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The benefits of massage

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  • The benefits of massage

    In my view, both on the forum and in the magazine, there has been quite substantial focus on remedial treatment of injuries, which is a good thing of course. Injuries can disrupt kendo training and can be very annoying indeed. Less emphasis has been placed on prevention though. Often, we've been told to stretch before and after training. However, I personally feel that that alone is not enough. Though we may have given our bodies ample time to recover, our muscles may still be too "tight" for our own good.

    Case in point: I strained my left calf muscle about 2 weeks ago. My dojo mate, a GP, said that I've strained the joint of the soleus and the gastrocnemius muscles. Practically speaking, this means that I felt the most pain when I'm at the top of the "push" (using the left leg to drive the momentum) which is extremely annoying coz that affects ashi-sabaki. I accepted the advice of my friend and consulted a remedial massage therapist at a university's sports clinic. He examined the muscles of both of my legs and remarked that they are very tight ("like steel"), more so on the left then on the right, WITHOUT even knowing what kendo is. 40 minutes later, my legs feel wobbly, but I feel no pain whatsoever today.

    Muscles can form "knots" if they're not stretched well. Massage can assist in straightening them, and to remove surrounding accumulated lactic acid, making them more flexible. In my case, since there are micro tears in my left calf, remedial massage assists in increasing blood flow to the region and helps to mitigate the formation of scar tissues. Therefore, if you've strained any muscles, visit the sports clinic as soon as you can for remedial massage - it is a key catalyst to recovery. For AUD$35 per half hour it's a bargain.

    Massage also helps to reduce the chances of muscle-related injuries due to the reasons as described above. If you work in front of a PC like myself and have poor posture, one muscle group that maybe constantly tensed is the trapezius, or the muscle which connects your two shoulders and neck on the back. Compound that with failure to relax your shoulders in jigeiko/shiai and you'd get a very tight trapezius, which limits locomotive movements of the head and shoulders, not to mention increasing the chances of injury given the extra weight of the men.

    After experiencing massage and feeling its effects, I highly recommend periodic massages either for remedial or preventive purposes. The last thing any kenshi needs is an injury which doesn't heal well i.e. chronic. We need to take care of ourselves in order to improve our kendo.

    So...have you used massage to help you recover or prevent injuries? Any doctors/physiotherapists/massage therapists out there who would like to add?

  • #2
    I would personally want a swedish lady masseuse to give a good rub down. That would ease up the ol' muscles IMO.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Swissv2
      I That would ease up the ol' muscles IMO.
      And stiffen others hmmm?

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      • #4
        sure sure!

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        • #5
          i massage myself. i can't afford to pay someone. (what a loser!....me)

          my doctor told me to consult a physiotherapist for my tendonitis on both of my knees. he also told me that a gym trainor would say the same thing as the physiotherapist. so i went to the gym instead and the trainor told me to do leg exercises but no to use the thread mill and the stair climber cause it stresses out my knees.

          ~taganahan
          Last edited by taganahan; 27th July 2004, 03:23 PM.

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          • #6
            Yups, I'm a big fan of it.
            Best one I had was in NZ. He pretty much figured out how to control my backproblem, something which 5 different physio's couldnt do. (And he did it in 10 mins too!).
            His style was somewhere between Swedish and Sports massage.
            Currently, I'm using a 'traditional' Sports Masseur. Hurts like hell, but it works. Just don't plan on going to kendo on the same day, as you can't walk .
            He's pretty pricey, so I just go twice a month.

            Jakob

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            • #7
              Ahh yeah my massage therapist is a traditional sports masseur too. Really works the muscles, but feels so damn good. He did tell me to take it easy for the next 24 to 36 hours to let the muscles settle in - some of his clients have hurt themselves thinking that they could train harder so soon after the massage coz they felt good after it.

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              • #8
                This thread has too many set-ups for jokes.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hai_hai
                  This thread has too many set-ups for jokes.
                  But not nearly as many as "Does your shinai have a name?"

                  Anyway, here's another serious question (and a few unintentional set-ups for those that can't resist.)

                  Andoru & Jakob, do you guys know anything about Thai massage as compared to Swedish or Sports massage?

                  My girlfriend once did a course in Thailand and promised me a session, but she's been too lazy and i've been too undemanding. It sounds like a good idea to cash in my rain check after the next super-suburi-session.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hai_hai
                    This thread has too many set-ups for jokes.
                    LOL... way too many.

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                    • #11
                      not-I: sorry mate, haven't tried Thai massage I'm afraid.

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