During the last week I have been the lucky recipient of 2 massages, each very different from the other. Massage is an experience I had only ever had post marathon previously. Running for charities in the London and New York Marathons, they often had massage as part of the post race recovery area. After the NYC marathon in 1999, the therapist that worked on my legs post race asked me if I’d actually run the race! In a way it was good question – I had been running strongly until mile 15, looking at coming in around 3.15. At mile 15 my body was hit with something I had never experienced before – cramp through my whole body. I’d had quad cramps, hamstring cramps, calf cramps..never every muscle including my shoulders and arms! The last 11 miles were a mixture of walking and very slow running. Strangely, by the time I reached the recovery center, my legs, and body, felt great again. When the therapist was working on me my legs felt very relaxed.
So, back to the present. My generous and gorgeous wife, Jacqui, arranged for me to have a session with one of her therapists, Scott at her treatment center in Estes Park, On the River Massage. Scott practices a form of massage called Thai Therapy Massage. I had heard a little about this form of massage, and went into the session with an open mind. The session turned out to be completely unlike any massage session I had experienced before. Very little “massage” takes place in the way that a traditional massage goes – it is much more about stretching and exploring the range of movement in your joints and muscles. The session also contained a couple of surprises – I’ll leave it to you to discover those! This was an amazing experience. My hamstrings are usually pretty tight, a legacy of how much running I do. The increase in the range of movement in my hamstrings from beginning to end of the session was incredible. Towards the end of the session I was able to hang with my body and legs bent double while Scott took my body weight. The whole session took place on a large mat in the treatment room – I think we probably used every inch of the mat!
Usually after a massage, especially an hour long treatment, I feel incredibly relaxed and very “soggy” brained..usually good for nothing for a while after. This Thai Yoga Massage session was the first session I had ever experienced where I finished feeling relaxed, yet still sharp and focused mentally. I was really tempted to go for a run and see how I felt – sadly time didn’t allow. Scott did an amazing job and his work comes highly recommended.
Then I had a hot stones massage from my wife Jacqui. If you’ve never had a hot stones massage, try one. If you like massage, hot stones is a step up from that. The stones are pre-warmed and very smooth, They glide over your skin while Jacqui puts just the right amount of pressure so that your body feels caressed and worked on at the same time.
On the River Massage have four treatment rooms at their downtown center. The space is beautifully decorated and has a very calming energy. My favorite room has a balcony that looks out onto the Riverwalk in Estes Park – once the ice has melted you can listen to the sounds of the river drifting by as you relax and enjoy your treatment.