Ok—so you’re too frugal to get regular massage. I understand. But you need one. Especially if you’re an athlete. Even more so if you’re of the weekend warrior variety.

Don’t wait until you’ve got a big injury. It’s not like you have to be in total pain before you deserve to get a massage. A good sports massage therapist can find tightness, scar tissue, and limited range of motion in the most minute of muscles, offering you the power to fix it before it becomes an injury. It also gives a very insightful view at the body’s imbalances in flexibility and strength.

Clients are always fascinated when they came in complaining about their right shoulder and learn that their left shoulder is also out of whack—or well on its way.

Our bodies are incredibly adaptable to new physical pressures. That first time you push the pedals for 100 miles, you have changed your body just a little bit. Going 100 miles might not have been that much more intense than your regular workout, but it has caused new muscle growth and new muscle memory.

Additionally, your body’s weaknesses will be amplified at the end of that ride, causing some muscles to have worked overtime for the sake of the opposite ones who are slacking off.

Maybe you hurt your knee a few years back and favored it until it healed. Unless you are consciously encouraging that leg to work, the muscles are still trying to favor it—out of habit.

When I start digging into people’s muscles, I strip the length of each muscle, from attachment to insertion, so that I can evaluate the source and severity of the strain or tear.

A recent client complained of a knot in her left calf while running. I found the right calf was strained as well, but the muscles were not nearly as tight or dense. She admitted that she was a year out from a foot injury on the right. Together we realized that she needed to strength train on her right calf and foot, so that the left wouldn’t continue to do all of the work. In the meantime, she needed to do some serious heat and stretching on the left to undo the damage.

So go down to the Asheville School of Massage and Yoga next week to get a student massage for $30. They are right at graduation and have done a lot of work, so I’m confident you will get a good massage. Just be sure to say up front that Bettina sent you and will sabotage their certification if they don’t honor what they learned from her.