath and maybe soak in a hot tub of water if you are so vehemently opposed to massage.

    And as far as ridindog's post....sigh....
    I was afraid we wouldn't make it very far before it decayed into something like that on this forum....but I was hoping for better.
    But ridindog does help prove the point that this is indeed a mtn bike forum, not a bunch of doctors seriously discussing the future of human medical treatment.....

  11. #11
    MarkyMark
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    Massage Therapy

    This is a bit off-topic.

    In my case, I thought massage therapy was much more helpful than physio.

    I strained my neck/upper back doing bench presses about two years ago. I was trying to push, twisted, and felt something in my neck/upper back and left shoulder. The next morning, I couldn't tilt my head down or turn without excruciating pain (I pulled some nerve/muscle to the left of my spine). My shoulder hurt, but it was a lot better than my neck. I have insurance so I went to my doctor who recommended a physiotherapist whose owner was a former Boston Bruins player. I went to that physiotherapist for about a month and then switched after a month of little to no progress. I went to the second physiotherapist for another month. I finally went to a third physiotherapist for about a month. I was getting better, but I think it was due to time and not related to anything they were doing.

    I started getting sports/deep tissue massages on my own while undergoing physio and I thought those helped a lot more than the physio. My neck/upper back and shoulder certainly felt a lot better afterwards. I thought my insurance would pick up the massages, but they didn't so thats when I quit seeing the 3rd physiotherapist and all physio related to my injuries.

    I strained my lower back about a year ago (don't know how, probably wear from working out, biking, and bad posture while at work). I went to the doctor and told them about it (the area actually hot). She recommended physio, but I told her that I tried physio for other injuries and it didn't work so I had no faith in it. I went to a chiropractor for a consult and he noticed that I still had my old neck/upper back injury (limited range of motion). I got skeeved about the whole spine adjustment thing so I haven't been back.

    Physio was a waste of money ($10 copay for biweekly visits for 3 months) for little to no results for minor or major aches and pains. My probably billed my insurance for $300 per 1 hour visit. I'm sure physio has helped a lot of people, but it didn't help me.

    I kept biking and working out while I was hurt, but turned it down.

    Here's my recipe to getting better:
    Moderate exercise, rest, ibuprofen, and sports massages.

    So, feeling better means you're going to ride longer and hard, recover, and eventually raise the level of your riding.

  12. #12
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    Cool-blue Rhythm PT vs MT

    I was REALLY hesitant to bring up my experience of phys therapist versus massage therapist, because I know thats going to be REAL controversial.

    I screwed up my shoulder from a combination of too much detailed CAD work using a mouse, and slamming on my arm in a mtn biking topple.

    I went the orthopedic surgeon referal over to Physical Therapist. Same experience of months of therapy, which cost me a small fortune in deductibles and copays in addition to my insurance company being billed, and never really made much difference even though I did the prescribed exercises religiously.

    Massage therapist is all out of pocket, but made more headway on keeping my shoulder loosened up than the PT ever did, and due to my career and idea of fun that will always be a battle. And the MT covers a lot of other tight spots.

    Is the massage therapy a luxury? Maybe. Is it worth it? FOR ME....Hell yes!!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Trail
    Pedalfaraway, you need to mellow out. Maybe de-stress a bit with good massage.
    I think you are a case in point of what happens when all that stress and tension builds up to much.


    "Case Study of One" is a joke, a bit of sarcasm. I you would stop and think about it for a moment, you might chucle instead of going into an anxiety attack and jumping all over the recommendation by someone who has had good experiences from getting the knots worked out of my muscles.

    This is a mtn bike forum. I expect your reaction on a MEDICAL forum like the sleep apnea forums I used to frequent....which is why I left them.

    Just take a deep breath and maybe soak in a hot tub of water if you are so vehemently opposed to massage.

    And as far as ridindog's post....sigh....
    I was afraid we wouldn't make it very far before it decayed into something like that on this forum....but I was hoping for better.
    But ridindog does help prove the point that this is indeed a mtn bike forum, not a bunch of doctors seriously discussing the future of human medical treatment.....
    ahh, sigh, can you say ANAL KNOW IT ALL !?!?! read my first response and than mellow out yourself TWISTED TRAIL before you get as holy and uptight as those you give advice to! Oh wait your already there ha.

