Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Massage at Roman Paradigm with Rachael

No, I don't plan to tell you about every massage I get, there will just be too darn many! But the last one left me hanging, so I assume it left you out there too...just wondering what would happen next. 

My appointment was two weeks after the first, read about it here. The last one was one hour and only my left glute and leg received treatment- I asked for it, really, but the rest of the body needed some work too. 

Friday I walked in and had 90 minutes scheduled with Rachael Hender at Roman Paradigm Massage and Therapy. I was looking forward to this all week.

I was led back to the waiting area by one of the co-owners, Doreen Jattan. She walked back and gave me some of their alkaline water and said "I am the partner of 'the striking man' as we walked back. I laughed and said "ah! The striking woman!" (it's in the last blog above.)

We talked a bit and I learned she is a holistic health practitioner, I find it all very intriguing. I would like to learn more, I do value the belief that as a whole we need to treat the mind and body connection, you really cannot ignore one and consider just the other. 

I told Doreen how I have always had issues with my dorsi flexion, it seems to be quite the root of my problems, darn feet. She asked if I sleep with my sheets tucked in, it pushes the feet down, I should un-tuck my sheets and I may feel a change. I planted a seed in my head to do that when I get home.

Rachael comes to greet me, she wants to know how I felt after my last massage, what were the benefits, were there any issues. I told her how I felt that I had more range of motion, I was able to squat to a better depth, but my right side needed some attention (along with the left again of course). 

She asked if I had my short shorts...hmm, well I was wearing what you see in the picture above underneath my sweats, but how did she know that? I was naked last time we met! Ah, she saw my blog, I am always in these "short shorts", yeah, I stripped down to this and laid face down on the table. I haven't had a massage clothed's gonna be something new! 

She started in on my calves, immediate pain! "What is this called?" I asked. "Structural alignment" she answered. How on earth can her hands on my calves create such tension? Such deep pain? She explained what she was doing and it seems that she was releasing the fascia and realigning my body, so it was moving in the direction(s) it was supposed to. But it had been moving in the wrong way for quite some time, so this hurt, this hurt a lot!

The calves, the glutes, the quads, ankles, feet, all of it was pulled and kneaded and put through some intense pain. I remember her talking about my "medial line" but cannot recall much, I think it's out of whack!

On my side, one leg up, other straight, I helped as she pulled and lengthened, but what I did most was breathe, deep breaths in then very slowly out, it's that same pain, when I release she just goes deeper. I think she was a little concerned at times, but I assured her I was OK, it was good pain, at least when she was done.

We talked most of the time, not like my other massages where I was relaxing and trying to zone out, this was definitely a interactive experience! I kept thinking about food, it is hard not to, I am hungry all the time and constantly dreaming about my meals after my competition. She was explaining about the tight fascia running up my calves, the muscles were encased in a sheath and couldn't break free and grow, the fascia must be released! 

It reminded me of pork tenderloin. I told Rachael and I think I could see her head shaking side to side...wondering how on earth my calves reminded me of pork tenderloins. It's the silver skin I explained, you see, my calve muscles have silver skin surrounding them, I need to get rid of it! Below is a short video of removing silver skin in case you have no idea about  what it is! One look and you will understand why my calves won't grow!

(Email readers will need to navigate to the blog to view the video below).

She worked on my Achilles, oh my, that hurt! I laughed and said "Who cares about the Vulcan Death Grip- just use this, it will kill your opponent every time!" 

She never got to the rest of my body, it was the hips down only for 90 minutes! And never was it restful, it was a very long period of tightening and releasing, stretching and pushing, pain and pleasure really, but it felt good. I cannot describe it really. There were times the pain was so strong that she would remind me to breathe. 

At some point she was working on my hamstrings I think, or it could have been those tight calves again and the pain was almost too much. She remarked "Dang, I can see the veins popping out of your calves!", I think I could FEEL the veins popping out of them.....

The amazing tension built up, the pain and then the release just went on an on.

She ended by releasing my psoas, and this too was intense, and I think we need to do it again! Here is a video so you have an idea of what this was:

 This video makes it appear so calm and easy, well let me tell you- maybe my psoas was (were?) super tight, but it was not so easy as this, it was pressure and tightness and tension.

That night as I lay in bed (with the sheets untucked so my feet were loose and not pressured ), my calves were hard and felt swollen, they throbbed. I made an effort not to let my feet get pushed down by the sheets, but I actually like to sleep on my stomach or side, so I ended up scooting all the way down and laying on my stomach, with my feet hanging over the edge of the mattress! ha ha fooled em! Then, because I have an old antique bed (David's grandparents), I pushed my feet against the curved wood foot board, and stretched my calves and finally fell asleep. I woke quite a bit and kept thinking how I must foam roll them in the morning. I did, but that did nothing, my foam roller was no match for Rachael.

Sunday, my Achilles were very tender, the insides of the ankles hurt as I walked on my treadmill, I could see slight bruising too and that is to be expected with this kind of massage. I tried rolling on a lacrosse ball, but I couldn't get enough pressure with that either.

Mondays I meet Roy at night to train hamstrings, so in the morning it's calves, abs and cardio. I hit the stairmill for 20 minutes and was fine, but the calves were not OK yet. I did my Donkey Calve Raise with 90 pounds strapped to my waist, 4 sets of 30 reps. My calves were burning at 15 reps, not typical and I didn't stop. They looked full, they felt hard.  

I have an appointment in a couple weeks, some day we shall get above the hips, but for now, I want to stick to what we are doing, I think it will improve my physique and my overall health.