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Use the form on the right to contact Megan to schedule or for any questions you may have. 

2700 West Anderson Lane, Suite 509
Austin, TX, 78757
United States

(512)744-7483

Living Anew Therapeutic Massage is the product of 9 years in the business of bodywork and massage as well as lifetime of experiences beginning with childhood sports, college athletics, spirituality and healing, beautiful teachers, and a car wreck. We all have our stories to share. A past which brought us to the person we see in the mirror. What if we loved those stories and let them go? You know, focused on the present and the steps we are taking to create the tomorrow we want. Literally, Living Anew. To live in a new or different and usually a more positive way. Through a combination of structural massage and bodywork techniques to release physical tension and stress management  and self-care education, hopefully you, too, will begin to Live Anew. 

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Blog

This blog will contemplate a variety of topics from personal thoughts on life to informative articles about Massage, or humorous narratives and poetry. Perhaps studies on touch, and well, other things that might make you go "huh?" will be included. Come back often and put in your two cents! 

Filtering by Category: Massage Therapy

Get More From Your Bodywork and Massage

Megan Crystal

One thing I've noticed is we don't get the full affect of our massage because we move through life full speed ahead. While relaxing after a massage sounds perfect and I'd prefer everyone to do it, I'm also very aware of the demands we put ourselves under.

I get questions like, "Can I workout after my massage?" No. You may not. Relax, and let your body recover and recuperate. Does the client always listen? Well, in a perfect world, yes. 

Or "I have a bottle of whiskey calling my name tonight". Nope. Allow the toxins to flush by drinking plenty of water. Have your whiskey tomorrow. (Hey, I like whiskey too, and I understand that people are going to do what they like). Get your water intake up, folks.

Ideally, we are hydrated. We get our massage and relax afterward, continuing to drink water. If there is a certain area of the body which was "worked over" pretty well, throw an ice pack on to bring down any inflammation.

Engage in meditation or breathing exercises. Restorative Yoga is amazing after a massage. (Relaxing in poses and focusing on the breathing.) Seems easy enough, right?

Above all, listen to your body. Again, we are all going to do what we are going to do, and in the end, it's our choice to say "yes" to our body and "no" the rat race....for a day at least. 

Below is an article I read which gives 10 tips to getting more out of your massage. Check it out. I thought it was pretty helpful. 

 

Get more from massage: 10 tips

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your sessions.

Time it right

“When I’m really training hard, I’ll add a massage because I want to make sure I’m recovering as fast as I can,” Eric Young (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) says. And Tiidus agrees that heavy training may push us beyond that inflammatory threshold, where massage might be of the most help. So if you’re going to get a rub down, the best time to do it is after hard workouts.

See the therapist who’s on top of the research

You’re not looking for incense and mood lighting. If a massage is going to help you, it will be in large part because it was delivered by someone who specializes in sport science and stays abreast of the literature on things like mechanotransduction (the process by which soft-tissue pressure and stretching promotes immune and biochemical responses). Ask for recommendations and interview different therapists. You’re after something more akin to a medical treatment than a spa day.

Find a middle ground

Clearly you want more than gentle caressing. But, as Young points out, “if you’re grabbing onto the table and crying, that’s probably doing damage.” One study on massage found that overly vigorous sessions increased muscle damage. It has also been shown that the degree of pressure has an impact on the balance between inflammation-promoting and repair-promoting macrophages.

Work your way up

Our veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction. Massaging against blood flow can damage these valves and cause varicose veins. Make sure the therapist works your arms and legs in the direction toward your heart.

Don’t wait too long

The immunological benefits of massage appear to be greatest when treatment takes place within two hours of damaging exercise. If you can’t fit one into that window, plan for no later than the next day. Macrophages shift from inflammatory to repair mode 48 hours after muscle damage occurs. Inhibiting them with massage when they’re in this mode could be counterproductive.

Mind the pills

The same rules apply to painkillers. NSAIDs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen block inflammation, which can be good or bad, depending on where your balance is at. While researchers still debate their effects on training, there is growing evidence. This includes a well-cited study from Denmark in the Journal of Applied Physiology, showing that NSAIDs taken post-exercise by male endurance athletes inhibit satellite cell activity, which is critical to muscle repair and super-compensation.

Don’t ignore the other stuff

Massage doesn’t replace things like cool downs, recovery rides, and stretching — all of which are backed by extensive research. In fact, a 1983 study out of Sweden published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that stretching was more effective for recovery and range of motion than massage in healthy male volunteers.

But don’t exercise after massage

No study has found benefits to pre-workout massage. Hard exercise does further damage and would undo any potential immunological gains from massage.

Yes, use your foam roller

The rabbit study that found benefits to muscle repair used a mechanical massager that was more like a foam roller than a regular massage. (Apologies if you were envisioning lab assistants pampering rabbits on little bunny massage tables.) Two recent studies showed that foam rolling reduces soreness and allows runners to restore their full sprint speed sooner. Higher density foam with bevels appears to increase the effects.

