Why Overachievers Need Massages Too

By: StacyAtZeel

Today's workhorse is a completely different breed of overachiever. It's no longer good enough to run a marathon or direct a Fortune 500 company. Now, we try to do both (while walking our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, raising a Harvard grad and putting an end to global warming, of course).

Big Apple-based massage therapist Robert Wolf caters to these types of clients-what he calls "business-athletes." (And hey, we're all guilty of overdoing the multitasking sometimes.) Massage, he explains, can be an extremely beneficial healing modality for individuals leading particularly intense lifestyles. Here's how.

Improve your performance. Like many holistic forms of exercise and rehabilitation, massage is becoming increasingly popular among athletes, especially the younger ones. Robert, who is part of the United States Tennis Association's Sports Medicine team, works with a number of elite athletes, from tennis professionals to runners. "You can see the transcendence in their performance," he says.

Banish your "deskasaurous." You know the feeling: hazy eyes, cramped legs, tight lower back. That, Robert proclaims, is your "deskasaurous" acting up, and it's a clever term he uses to describe the familiar aches, pains and other symptoms that arise from sitting at a desk for hours on end. Common deskasaurous symptoms range from carpel tunnel to sciatic issues, which can be relieved via massage.

Accelerate recovery. Massage and light effleurage work helps flush toxins from the body while improving circulation, which are crucial components of a post-workout recovery. Other therapeutic techniques that can be combined with massage to hasten the healing process including using a foam roller or taking a dip in a whirlpool.

Massage has prolonged benefits.
Robert incorporates an interactive element into his massage in which he asks clients to breathe deeply-much like your yogic ujjayi breath. "Even when I work out any of the big players at the U.S. Open, I'll encourage them to fold in breathwork," he says. (Find out more about breathwork here.)

Breathwork is especially useful for athletes and workaholics, because it's a self-care technique that can be used apart from massage. Robert even follows up with clients via e-mail, checking in and offering reminders to breathe when faced with a challenge.

For example, Robert advised one client, a doctor suffering from intense migraines, to set an alarm on his phone. Each time the bell would go off, he instructed the physician to roll his shoulders three times and to take a deep breath. Doing so helped to minimize the stress in his neck and shoulders, and eventually, the migraines stopped.

For a private massage in Robert's studio or at your home, or to learn more about his specialized methods, book an appointment through Zeel.