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As a point of introduction, I am a licensed psychologist and an amateur multisport endurance athlete At the time of this letter I am 41 years of age and train on a regular six to seven day per week basis, at times training in two sports per day. I run on the average 25-40 miles per week, cycle on the average 80-120 miles per week, in addition to swimming and weight training. My athletic activities occur secondary to my working 60+ hours a week as well as having a family. As a result, my athletic activity needs to be stress reducing, enjoyable and rewarding. Most of my goals are individual and internal rather than external and or involved with competing with others. Additionally, I am a fairly large individual (61" and 195 pounds) for someone who participates in the level of activity that I do. As a result of these factors, and that I am not the most biomechanically sound runner or cyclist and the fact that I have had numerous injuries and accidents, it is not by chance or my seeking to be pampered that I have made use of spots therapy and sports massage.

I believe I began to utilize your (Allison’s) services around the time that I was preparing to do the Los Angeles Marathon . This was a number of years ago, at a time that I was having chronic difficulties with my hamstring and with my ITB. The utilization of sports therapy was beneficial in two areas. Firstly, in reducing the pain and in working specifically with the pained area and, secondly, in teaching me a variety of exercises that I could use on an ongoing basis to diminish the likelihood of continued difficulties. Additionally, at the time I was also diagnosed as having rather limited flexibility, particularly in my feet and toes I was informed that this was adding to the difficulties I was having. As a result, I was taught how to increase the flexibility in these areas not only in terms of including these exercises in my pre- and post- race exercise stretching but also for instance what I could be doing during a marathon, a century ride or during a triathalon. The effect of this was quite surprising and I was pleased. The frequency of my cramping or of my experiencing significant spasming decreased greatly.

Overall, working with a sports therapist has increased the specificity of the stretching that I do, I believe that, as a result, I have decreased my risk of injury and when 1 have been injured my ability to recuperate has improved. Knowledge is quite valuable.

Additionally there have been other assets to my usage of sports therapy and sports massage. For instance I believe that my utilization of a sports therapist has increased my ability so train in an associative fashion versus a dissociative one. My awareness of my physical self, I perceive to be beneficial not only in terms of improving my training but also in decreasing the risk of injury. Sports therapy, furthermore, I find to be beneficial in that it is relaxing and stress reducing, thereby it fits quite well into my exercise and training program. The goals of sports therapy are clearly congruous with the goals of my training program.

In closing, as a psychologist, I can not ignore the psychological benefits that I perceive are gained from the use of massage Massage clearly has an effect on ones emotional and mental state, it relaxes and calms. I have noted after receiving a massage the effects for some time following the sessions Additionally, as psychologist, I utilize exercise and sport-related interventions with patients on a regular basis, particularly with depressed and over-anxious patients, with client/ athletes who are over-driven one of the interventions I have utilized is sports massage. What a positive way to learn to relax and slow down.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey, Ph.D.
October 13,1996

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