Tune out

Physiological benefits or not, there’s no denying a massage can be good for the soul. “Sometimes it’s just nice to sit there and force yourself to think about the race,” Young says. (We also like thinking about nothing at all.

Massage for Runners

Megan Crystal

Are you a runner and have always wondered why it might be helpful to get regular massage and bodywork? I have worked with a lot of runners over the years, world class and weekend warriors. What I've personally found is massage helps with so many things. From improving flexibility, to speeding up the recovery process and decreasing inflammation, massage is a brilliant way to stay healthy and injury free.

Another side to staying injury free is what you eat, water intake, proper warm up and cool down, and an overall ability to listen to your body. When it's saying STOP, then stop. Your body is a perfectly functioning machine and given the proper environment, is able to run at it's peak performance. It's best. 

In my search for more information to pass on, I found a wonderful question and answer from www.runnersworld.com that I find to be extremely helpful in educating you on Massage and Running. Check it out.....

Hi Susan-

I am new to running and I am trying to establish a good training routine to keep me injury free. I am not very flexible and have had some injuries in the past when I have tried to run. One of my runner friends suggested I try getting regular massage. What do you think? Might massage help me?

Thanks,

Dan

Dear Dan-

In a word, yes! It is very likely that massage would help improve your flexibility and reduce your risk of injury, as well as deliver a whole host of other benefits too! Massage and running go hand in hand, and here's why...

Running requires sustained, repetitive muscle contractions. The greater these contractions are, the greater the force generated is, and the more muscle fibers are required to shorten. These sustained, repetitive muscular contractions translate into speed, power, and distance allowing us to run further and faster. However, this can also translate to shortened, tight muscles, joint range of motion losses, and decreased circulation to compressed tissues. Massage works to elongate the muscles, relieve muscle tightness, restore joint range of motion, and improve circulation.

In a nutshell, massage improves the effectiveness of the circulatory system. This system is responsible for oxygen transfer, nutrient delivery, and waste removal at the cellular level. Our circulatory system delivers blood enriched with oxygen and nutrients, like glucose and electrolytes, to muscle tissue. It then picks up and removes muscle metabolic by-products and waste.

Furthermore, the circulatory system impacts all the other systems of the body too. Therefore, increasing the effectiveness of the circulatory system directly or indirectly impacts our entire body. Better circulation means better delivery of nutrients and oxygen to surrounding cells and tissues.

Therapeutic massage can elicit very specific physiological responses, such as, increased blood circulation, increased diameter of blood vessels, and decreased blood pressure. These effects are significant for everyone, but are of particular importance to a runner looking for ways to recover faster, prevent injuries, and improve performance. Keep in mind, though, that “therapeutic” massage means a specific type of massage, which involves applying a deep pressure that is designed to be corrective to soft tissue. This is very different than spa or relaxing massage and it must be administered by a licensed and trained professional.

More Massage benefits include:

1. Dilates blood vessels which promotes circulation and lowers blood pressure

2. Assists venous blood flow

3. Promotes rapid removal of metabolic waste products

4. Improves the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cell

5. Improves pulmonary function by loosening tight respiratory muscles 

6. Reduces muscle soreness and fatigue

7. Increases/restores joint range of motion

8. Reduces cortisol levels and norepinephrine and epinephrine levels 

9. Restores posture and gait

10. Improves connective tissue healing

It is important to note that the effects of massage are cumulative. This means that the effects and benefits increase with sequential, repetitive massages. Receiving one massage prior to a race will not reap the same benefits as a regular program of massage therapy throughout your training. Massage therapy also works best as a preventative program. Once an athlete sustains an actual injury, seeking medical attention comes first. After a proper diagnosis and treatment, massage therapy may become part of the recovery process.

Massage treatment plans are very individual. The most important goal is to set a regular schedule for your massages whether it is once a week, once a month, or every two months. Assess your running goals and your budget when deciding how often to get a massage. Take into consideration whether you have recurring injuries, are you tackling a new distance, or are you pushing your limits? Next, consider how much you can realistically afford to spend on massage. Look at your training schedule and note the dates of long runs, key workouts, or races. If possible, schedule your massages around these targeted dates. For example, if you are increasing your mileage for a long run every second or third weekend, schedule your massages a day or two after these long runs. Pre-Race Massages should be scheduled 3-5 days before the race and, likewise, Post-Race Massages should be scheduled 3-5 days after a race when muscles are no longer sore to the touch. After assessing your training schedule, budget, and available time, plan accordingly. Massage is a nice training reward to look forward too! And, last but not least, between massages, drink lots of water, stretch after your runs, foam roll often, and eat clean healthy foods to extend the life of your massages. 

All the best to you!

Susan S. Paul, MS 

Susan Paul has coached more than 2,000 runners and is an exercise physiologist and program director for the Orlando Track Shack Foundation. For more information, visit www.trackshack.com.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about how massage can help you. Call me at 512-744-7483 to chat about a regular schedule for your body's needs or check out my online scheduling system to book your Self anytime you want. See ya soon and  HAPPY RUNNING!