Therapeutic Bodywork Billings MT
By Kelli Rosen
Two months before the U.S. track and field Olympic trials, college high-jump record-holder Erin Aldrich twisted her ankle so severely that the inside of it actually touched the ground. Never mind the torn tendons and ligaments, the Olympics in Sydney now seemed hopelessly out of reach for the young track star.
But they weren’t. With the help of a Rolfing expert, Aldrich competed at the trials and secured a spot on the team. Now she’s looking forward to the 2004 Games in Athens.
More and more athletes—from Olympians to weekend warriors—are incorporating bodywork techniques such as Rolfing into their fitness routines. Other popular practices include massage therapy, yoga and Pilates. Although many athletes explore these options only after suffering a severe injury, many stick with them when they realize that bodywork can prevent future problems. And once they experience a boost in performance, they’re positively hooked.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not suggesting runners ditch stopwatch training or cyclists spend less time doing laps. But by integrating traditional sport-specific training with bodywork, athletes are seeing positive results. And, even if your fitness goals run more toward competing in the neighborhood 10K than making the Olympic team, you can too.
Some consider massage therapy a luxury to be indulged in while vacationing at a spa. But to many athletes, scheduling an appointment for deep tissue work is just as important as lifting weights at the gym.
Vigorous kneading and rubbing increases circulation and helps rid the body of metabolic waste that can collect in the muscles and soft tissue after an intense workout or athletic performance. Greater circulation means more oxygen and nutrients are available for tissue recovery. And since deep tissue massage may also help break up adhesions and scar tissues, it can play a vital role in healing and preventing injury.
Sally McJoynt, a certified massage therapist in Boulder, Colorado, and a member of the medical team at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, recalls one client she worked with prior to the New York Marathon. He’d suffered a severe hamstring pull just two months before the 26-mile race, and doctors thought he’d have to abandon hopes of competing. Massage therapy twice a week allowed him to cross-train in the swimming pool. Not only did he run in New York, he achieved a personal record.
“It’s just another tool in an athlete’s basket that keeps them geared up for events,” explains Kyle Kolakowski, another Boulder massage therapist. He says that athletes who schedule a light massage the day after a big workout are better able to flush out toxins, so they’re ready for the next training session.
That’s advice well taken, according to Ricci Luyties, a former professional volleyball player and current assistant volleyball coach at the University of Colorado. During a rigorous tournament where he played several matches a day, Luyties—who suffered from...
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