  14. #14
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well

    Quote Originally Posted by ridindog
    WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN NOT SWEDISH!?! just think, the st pauli girl dressed up like little swiss miss rubbing french vanilla oil all over your body. DUDE! now thats a theraputic experience !!
    Sorry ridindog, I guess I misunderstood your statement?

  15. #15
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    Have to agree

    I'm no old geezer like the OP I'm only 37, but I've done my share of damage to my body through accidents and lack of keeping active through growing years. I really enjoy getting ammassage every month or so, it really helps to loosen up my tight legs, back and any other area I've managed to mangle since the last visit. My problem also is deciding where to get the Massues to spend time on - which is tighter.hurts more....legs, back, arms etc.

    Recently my friend and massues went away and studied Thai Massage and I got one of those the other day - Wow is all I can say. The Thai massage really is kind of more like having a personal stretch parnter and kind of like yoga without doing the work. I'm now torn between which I should get - Thai or normal - and which works best for what pains/aches.

    As the OP said it's my one serious bit of pampering I get, besdies upgrading my bike and it is Sooooooooooo worth the money. FYI I have also been to chiropractors and PT's and there's a place and time for each, but nothing really feels as good as a good masage. One thing, has to be a female Massues, PT I can handle male chiro's, but not someone rubbing me all over plus they're also easier on the eyes - at least the ones I know.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Trail
    Sorry ridindog, I guess I misunderstood your statement?
    no apology necessary

  17. #17
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    Massage Therapy - Benefits of

    My normal screen name is OKLAHOMA. But I can't seem to get logged in. So I am using my sweethear'ts log in name.

    I am a NJ State Certified MT. In my view, the number one benefit of massage is the reduction of stress (which can kill you). But a close 2nd is the enhancement of the movement of Blood through the circulatory system. Frequenty, deoxiginated/mineral starved blood cells will lay caught up in the capillaries (being very convoluted as they are). Thousands of Capillaries reside within an area that would be as big as your thumb. The arterioles feed blood to the capillaries throughout the entire body to serve muscles, organs, tendon, etc. You got the idea. Well, when massage therapy is introduced (I am a clinical therapist who uses DT and Neuromuscular Therapy), it flushes out those deoxiginated/mineral starved blood cells from the capallaries and the void that is created sucks in the fresh blood from the arterioles. Massage also enhances the Lymphatic system which is also a circulatory system. Sometimes, contracted muscle tissue will/can impinge nerves which cause numbness and pain. A good clinical massage can help you with these problems. We aren't doctors, but we are trained in Anatomy Physiology and must pass a set of requirements to be certified either by the state in which we work or a national organization. Not being a SPA therapist I will defer to others to speak to their benefits. But for me, it's all about the blood. The messenger or the body.

    Be Well
    Last edited by maggie; 10-30-2006 at 01:49 PM.

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    Still completly unvalidiated

    The increase in blood flow hypothesis is also fairly weak. I am not aware of any data that supports your assertion that blood pools in the capilaries. Pooling of blood is a problem in the venous system. When this occurs to a large extent varacose veins form. So if massage is effective in liberating occluded venous blood would it not be an effective treatment of this condition? As far as I am aware it is not used as such. Exercise certainly increases bloodflow to a much larger degree then is possible with massage, and in fact is helpful if treating distal pooling in the venous blood. Muscular contraction is the mechanism that moves both venous blood and lymphatic fluid. The idea that massage could increase bloodflow/pressure/dialation to a muscle to a higher degree then cardiovascular activity is hard for me to believe. Somebody who is exercising likely does not have this problem, and people that do sould be treating it with exercise not massage. I am not disputing that massage can increase blood flow, just stating that the increase is too small to effect a system that typically see's 10 fold increases in flow during an exercise state.

    Sorry to be a critic, but I think it is important that people know the scientifc community does not agree with 95% of the claims made with massage. Stress reduction I cannot dispute. If something helps you to relax I am not saying it is a bad idea, I just wish the massage community would stop making such ridicilious claims without any validity.

