I am a HUGE advocate for self-care. Aside from annual physicals, well-woman exams (OK, in the interest of full disclosure the only reason I really get my annual well-woman exam is because they hold my birth control refills hostage without a pap smear) and tending to your mind/body wellness, I am a firm believer in the power of massage - especially now that I have been bumping up my running mileage while half marathon training.
While I do have an online shopping addiction (thanks Amazon Prime) and unhealthy crafting habit, I don't spend money on other self-indulgences like manicures, trips to the hair salon (seriously, I get my hair cut twice a year) or delicious gingerbread lattes from Starbucks. But, I have no issue in splurging for a monthly massage. In general I am not a fan of being touched, especially by strangers, so I am fortunate that my dear friend Stacy is a massage therapist. Last night I had my monthly appointment with her, I showed up tired and crabby, but when I left I felt like I was floating on a cloud.
A quick Google search pulls up countless articles extolling the benefits of massage therapy for runners. Whether the evidence is scientific or anecdotal I don't really care. All I know is that since starting my massage therapy sessions I have found that my recovery time after long runs has decreased, and my ability to successfully self massage with a foam roller has improved because I have a better idea of my "problem areas" - thanks to the dialog I have with the therapist. For me, that has been the key to taking full advantage of my monthly massages... Talk to your massage therapist, she is your friend!
So tell me, have you employed massage therapy as part of your running regimen? If so, do you find it to be beneficial?