Some years ago I saw an advert on a tube platform that I thought was so preposterously stupid that I have never forgotten it: the advert was for a moisturiser and there was a photograph of a woman dominating the middle of the poster and text suggesting that this woman had applied the product only to one hand for 10 years. The photograph clearly showed her two hands – one looking like a wrinkled (dare I say it ‘normal’ hand) and the other smooth as a new-born babies skin.
I thought this was a very silly advert. After all, presuming the moisturiser did have this effect, why would someone spend 10 years rubbing it in one hand and not the other, for the sake of an advertisement a decade in the future.
Submitting myself for experimentation
Well yesterday I had my own mini-moment like the one-hand-moisturiser-lady.
I was due to be working at the Brighton marathon training day, which includes a 2 hour run starting at 8am. So I had an early start (pre-5am on a Sunday anyone?) and drove down to the Hilton, on Brighton seafront, which was hosting the event.
Despite it blowing an absolute gale, I managed 1hr 40min with 40 minutes of marathon pace and got back to the hotel before the runners attending the training day would be back. I got talking to the two physios who were there to talk to the runners about injury prevention and treatment and one of them suggested she could give me a 10 minute massage while we waited for the runners to return.
I haven’t had a sports massage for months due to lack of time and funds, so I jumped at the chance. I rubbed the back of my left leg and said that my hamstrings were particularly tight, so if there was anywhere that could do with a massage, that would be it.
The physio got to work on my left hamstring – it was perfect: that delicious pain of knots being worked out and tension being rubbed away. I felt relaxed and very fortunate. The physio commented on the fact that my hamstring was very tight and gristly and continued to rub all the soreness away.
And then after a while on my left leg… she stopped!
Sports massage really works
I guess she thought that when I rubbed the back of my left leg, I was indictating that I had a problem with that leg in particular and so she used the available time to work on that leg only. By the time she said “there you go – hop off the table” the first few runners were returning so I couldn’t ask to be evened up.
The silver lining to this, is that I now know, for an absolute fact, that sports massage works.
Before yesterdays unintentional experiment, I had always left the massage couch feeling better, but if you can’t compare right leg with left leg, it is hard to know exactly how much impact a massage has had.
Well I can tell you – as I write this, sat on a bar stool in my kitchen, the massaged leg feels loose and completely pain free, while the other leg, where my hamstring is sitting on the edge of the stool, feels tight and sore (just the way both of my legs have felt for months!)
So there you go – I have submitted myself to be experimented upon for your sake, dear friend and fellow runner. If there was ever a doubt that sports massage works, I can now dispel it. I can only hope that I don’t run in circles for an hour later today and if anyone knows of a masseur that is happy to do one leg to even me up, please let me know…