Sunday, February 7, 2010

How Massage Therapy Saved My Two Week Spa Vacation

What would happen if on the third day of a two week fitness spa get-away you fall off the sidewalk on the way back to your room and badly sprain your ankle? Is your vacation doom before it has barely begun? Nope, not even close. First, go to the emergency room to make sure it's not broken. Then get the next available appointment with one of the on-site massage therapists. Massage in this case has benefits in several areas. I know because this actually happened to me. So please join me for a short tale of how my massage therapist saved my two week spa vacation or three benefits to massage therapy!

First let's start with stress. Within minutes of the accident beautiful colors were already tinting my ankle and foot. The thoughts running through my head during those first couple of hours, first in emergency and then through dinner, echoed the main question of my fellow spa-mates. "Are you going home?" I don't know about the rest of the population, but I go to the spa for stress relief as much as for exercise and in my book this rates up there as a stressful situation.

Massage TherapyThankfully I had a massage scheduled for after dinner that night. After several minutes into my massage the massage therapist worked her magic and I had no choice but to begin to relax under her artful hands. You see the injury had not just effected my ankle. My whole body had become more ridged in support of that injury. But the muscles, the lymphatic system, my blood pressure all became putty in her hands. And then she worked the pressure points that make you want to breathe deeper encouraging a more relaxing state of mind. My brain calmed down and "Are you going home?" stopped ringing in my head. I was in a state of calm.

Then, she got to the ankle. This is the physical healing part of massage. Ever so gently she worked around the injury. Encouraging those muscles to loosen and relax. Encouraging that ankle to not hold onto the blood but to move it through and around to bring faster healing to the injury. I got off her table that night walking out of her office much better than walking into it.

And I had a smile on my face. You see I had made a decision. I'm not going home. I'm not yet clear how it's going to work out but I'm staying! That was the emotional benefit of massage.

That was Wednesday. I had two more massage treatments with my massage therapist over the next three days. These treatments keep my muscles loose and in a better state for healing. It was hard not to favor my ankle because I refused to stop going to the exercise classes! Yes, I could have parked myself in the sunshine and gotten a GREAT tan but that tan wouldn't look so good in my clothes when I got back home if I stopped exercising. So I did what I could. I could still work my upper body and I could still work out in the pool. I attended each class and did what I could, even the kick boxing class. And boy did I ever punch that dummy bag. Kicking, well not so much.

The following Monday on the timed four mile, sidewalk/road, up a thousand foot walk I bettered my time from the week before by 10 minutes! By the end of the second week I had lost a pound more than from my two weeks stay the previous year! And even with the added stress of an injury clearly my spa vacation was saved by massage and my massage therapist! (Thank you Jane Ann!)

By Pamela Ann

About Author

Pamela Ann does administrative work at the Ann Arbor real estate buyer's agent company For more information on how massage therapy can help you reduce stress and heal faster, visit Ann Arbor Massage Therapy

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