Does Massage Therapy Really Help?

Last night month [sorry, I’ve been a tad busy], I treated Nick to an hour long massage since I had a few extra months prepaid on my membership. As I was lying on the table with a woman releasing all the knots in my shoulders and stretching my hips, flexors, and quads, I started thinking about the benefits of massage therapy as a runner and athlete. There must be something good for you, other than the complete relaxation at the end, right? So, this leads me to these facts:

  • There are 640 muscles in the human body.
  • There are 5 million touch receptors on your skin alone.
  • A 60 minute massage is similar to 7-8 hours of sleep [so I guess I’m needing more sleep when I come out feeling exhausted, but ready to go when I’m fully rested].
  • At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, massage therapy was offered as a core medical service for the first time [Athletes need it too!].
  • Massage stimulates the production of endorphins [Bring them ON!].


[Sorry, I can never get this scene out of my head when anyone mentions endorphins.]

Sources & more facts: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Now, no massage beats the many I enjoyed in Thailand last year. On the beach, waves crashing on the shore, a warm breeze = complete bliss.

However, I am now back to receiving massages regularly and am starting to see a difference in my recovery times after a long run. I am now not completely dead after running 10+ miles, but can easily jump in the car and drive for 6-7 hours with no problem <- post stretch and shower, of course! I’m ready for my foam roller at the end of it all, but I’ve improved my stamina dramatically and with the aid of massage therapy, I’m back up and moving again in no time [normally, the next day I’m lifting weights or running].

I know everyone’s experience and idea is different in the realm of massage therapy, but for me – it works. Massage + yoga = a happier me [and a happier life]!

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Thailand: Fire Dancers, Bangkok Adventures, Hangover II, and Fishy Spas

First, a few last pictures from our time in Koh Chang. These were the guys who played with fire on the beach front to celebrate Christmas [sorry for the poor quality].
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We returned to Bangkok on Christmas Day, just in time for a spectacular dinner that’s not to be forgotten. Great food and great company!Christmas Dinner
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We celebrated Christmas the following day due to our varying traveling schedules with FRESH mimosas!
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A new Panthers shirt for me to support my man’s team.
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Best mojitos EVER, while enjoying the stories of the matriarch:o)
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Blessing of the massage parlor just down the road from our hotel, the Drop Inn.
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A little temple sight-seeing for the crew.
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Mean man!
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No wonder we got many strange looks…haha just kidding!
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The reclining Buddha.
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Massively, huge feet on the Buddha.
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Offering prayers, sans any and all makeup. Way too hot for that mess!
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Nick’s turn!
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Boys will be boys…
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Yep, totally missed Nick’s face when I took this!
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Love the Buddha’s in orange.

That evening, we ventured out to the Sky Bar, the world’s highest open air bar for drinks and where this scene was filmed for Hangover II.the-hangover-2-movie-image-cooper-helms-galifianakis-03
Remember this scene? They were very particular and didn’t want anyone recreating the moment there or taking pictures on the stairs. Rather you had to venture down to the bar area for all pictures.
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The next day, we ventured out to the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok – I want this house!
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Beautiful, peaceful gardens.
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Open air living at it’s finest. 
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The story of Jim Thompson was very interesting to hear with a few surprising facts discovered in relation to his death; who knows what really happened to Jim Thompson in the jungles of Malaysia. All I know is that I would not willing leave a home like this!

Our next adventure took us to the largest outdoor market in Bangkok, the Chatuchak Weekend Market, is only open [yep, you guessed it on the weekend]. We only spent one weekend in Bangkok and knew this was on our list to shop at! I only have a few images, as I was way too busy shopping!!
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The freshest [and cheapest] mango I have ever tried.

Our next adventure was following through on Nick and Brenden’s Christmas gift…fishy spa time! And of course, we all gave it a shot.
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Proof: Mere was in for approximately 10 seconds!
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After I quit laughing hysterically…it tickled!!
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It’s definitely an odd experience, but really cool at the same time. I’d repeat this experience again in a heartbeat. Others, I would venture to guess would not repeat, while Nick would swim with them for hours on end.

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Ice cream for dessert from Swenson’s – yes, it was good enough for repeat visits and I refuse to count how many!! [It’s vacation and I walked it all off x3]

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Susan wins the best Christmas gift award for 2012 with this shirt!

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My first udon experience in the mall just down the street.

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Matchy, matchy after our last foot massage before our flights back to the states. Not sure how I left these out before, but at 60 baht [~$2 USD], you could afford one daily and still not make a dent in your monthly massage budget…completely relaxing and the best way to conquer jet lag and prep for a long flight/night ahead.

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And it finally happened, I drank out of a raw coconut [even if it happened in the airport, it still counts].

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Farewell, Thailand! Thanks for the amazing memories. We will be back, definitely!!