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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: Sports and Exercise

How I came to Massage Therapy

Megan Crystal

I tend to get asked by new clients, “How did you get into this profession”? It’s somewhat of an interesting story, to me anyway, since I literally had no idea what I was going to “be” when I “grew up”.

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Some might say, we don’t really grow up, but expand our experiences, and grow in some direction, based on that expansion of knowledge through those experiences.

The idea that there is a “grown up destination” has definitely eluded me for, well, most all of my life.

If we’re being honest, turns out, I’m not the only one who still laughs at inappropriate times, and you have no idea how hard it is to keep it together when someone passes gas during a massage. NO IDEA!

I digress….

My freshman year of college I was thinking I’d be a teacher and a coach. I had always been a student of all of my sports, and a collegiate athlete after all. What else could I have possibly been good at?

I had zero imagination when it came to seeing what could be out there for me to do upon graduation. Let’s face it, even when society puts the pressure on us to get that job and make that money, the truth is, it’s OK to still be unsure. It’s all going to be ok. Really. You’ll see.

After doing some private shot put and discus coaching, I soon realized I had no patience for high school athletes who didn’t want to be there, and/or listen to what I had to say. I also wasn’t keen on the idea of dealing with the parents who forced them to show up. Ugh. NEXT.

I was finishing up my Bachelors of Science in Health and Sports Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. I was tossing around the idea of going to Chiropractic school. I had seen a Chiro for years and felt it would be a good transition from what I was already studying.

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I soon found out that I would need more pre-requisites beyond all the sciences I had already taken, in order to apply.

I called up my uncle, who is a Chiropractor, and asked him what seemed like a million questions. What came of that conversation was that not only did I not want to attend 4 more years of school, I also told my Self I didn’t want to be responsible for cracking peoples necks.

Now we all know that’s not what they are doing, cracking necks, and through training and practice, I would have been just fine. It’s truly amazing to think about the lies I told my Self in order to not have to try something challenging. Like I wasn’t smart enough or didn’t have the right study habits to buckle down and do it. What if I failed?

Fear is really a bitch, y’all.

During the same conversation, my uncle asked what I thought about soft tissue work, or Rolfing. I had never heard of Rolfing and it sounded interesting.

The next occurrence was nothing short of a gift from the Universe. I found out I was just ONE hour short of graduating with my Bachelors. At the time I was certainly not happy because of this massive oversight, but looking back, yeah, it was perfect.

I went to Dr. Ratliff, my favorite Biomechanics professor, to get my orders for this one-hour independent study course for the summer. I knew he’d be fun to work with one-on-one. I once saw him stand on a desk and yell his lecture to our small laboratory class room in order to show his excitement for the subject matter. I’ll definitely never forget him.

While I was there, he said to pick a topic, read three journal articles and critique them, read a book on the topic and write a book review, then write a 5 page paper on what I learned.

Give it to me by the end of the summer”, he said.

I chose Rolfing.

Turns out, he was mostly absent from my study unless I emailed or called him up for something. It was fantastic not being micromanaged, but also unfortunate that I didn’t get to spend more time chatting with him.

During this study I ordered information from the Rolf Institute in Colorado and found that if I was already a Massage Therapist, I would start at a different level in the program.

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Again, I picked up the phone to call Uncle Mike to talk it out.

He said to me, “Before you head off to the Rolf Institute, you might better see if you can be in a small room, alone, with a naked person, for an hour, because it’s not for everyone”. Um…I hadn’t really thought about it that way.

With that in mind, I enrolled in an Associates of Occupational Studies Degree in Therapeutic Massage in Oklahoma City. I began my training just two months after finishing up at OU.

I never made it to Colorado.

What I had learned about the human body during my time as an athlete at OU, in the cadaver labs, in numerous physiology and biomechanics classes, then finally, during my 14 month massage program, was something comprehensive and expansive. I wanted to practice all of that and make it my own. It was a natural fit that I truly can’t explain with words. It just felt right.

Now, 14 years later, I am still doing it and loving it.

I have added Parent/Infant massage Classes, Cupping Therapy, and currently working on an adult class to teach massage techniques to help each other at home, as well as teaching the benefits of touch.

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Of course, there are always new modalities and techniques I may learn from Continuing Ed. and other Therapists, and I’m always looking for more ways to get the word out about bodywork and it’s amazing effects.

Looking back, I don’t know that I consciously chose to be a Massage Therapist when I grew up. I think it chose me, and I was open to the possibility.

Telling this story reminds me to listen to my gut and trust that everything always works out. Even that random missing hour of course work at OU wasn’t such a terrible thing.

Much love and joy to you 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!