Do you dabble in any ‘alternative therapies’? Being trained in Western medicine, there are quite a few ‘therapies’ that I’m sceptical of, for example, reiki. Then there are those alternative therapies which I think are a complete waste of time – colonic therapy comes to mind, especially with the ‘waste’ bit, lol.
However, there are some alternative therapies that seem to just ‘work’, even though I cannot explain them in the logical sense with my Western training. These include techniques such as acupuncture and more recently, Chinese Tuina massage.
After thrashing myself in “Ride” class last Wednesday, I woke up with the unpleasant feeling that my hip flexors were begging for mercy. Teaching my regular Thursday morning pilates class at The Wong helped a great deal, but I was still feeling a bit twitchy a few hours later.
“A massage is what I need!” I thought.
However, I couldn’t get an appointment at the regular place I visit for a sports massage. Then, I had the sudden idea of visiting the Chinese massage store, “Xing Dong” and decided to give it a go. I had the “Legs” (including front and back legs) massage. I have to include this part because, being Chinese, it doesn’t seem quite right to state “front of legs” and “back of legs”. “Back legs” and “front legs” all seem to be part of the Chinese charm.
According to the brochure I picked up from “Xing Dong”, Chinese Tuina massage has been “traditionally taken as the most effective treatment to relax tension in the body. It combines acupoints where energy accumulates, with deep tissue massage, focusing on the deep layers of muscle tissues. It stimulates and activates body’s own powers to fight illness and restore harmony.”
From the website, “Tuina”:
“Chinese Medicine is based on the Daoist principles on the relationship between humanity and the world in which they live. Our modern lifestyles have neglected this relationship to a point where we suffer disease, emotional disorders and mental disease but through understanding these principles we can achieve a healthier balance in our lives.”
The massage itself is quite different to a Western style sports massage. For a start, the massage is done fully clothed, which I see as a big bonus, particularly in winter. The therapist places cotton sheets over you and massages you through the material using not only the hands, but the forearms and elbows as well. There’s a mixture of long massage type strokes, pressure point massage and percussive massage – think of a karate chop motion and you’re close.
I was quite amazed at how relaxing it was -here I was being massaged in a shop front, for a start – and there was quite a bit of Chinese (I am guessing) language around me. The language to me, almost sounded sing-song like in sound, and combined with the relaxation music and not having to worry about being half naked, really made for a positive experience. The good news is that my muscles seemed to respond very nicely to my therapist’s ministrations and I was as good as gold on Friday.
Naturally, I was rather enthused about feeling better and had another Chinese massage on the Friday. It’s very inexpensive – almost half the cost of a Western massage here - and I believe it helped set me up for a weekend of very happy motoring in the exercise sense.
I thought it would be useful to mention this experience as my post on “overload” on Monday threw up quite a few comments about the need to recover – which I believe is all important – yes, particularly as we get older.
Are you a user of alternative therapies? Have you got any other ‘recovery’ tricks?