By Stacie Nevelus, Massage Consultant to www.OneMileRunner.com
“Yeah David” the onlookers would yell in languages he didn’t even understand, but that’s not where this adventure begins. This adventure begins in Sarasota, FL where David visits me weekly for therapeutic and sports massage. My job is to keep him ready for high performance and injury free. This makes for a difficult task as he sets out around the world to accomplish his feats of speed. The adventure, Around the World In Under 30 Minutes. This entails running 6 one mile races in 6 weeks in 6 continents in under 30 minutes. My challenge was to bring David the therapeutic and recovery effects of massage as he jet sets around the globe. How would I do that when I’m here in Sarasota, FL and he is abroad? That answer became apparently easy. As a practioner and educator of Massage Cupping Therapy, I would instruct David on the many uses of a single silicone cup. He would use this cup in the shower with soap before and after his events and training. The true testament would be how his body felt when he got back and on my table. David set out on a feat of speed Around the World in Under 30 Minutes with one cup, 6 continents and a multitude of uses. This would be my contribution to this running endeavor of speed.
Pre-race massage usually consists of some gentle rocking and/or shaking to loosen up the muscle and get some blood flow to the tissue. What I would ask David to do pre-event is done in the shower. The tool I had David use is a Russian-made bell shaped silicone cup that measures 3 inches at the opening. While in the shower before each event or training, David would lather up the areas of focus with soap. For David, this would consist of the gluteal area and the legs. Taking the bell shaped silicone cup in hand, gently squeeze and release once on the lathered skin and begin gliding. This creates a vacuum that lifts the tissue and penetrates deep into the muscle as it glides over the soapy skin. Starting in the gluteal area, begin working in a circular motion. The cup can be moved in any direction or parked for a few minutes over a particularly tight area. For a runner, it is usually the piriformis and the gluteus minimus. Then follow with the same suction glides over the thigh then lower leg and finishing with strokes towards the groin area. The purpose of doing Massage Cupping before the event is to bring blood flow to the muscle tissue. With this method, you can feel it warming the tissue as it brings the oxygenated blood into the tissue. This blood flow is evident by the pink hue found in the skin. This is particularly important prior to a one mile event. When running at such speed, it is vital that the muscle be properly warmed up. Using the silicone cup prior to such speed will effectively warm the muscle and prevent it from seizing up during the race.
After an event of this speed, the tissue is flooded with lactic acid, and very fatigued. I find that using Massage Cupping with the silicone cup post event will effectively flush this out. This simple process will clear out old debris and lactic acid that occurred during the race. This allows for quicker recovery and the ability to get back to training sooner by decreasing the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Once again, in the shower, repeating the same area and stokes to achieve the flushing of the muscle tissue. With the function of the vacuum effect created by the cup, water is pulled from the cellular level into the muscle tissue helps to hydrate the tissue. It is because of this that it is important to drink healthy amounts of water. This is the same as in any post event recovery.
As six weeks had passed, I am sure for David the flying, car rides, remote locations and time zones made for one great adventure! David was successful in completing his 6 miles in 6 weeks in 6 continents in under 30 minutes . . . injury free! Once back in Sarasota and on the massage table, I was amazed at how well his body held up. David truly went the distance. With one cup, six continents and a cup with a multitude of uses. I know what will be in his travel bag when traveling far from home. For David will be traveling the miles while going the mile. I can’t wait for what adventure lies ahead . . . to be continued!
You can find out more information on Stacie Nevelus and her work at www.stacienevelus.com