There are a lot of “musts” when it comes to fitness and wellness. You must do cardio. You must do weights. You must stretch. Well, let me add another absolute “must” to your list — you must get regular massages.
Now, don’t give me the following excuse: “But FWAB, I can’t afford it.” I used that one myself, until I it dawned on me that it was a bit silly that I had no problem spending money to make sure my nails looked amazing, yet my body was a mass of knotted up muscles.
The other challenge I’ve encountered when it comes to making massage a regular part of my routine is finding a massage therapist who is a good fit for me. If you’re not comfortable with a therapist, whether it’s their technique, demeanor, etc., don’t be afraid to move on to another. My problem is that I have moved away from some of my favorite therapists, or they’ve moved.
But last year, I found Nancy (nicknamed “Nanhands”) at Village Health, which is conveniently located next to World Gym in Smyrna. After my first deep tissue massage with Nancy, I was hooked. (If you don’t live in the Atlanta area, another way to find a reputable massage therapist is through the American Massage Therapy Association.)
In addition to Nancy’s wonderful technique, it doesn’t hurt that an hour-long massage — any style — at Village Health is $55, which is an absolute steal, since hour-long massages can often cost more than $100. (Click here to see Village Health’s full spa menu and prices.) At that price, I have no excuse but to budget money for this necessity.
My general rule is to see Nancy once a month for an hour. She specializes in Swedish, sports and neuromuscular massage, and will blend the techniques to suit your needs. When I arrive for an appointment, I always let her know about any areas that need particular attention. For me, that’s usually a knee, a hamstring or my upper back.
Then, Nancy leaves the room while I undress and shimmy onto the massage table. I choose to undress completely when I receive a massage, but you always have the option of leaving undergarments on. Another thing to note is that the tables are often heated. If you are hot-natured like myself, don’t hesitate to ask your therapist to turn the heat down or take a blanket off of you (but don’t worry, you’ll always have at least a sheet covering you). Again, you should be comfortable. Lastly, I enjoy chatting with Nancy while she works on me, however, I know of other people who don’t talk much or even fall asleep.
Getting the massage is only half the battle — you also need to stretch on your own. But, I can tell you that as long as I do both, my muscles stay pretty happy. (After not seeing Nancy consistently in December and January, I paid the price in February when my right hamstring tightened up…) To make an appointment with Nancy or one of the other Village Health therapists, call 770-444-9191.
FYI, check back for a special bonus blog on Thursday. Until then — here’s to another FWABulous week!
Do you have a favorite massage therapist in the Atlanta area or beyond? Please take a moment to tell us about him or her in the comment section. (It’s always good to have a list of great massage therapists to pull from!)