50 Bob Charles Drive 
Botany Downs

Tel 021 95 95 95
or 09 273 7092

October 2003


The term "hamstring" originated in 18th Century England.  Back then, butchers would display pig carcasses in their shop windows by hanging them from the long tendons at the back of the knee.

Post Event Massage

Post-event massage tents are generally considered an essential service these days at events of half marathon distance or longer, and more and more athletes are using them, judging by the ever growing queues that often gather outside.

So, what is the purpose of the post-event massage?

Post-event massage is intended to help the athlete to recover from the event; reduce post-exercise soreness; and re-establish range of motion and blood flow to tight muscles.  It can also provide a psychological lift.  I have also found that it can assist the athlete to identify slight injuries they may have picked up during the event, which they can then address with their own therapist later in the week.

A general post-event massage lasts for 10-15 minutes.  I use compressive gliding strokes to calm the nervous system and push fluid through the legs, light squeezing strokes to ease muscle tension, compressive strokes to spread muscle fibres and restore blood flow; broadening strokes to lengthen tight muscles; and compressive gliding strokes as a finishing stroke to soothe.  I also use some light trigger point therapy if required.

I prefer that my post-event massage isn't painful to the athlete, although trigger point therapy can be a little uncomfortable momentarily.  Working with athletes whose pain thresholds are unfamiliar to me can make this challenging, but it can be achieved by staying in communication with the athlete and also watching for non-verbal signs like flinching and cringing!

So you might like to try a post-event massage after your next event.  The standard of therapist I see at events is usually pretty good, but they don't know your preferences so don't hesitate to give them instructions on what you want them to work on, and what pressure you prefer.  Please don't feel that it is "no pain, no gain", and never hesitate to ask the therapist to lighten up if necessary - I just hate to see an athlete clutching the table and cringing, because they assume that this is how its meant to be.  A good therapist will listen, and either lighten up, or explain clearly why what they are doing might be causing you some discomfort. 

Some events run a booking system, but generally you just join the queue. Cost for post-event massage is generally $1 per minute, with most athletes opting for 10 or 20 minutes. 

If post event massage isn't for you, then make sure you get in early to book an appointment during the week following the event - times fill up fast and are usually booked up about a month ahead of the more popular events.  

Biokosma Foot Care Gel 75ml $19.00

Refreshing and invigorating, Biokosma Foot Care Gel contains pure essences of peppermint and pine, with jojobaoil to make the skin soft and supple.

Perfect for giving feet a pick-me-up at the end of a long day at the office, or on the road.  Ideal for using after your post run shower - Biokosma Foot Care Gel smells and feels great and prevents foot odour too!

The stretch this month is for the adductors - those muscles that run up the inside of the thigh.

- Sit on the floor with your buttocks against a wall, your legs bent and the soles of your feet together.
- Grasp your feet or ankles and pull them as close to your groin as possible.
- Place your elbows on your inner thighs or knees, exhale and push your legs gently towards the floor.

Be sure to keep your back straight when performing this exercise.

With so many regular clients now on board, evening appointments are currently booked out about six weeks in advance, and most daytime ones about three - four weeks in advance, so planning ahead will help you to secure your preferred appointment time.
The best way to avoid disappointment is to have a regular standing appointment, be it weekly, fortnightly or monthly.  Some flexibility with standing appointments can be accommodated - please feel free to discuss your requirements with me.  
But I know life doesn't always work to a plan, so please don't hesitate to phone if you do require an appointment at short notice.  I usually do have a couple of cancellations each week (from that flexibility we've just been talking about!) and I'll do my best to find you an appointment or can put you on the waitlist.

Book online here or  
Phone Rachael on 021 95 95 95 or  
Leave a message on my home phone 273 7092

The Manukau City Veterans Cycle Club ( charity ride, to raise funds for the Gisborne Cancer Society was a great success last month.  We had a fantastic time and a full account of events can be read on the club website.  

I joined the Moro Mad Bikers as their team therapist at the recent Day-Night Thriller in Taupo - a 12 hour team mountain bike event where the team placed a creditable 22nd in the mixed division our of 122 finishers (and 235 starters).  Unlimited massage and Moros - no wonder they did so well...

Well done to those of you who recently participated in the cycling Nationals in Napier, the gruelling K2 ride on November 1 and the BMW 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon on November 2.  No wonder bookings are so busy in the clinic this week!

The annual Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is now only a month away.  I'm not riding this year, but you will find me in the Manukau City Vets club tent, providing their post ride massage.  Pain free of course.

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Rachael Button
Botany Muscle Therapy
50 Bob Charles Drive, Botany Downs, Auckland