Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Torture Therapy

Ever since I turned 30, and ramped up my activity levels, I have been perpetually in transition from one injury to another. First was the shin injury from a 2-hour karate class and running a 7.5 mile Bay to Breakers race in the space of 24 hours. Then it was my hamstring pull, that has taken several months to heal. And now, in the last few weeks, my left shoulder has been giving me trouble. I have no idea what caused this; perhaps it was all the joint locks that we have been doing in karate. Either way, I have yet another ache and pain to add to my arsenal.

To supplement my now-regular physical therapy and chiropractic treatment, I decided yesterday to go to a professional massage therapist. My chiropractor told me I needed to work on the muscles, and I figured this would help. Boy, was I in for a treat.

Most people think of massage therapy as low lights, beautiful music, and a nice, relaxing experience with a professional that knows exactly where every muscle and every knot is. It is perceived as a calming, soothing event that leaves one feeling totally at peace.

But for me ? Not a chance.

The therapist I chose is very well-versed in treating sports injuries, and as such, attacked every muscle in my aching shoulder with purpose and vigor. There was nothing relaxing about it. He kneaded, pushed and dug on every single teensy muscle I never knew I had, forcing each one to stretch out and mobilize. The soothing music in the background was constantly punctuated by my exclamations of "Ouch ! Aaaahh ! D*mnit !". It was the longest hour of my life.

But at least now I can lift my arm over my head without pain.

We'll see how it holds up after tonight's softball game.


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