The Benefits of Massage

Massage is more than an indulgence. It keeps your muscles, health and stress levels in check

November 29, 2012
The Benefits of Massage

This past week was really my only week where I wasn't dieting. I had a photo shoot for Better Bodies in Los Angeles last week, and did an unusual exercise that threw my spine out of place. Think Rocky Balboa, and that crazy cobra abs exercise. I didn't realize I did anything and I didn't know just how locked up and tight I really was. But a few days went by and I got the message loud and clear! I have always had tension in my neck and back, but managed to stay mobile when I lived in Florida because I had visited the chiropractor regularly and got massages as well. But since moving to New York I didn't know where to go, so it has been about 8 months since my last visit.

So in short, I really put myself out of commission for the whole week. I was trying to train but it was impossible, and getting worse. I asked around the gym and was referred to Dr. Durlan Castro in Long Island who does Active Release Therapy (ART), a soft tissue system/movement-based massage technique. I had never had that type of work done, but graciously accommodated me by seeing me last minute over the holiday weekend. They administered anti-inflammatory shots in my back to reduce swelling. And I stayed in bed icing regularly. I then went again on Monday to see him where he performed a technique that really focused on stretching the muscle while moving to release the knots. Basically, it was the pressure that I have always wanted in a deep tissue massage but without the fluff. I couldn't believe I had never heard of or tried this method before. I am so glad to have found this kind of therapy, and the 1 1/2 hour drive to his office was more than worth it. I can see the potential this kind of work has to really release muscles that have been bound up for a long time. I was pleasantly surprised.

This month is going to be extremely busy for me, all the way until Christmas. But I am eager to commit to ART, and see just what it can do to improve my performance in the gym, as well as the quality of my life. I sense it has the potential to keep me injury free. Thankfully, there are no ruptured discs, just sore and swollen but nothing permanent. The pain is decreasing each day. I believe by next week, I will be back on track, and I am doing cardio now. And will try a little tonight to gauge how I am doing.

I suppose if there was anytime for this to happen it would be now.

I am at the gate waiting to board JetBlue for my three-day retreat Real Talk. I am really excited, and I just know this is going to be an amazing journey.

Wishing you all the best this Holiday season!

IFBB Figure Pro Ava Cowan