April 24, 2010 1 Comment
Three weeks down and nine more to go til show time. Things are going very well. I’m enjoying every minute of my training. There is simply no better high. I love seeing the daily changes in my body and I can really feel it start to dial in. It’s like it remembers what to do for prep.
During the past week my coach noticed that the right side of my back/shoulder area was “bound” and suggested I get a deep tissue massage. He asked when the last time was I had a massage and I had to admit I’ve only had one professional massage in my entire life and that was several years ago. He recommended that I get a professional massage at least every other week between now and my shows – every week if I could manage it – with the idea that it would keep my back muscles loosened (makes it much easier to do a back pose if you can actually spread your lats!).
My physical therapist for my elbows recommended a massage therapist who works on a lot of the Chargers and other professional athletes so I made an appointment. When I arrived, I filled out some paperwork and then Shane, the massage therapist, came out to meet me. Shane’s a pretty big guy, which makes sense since he works on football players, but I’m an itty bitty 120 lbs so I was a little apprehensive when I thought about him giving me the massage. )
I told Shane about all my injuries, the joint mobility work I’m doing and the binding up of my right shoulder/lat, which is most likely related to my right hip/low back issue. Things went well until he asked me about my stretching. My what? I asked him. Ummm. I don’t stretch. I know that’s bad but it’s just sooo boring and I’m so unflexible and it hurts to stretch so I don’t do it. He gave me this look that said, “Ah, I’ve got this lady’s number. She and I have a lot of work to do.”
He proceeded to use a combination of deep tissue massage, sports massage, myofascial release and stretching on my back, shoulders and legs. My back (both sides but especially the right side) is so bound that all the muscles in my back around my scapula are acting as one unit. Not good. Plus my piriformis and sacrum are so tight he said no wonder I have such bad back/hip pain. This all ties in so well with what Z-Health Master Trainer Lou McGovern (the joint mobility specialist) said about my messed up gait and – get this – backwards reflexes. I’m a mess!
Shane worked on me for an hour and although I felt like he had beat me to a pulp, he said he wasn’t able to completely free my back and hesitated to put me through much more during that session. He then showed me a piriformis stretch where I’m standing and must put my leg up on a table about hip height (not an easy feat in and of itself). I bend the leg at a 90 degree angle and try to get my knee flat on the table, while leaning my opposite shoulder toward the knee. He demonstrated the stretch and all I could say is “You want me to do what?!” It looked impossible. Well, I swung my leg up and tried. In a word – excruciating!! I couldn’t even come close to putting my knee flat and of course the right side was way worse than the left.
The good news is that he thinks he can help me fairly quickly. I’m going to see him once per week for the next four weeks and then we’ll re-evaluate.
Now for the good news – the second day doing the piriformis stretch I was able to get my left knee flat on the table!!! Not so the right knee but it’s definitely getting closer. I love being able to get results so quickly. It almost makes the pain bearable.
Between my trainer/nutritionist, joint mobility trainer and massage therapist I really feel like I have a great team helping me to be the best on stage ever!!