    With regards to whoever asked about my background I am not an MD. I have a BS.in Human Physiology and a MS in Clinical Nutrition. I currently am a managing partner in a Real estate development company working to increase urban density and support open space. Sorry if I seem like a cynic. The proliferation of unvalidiated basically fradulent claims regarding health is a major issue, and something I would like to help improve.
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  19. #19
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    You may believe what you desire

    This is OKLAHOMA using Maggie's name again to post my final response to you:

    That's your right. However, massage therapy does now have a clinical base of support. We are not only certified by the state under the NJ Board of Nursing (Medical) but a large majority of data that is used in our schools are provided by well established research centers such as

    Touch Institute, Miami, Florida.
    Praxis College of Healh Arts & Sciences, OKC OK
    Optimum Health Center, Troy MI
    Muscular Therapy Center, Cambridge, MA
    Allied Health Dept., Slippery Rock University, PA

    Just to name a few.

    My intention is not to banter with you about what YOU may think "Invalid" about massage and the focus of it's practitioners. I believe what I said about the circulatory system whole heartedly and there is much much more with regards to the benefits of massage (to include the release of muscular adhesion). I am not going to question YOUR education with regard to Physiology. But MT's must complete AP 1 & 2 to certify. I'm not just throwing this information out there to be speculative. It's what was taught in the courses and frankly makes sense to me.

    I am glad to see you are still interested in the aspects of health care while working in an unrelated field. We all should strive to be so knowledgable.

    Be Well!

  20. #20
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    Cool-blue Rhythm worth the price of admission

    Quote Originally Posted by maggie
    This is OKLAHOMA using Maggie's name again to post .......snip
    .....and there is much much more with regards to the benefits of massage (to include the release of muscular adhesion). ....snip......

    I am glad to see you are still interested in the aspects of health care while working in an unrelated field. We all should strive to be so knowledgable.

    Be Well!
    Good points Oklahoma and so much more diplomatically handled than I could have done.

    From the non-medical massagee perspective:
    JUST looking at the benefits of stress relief, working out the monster knots in my muscles, and as you just now reminded me of the muscular adhesion massage has noticebly loosened up in ME (and my ongoing battle with a frozen shoulder from my CAD work), its worth the price of admission TO ME. Of course this is indeed just a "study" of one....or two if you count my wife.

    Someone pointed out that they tend to tweak their muscles more easily if they go out hammering on a bike ride right after a massage. From my personal experience (gotta watch each word apparently) I find its generally NOT a good idea to get a Deep Tissue Massage the day before a big hike or bike ride. I also find if I drink a lot of water the rest of the day/evening after a massage, that the massage seems more effective and any post massage soreness from getting worked so deep passes quickly if it shows up at all.

    Massages work for me anyway....

  21. #21
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    Pre Event Massage

    OKLAHOMA HERE AGAIN.

    In my professional view, you shouldn't get a relaxing deep massage before sports events. A "Sports Massage" which, in my definition, is a very light, rapid stimulation of the muscle fiber. Almost a slight/very light slapping of the tissue. Just enought to wake it up and get the blood flowing. Nothing deep is indicated here. Now, AFTER the event and after a good period of stretching (which the therapist can help you with if you desire) a good deep tissue massage is beneficial.

    Thanks for believing in our field as one of Health Care because, in my line of work, it validates me/us as true professionals to address important clinical issues of their clients. This does, in no way, suggest that you shouldn't see your MD first. That is a given. I love to have guidance from Doctors.

    OKLAHOMA

  22. #22
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    From personal experience, I give a big thumbs up to my massage therapist who practices the Onsen technique of MT. I have a problematic L4/L5 disc that has bothered me since '91. I have been to MD's who just wanted to give me opiates and muscle relaxers or do surgery. I have also been to chiropractors who have made problems worse (comprimising my lateral stability). Since I went to the MT (Paige Wilkinson, btw) I have had very little issues with my back. I have found that I need to go about twice a year to keep my back from causing me problems. I don't believe that the results are due to placebo effect and each injury is different, but I am a big believer in massage therapy.
    'Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.' - Robert Hunter

  23. #23
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    Massages and MT

    A little tidbit seeing the pissing match between MDs and MT proponents.

    I was up visiting my company's Ottawa location and found out that our Canadian employees have a $500/year massage (MT) benefit in their health plan. I don't believe this is part of their government universal health care coverage. They told me that it's actually very common for most health plans in Canada to provide this benefit.

    I guess there might be someone behind massages and MT. Perhaps the Canadian health system sees more benefit in prevention instead of treating the problem when become serious. I just switched to Kaiser just because they said they offer a discount on MT!

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